UNDRR and ICLEI join support to Recife to advance climate resilience and disaster preparedness under the MCR2030 initiative
On August 18, high-level representatives from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability South America and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, met in Recife (capital of Pernambuco State, Brazil) with the Secretary of Planning and Secretary of Civil Defence to express their commitment in strengthening and joining support to the sustainable and climate-resilient recovery of Recife after the May 2022 intense rainfalls that hit the city.
Under the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative, the joint support to the Recife local government by ICLEI and UNDRR will take the form of capacity building events for Metropolitan Recife to assess its resilience capacities in the post-disaster context and formulate climate and disaster resilience plans, as well as knowledge exchange events with MCR2030 cities, with a special focus on risk monitoring, multi-threat alert systems and risk communication.
Main goals of ICLEI and UNDRR’s partnership in Recife are to enhance the analysis of risk management and climate change capacities in Recife; to develop the capacities of Recife's local government and promote understanding on the implementation of resilience projects and early warning system; and to increase the dialogue between Recife and MCR2030 cities and service providers.
In parallel, the Municipality of Recife reaffirmed its commitment as a Resilience Hub of the MCR2030 in mentoring MCR2030 cities in their disaster risk reduction and climate actions. After signing the letter, the Civil Defence team followed the UNDRR and ICLEI representatives to the community of Lagoa Encantada.
Since the launch of the MCR2030 initiative in January 2020, ICLEI and UNDRR have developed a strong and sustained collaboration to support the advancement of building climate and disaster resilience in cities registered in the MCR2030 initiative. In the Americas and Caribbean region, this partnership has taken on additional relevance with the leadership by both organisations of the MCR2030 Regional Coordination Committee, where ICLEI and UNDRR guide and drive the synergies of work between the initiative's core partners.
In 2021, Recife joined MCR2030 with the ambition to become one of the first Resilience Hubs of the Americas and the Caribbean and act as a mentor for other cities in the region seeking to formulate a Local Climate Action Plan and advance their sustainable urban development. The Resilience Hub title was awarded in February 2022.
"For us at ICLEI, the first task here is to congratulate the disaster management model of Recife's Civil Defence, which is a reference for Latin America. At a time when the city was severely impacted by unprecedented rains, the policy put in place was effective." Rodrigo Perpétuo, ICLEI's Executive Secretary for South America.
On 27 May 2022, in just 24 hours, it rained 63% of the entire volume of rainfall forecast for the month in the city of Recife, according to Apac (Pernambuco's Water and Climate Agency). The heavy rains caused 128 deaths in Greater Recife and more than 71,000 people out of their homes, despite the city's exemplary performance on the climate action agenda (in 2020, the city drew up a Local Climate Action Plan with the support of ICLEI). Recife is now learning from the event and seeks to consolidate the metropolitan integration of risk management and accelerate the implementation of coordinated actions for urban resilience.