Launch of Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030)

Author: Jeanette Elsworth | Date: October 28, 2020

Core partners of Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) officially launched its second phase today, with a global programme to support cities on the road to resilience.

The launch took place during the Daring Cities conference convened by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), one of the core partners of the initiative and 1,048 people from 117 countries attended.

H.E. U. Khürelsükh, Prime Minister of Mongolia
  H.E. U. Khürelsükh, Prime Minister of Mongolia

H.E. U. Khürelsükh, Prime Minister of Mongolia, sent a video message to congratulate the Campaign on its success so far and to reconfirm Mongolia’s firm commitment to building resilient cities.

“During my tenure as Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, all 22 major cities in Mongolia joined the “Making Cities Resilient” UN Global Campaign in 2017, and I inform you that the Government of Mongolia has fulfilled its commitment to implement Target (e) of the Sendai Framework by 2020, and all our major cities have adopted [and] are implementing local DRR strategies as of today,” confirmed H.E. U. Khürelsükh.

“On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, I commend the successful implementation of the “Making Cities Resilient” United Nations Campaign. Through this campaign, I believe that we have been able to build better community disaster resilience and recognize an importance of local leadership in DRR.”

Speaking at the launch, Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), said: “To achieve resilience, cities will have to address the underlying drivers of risk, which may include poverty, education, health, environmental degradation, among others. More than anything, a holistic and systems approach to resilience must be adopted by cities.  MCR2030 aims to provide a framework for this approach.”

The goal of MCR2030 is to ensure cities become inclusive, safe, resilient and Sustainable by 2030, contributing directly to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) and other global frameworks including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.

Screenshot of speakers at the MCR2030 launch
Speakers at the MCR2030 launch which more than 1,000 people from 117 countries attended virtually

Throughout the launch, speakers and partners highlighted the importance of focusing on urban areas to ensure those goals were met.

Sameh Wabeh, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice at the World Bank said: “We know that if we do nothing, about 130 million people will fall into poverty by 2030. Around 70 million of those are in urban areas.”

Tiziana Bonzon, Manager for Climate Migration and Resilience at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) praised the initiative for putting cities at the centre. “Let’s make cities the source of solutions, rather than the source of challenges,” said Ms. Bonson.

At the same time, Kozo Nagami, Director General at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recognised the value of resilience as a whole. “Disaster risk reduction is not a cost but an investment in sustainable development,” he said.

Co-created by partners and networks of cities, MCR2030 will offer cities a clear, three-stage resilience roadmap to assessing, planning and implementing risk reduction and resilience-building initiatives. The resilience roadmap will link cities within a peer-to-peer learning environment and communities of practice, supported by access to tools, technical specialists and advisers.

Implementation is focused on three key areas: giving advisory support for improved DRR and resilience planning, climate finance, municipal finance and climate adaptation;

improving coordination between national and local governments and national associations of local governments; and forging strong partnerships at the local level for more efficient implementation.

Recognising that access to finance is one of the biggest hurdles to reducing risk, MCR2030 will also provide a platform to help cities strengthen their ability to access funds and allow cities to find specialist service providers and investors for actions and initiatives. 

MCR2030 builds on the success of the ten-year-old Making Cities Resilient Campaign, which concludes at the end of 2020 and has more than 4,300 city signatories. MCR2030 will run from January 2021 to the end of 2030.

By 2050 most of the world’s population will be urban and cities will be the key setting for ensuring the inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable spaces for citizens. The resilience of cities will be key in accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals and associated global frameworks.

For more information, you may visit the MCR 2030 official webpage:

Launch of Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030)


Climate, Resource Management, and Human Development: Community Resilience Initiatives in Asia 2020 Lecture Series

The Coastal Cities at Risk in the Philippines: Investing in Climate & Disaster Resilience (CCARPH) project, in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) Department of Political Science, and Department of Sociology & Anthropology (DSA), the Nippon Foundation, and the Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship program invite you to:

Climate, Resource Management, and Human Development: Community Resilience Initiatives in Asia 2020 Lecture Series


Webinar 1 (Oct 27, T)

9:00-10:00 AM (PST) Social Transformation and Grassroots Empowerment (STAGE): A Strategy for Promoting Island-Based Coastal Resources Management

Dr. Liza Lim
Director, Institute of Social Order (ISO)
With support from the ISO Community Organizers and the Siruma Women’s
Mangrove Management Group

Engr. Khim Saddi
Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City, Southern Philiippines

Webinar 2 (Oct 29, Th)

9:00-9:30 AM (PST) Condition of a Sustainable Coexistence Between People and Nature

Prof. Miwako Hosoda
Vice-President, Seisa University, Japan

9:30-10:00 AM (PST) The Caluruega-Philippine Experience: Mirroring Integrity of Creation and UN Sustainable Development Goals

Fr. Stephen Redillas OP, Ph.D.
University of Santo Tomas
Letran Manaoag

Prof. Raymundo Lucer, Ph.D.
University of the Philippines – Los Banos UPOU

10:00-10:30 AM (PST) Toward Integral Ecology Through Coexistential Ecology

Fr. Jojo Fung SJ, PhD
Laudato Si Center, Oxford Sacred Springs Dialogue for Spirituality and Sustainability, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University

Webinar 3 (Nov 3, T)

9:00-9:15 AM (PST) Mainstreaming Marine Ecosystem Protection for a Climate-Resilient Community

Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos
Vice-President, Oceana, Philippines

9:15-9:30AM (PST) Build, Build, Build: Implications to Resource Management and Community Resilience

Prof. Maria Aurora T.W. Tabada,
Director, Gender Resource Center, Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Central Philippines

Merry Jean A. Caparas MSc Water Management & Governance UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Netherlands

Webinar 4 (Nov 4, W)

9:00-9:15 AM (PST) Blue Ridge B.R.E.A.T.H.S. (Blue Ridge Environmental and Agricultural Template for Health, Economy and Security)

Esperanza “Kap Sessan” Castro-Lee Blue Ridge Punong Barangay (Brgy Captain) Barangay Blue Ridge B, District 3, Quezon City, Philippines

9:15-9:30 AM (PST) Capturing Indigenous Perspectives in Ecosystems-Based Adaptation Inside Ancestral Domains

Maria Easterluna Luz S. Canoy (w/ Bae Inatlawan) Executive Director, Kitanglad Integrated NGOs, Inc. (KIN), Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

Webinar 5 (Nov 5, Th)

9:00-10:30 AM (PST) Mekong River Development Challenges and Responses with Chang Mai University, the International Organization of Rivers and Chulalongkorn University

Prof. Surichai Wun’gaeo,
Director for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Prof. Chayan Vaddhanaphuti
Director for the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development and Center for Ethnic Studies and Development

Khun Pairin Sohsai The International Organization of Rivers

Prof. Pianporn Deetes
Campaigns Director for Myanmar and Thailand
The International Organization of Rivers

Online Class Lecture (Nov 6, F)

9:00-9:30 AM (PST) Social impacts of regional integration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Dr. Rosalia Sciortino SEA Junction, Bangkok, Thailand

Q & A

9:30-10:00 AM Disaster Risk Reduction and The Sustainable Development Goals

Jessica Dator-Bercilla University of the Philippines-Visayas National Resilience Council

Q & A

Online Class Lecture (Nov 10, Tue)

9:00-10:30 AM (PST) Essential Elements of City Resilience

Allen Jhulia Prodigalidad
Research Intern, CCARPH
Junior Physics Student, Ateneo de Manila

10:30-11:00 AM (PST) Community-Based Initiatives for Resilience in MDRR-CCARPH, Ateneo de Manila University

Dr. Emma Porio, Ma. Rufina Salas,
Vivien Clarisse Leynes

Coastal Cities at Risk Philippines

Manuel “Ka Noli” Acantara Abinales,
Buklod Tao Katatagan Inc.

Dr. Vincent “Doc Basil” Sison
Prescy Liza Labsan
Valenzuela City, Urban Greening Program and Disiplina Bignay, Integrated Community Food Production (ICFP)

Webinar (Nov 11, W)

9:00-9:15 AM (PST) Baon sa Pagbangon (Preparation for Adaptive Resilience): Resources for Community-Based Arts Engagement for Resilience and Sustainability

Clarissa Mijares
Program Manager, Office of University and Global Relations
Ateneo de Manila University

9:15-9:30 AM Community Based Arts as a Vehicle for Social Change and Enhancing Resilience Initiatives

Laura Cabochan,
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Fine Arts, Ateneo de Manila University

9:30-9:45 AM Omehen: The Garden as Chronicle and Strategy of Resistance

Alfred Marasigan Instructor, Department of Fine Arts, Ateneo de Manila University

Closing Plenary (Nov 12, TH)

9:00-9:15 AM Community Interventions for Environmental Resilience

Prof. Jan Marie Fritz, PhD University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Presidential Board Member, RC46: Clinical Sociology, International Sociological Association (ISA)

9:15-9:30 AMThe National Resilience Scorecards (Philippines)

Antonia Yulo Loyzaga President, National Resilience Council Board of Trustees Member, Manila Observatory


Dr. Emma Porio Project Leader and Investigator, Coastal Cities at Risk Philippines; Professor of Sociology Ateneo de Manila University


  • Green Line- Public Webinars, Livestreamed
  • Blueline – Online Class Lecture Only, Closed to the Public

This event will be streamed live on For more information, email: [email protected], or visit

[Full livestream] Watch the Countdown Global Launch, a call to action on climate change

An update from Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction — 16 September 2020

In the newsletter circulated by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori writes about Disaster Risk Governance. We must recognize that the greatest single driver of disaster risk is weak governance and lack of political commitment to invest in reducing disaster risk.

Disaster risk governance has been a constant refrain in my public statements for some months now and I informed the High-Level Panel on Sustainable Development in July that it would be the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13.

It is understandable that disaster management agencies often focus on individual hazards, particularly those which have caused most of the damage based on historical records. However, COVID-19 tells us that this approach must change. It is important that we manage disaster risk with a multi-hazard approach, and with a clear understanding of the systemic nature of risk.

That was a thought I shared at the first meeting of the UNDRR Support Group this year under the new Chair, His Excellency Ambassador Emilio Izquierdo of Ecuador, when we met in early September just days after we issued a press release confirming the theme for this year’s #DRRday.

October 13 is an important opportunity for UN member States, the UN family and other stakeholders to celebrate their efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This year we are saying that “It really is all about governance” as we recognize that the greatest single driver of disaster risk is weak governance and lack of political commitment to invest in reducing disaster risk.

The reality is that if the benefits of investing in disaster risk reduction were fully realized, we would not be facing a global economic crisis. The world would have responded to the science and the warnings of a pending pandemic with greater international cooperation and the impact of COVID-19 would have been reduced.

This year’s #DRR day is especially significant as the five-year-old Sendai Seven Campaign seeks to raise the profile of the importance of Target (e) which seeks a substantial increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by the end of this year.

This translates into ensuring that we recognise how important it is that we act on a key priority for action of the Sendai Framework “strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk” as the UN and Member States embark on a Decade of Action intended to see significant progress on achieving the SDGs.

I urge all concerned to make the most of the day to organize events while respecting WHO COVID-19 guidelines and to consult the concept note now available on our website.


COVID-19 continues to grab most of the news headlines understandably. However, recent extreme weather events are a strong reminder that the climate emergency is ever present in a world that is currently on course for 3.2°C rise in temperature with little sign yet of a major commitment to deliver on net zero emissions from the world’s leading industrial nations.

Sudan has seen the Nile River reach its highest levels in 100 years and declared a state of emergency as heavy rainfall disrupts the lives of half a million people, destroying many homes. Back-to-back typhoons have taken many lives in Japan and Korea and caused huge economic losses. Record temperatures have helped to fuel vast wildfires in California.

These events underline why we must continue to closely monitor extreme weather events and ensure that we account for the economic losses they trigger in order to guide politicians and policymakers on where and how to make future investments in order to manage existing levels of risk and to avoid creating new risk.

UNDRR is working with the Belgium-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters on a new report on the human cost of disasters which will include a review of extreme weather events in the first twenty years of this century. It will be released on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, October 13 #DRRday.

We will also be publishing a guidance note on how to include biological hazards and risks (including pandemics) in national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction along with a Words into Action guide for public review on Nature Based Solutions for disaster risk reduction.


I would like to use this opportunity to promote the first in a series of four webinars which got underway on 15 September examining the case for risk informed investment as a critical element of macro-economic financial stability and the achievement of the SDGs. It will look at examples of where we can draw lessons from progress to date, identify the gaps and explore opportunities to address them. You can register through this link.

I spoke in in the first webinar along with Mr. Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors, Ms. Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament, and Mr. Felix Suntheim, Fiancial Sector Expert, IMF.

This series builds on a report on the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate action into sustainable financing published by UNDRR in 2019 in the European context, and accompanies the development of a new global study to identify concrete actions, evidence and tools to integrate multi-hazard and systemic risk approaches into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in support of more risk-informed investment and finance.


Following the success of the ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) Annual General Meeting in July, it was very encouraging to see the creation in September of the first national chapter of ARISE in the Arab region. This is an initiative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and I hope it will mark the beginning of a trend across the region to promote greater involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Dr. Mahmoud Al-Burai, Vice-President of the International Real Estate Federation, was confirmed as Chair of UAE ARISE and he declared his intention to support the Dubai Resilient project and promised to energize the private sector to achieve the goals of the Sendai Framework. Co-chair is Mr. Ahmed Riad, Managing Director, Estmrarya Consulting, and the Vice Chari is Dr. Tariq Nizami, Founder and CEO of CEO Clubs Network.

Our Regional Office in Cairo has been working hard on this initiative which will be officially launched at the Fifth Arab Partnership Meeting for DRR scheduled for November.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all concerned and wish them every success in the implementation of their future work plan which is well aligned with the four global priorities adopted at the ARISE Annual General Meeting in July: Integrating DRR into financial sector decision making; building the resilience of SMEs; resilient infrastructure; and the role of insurance in disaster risk reduction and resilience.


This year is a pivotal year in many respects. It marks the start of the Decade of Action which the UN Secretary-General has called for in order to transform our world and make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality and to address challenges such as rising greenhouse gas emissions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

And very importantly for UNDRR’s mandate to support implementation of the Sendai Framework, 2020 is the deadline for achieving Target (e): “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies” which is also a key advocacy focus for this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13.

UNDRR Director Ricardo Mena provided a comprehensive overview of progress at the UNDRR Support Group meeting in September. Successes to date include the fact that 93 governments have developed national DRR strategies and there has been an increased effort to build synergies at national level in the implementation of the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. There is also an encouraging trend to integrate biological hazards into DRR strategies following reviews initiated as a result of COVID-19.

Mr. Mena also identified gaps and challenges including that COVID-19 is overstretching the capacity of national DRR organizations. The collection of DRR and climate change data remain a challenge, including disaggregation of data. There is also limited access to data particularly in conflict-affected countries.

Weak risk governance was also highlighted as an area of concern. The Sendai Framework advocates an all-of-society approach to DRR and in many countries there is a limited effort to engage civil society and to create awareness of the increasingly systemic nature of disaster risk and the linkages between DRR and the SDGs. Better guidance is needed on how to build coherence and integration at national and local levels.

I cannot say it too often! It really is all about governance.

I hope that we will continue to see growth in the number of both national and local strategies for DRR and greater alignment with the targets and priorities for action laid out in the Sendai Framework.

* * *


I hope that you will find this update useful and informative.
If you would like more information about UNDRR’s many activities, please do visit and please — stay safe and well.

Launch of the Hazard Definition & Classification Review – Technical Report

The International Science Council (ISC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) launched the Hazard Definition & Classification Review – Technical Report to identify the full scope of all hazards relevant to the Sendai Framework and the scientific definitions of these hazards.

You may download the report here:

You may find the recording of the launch below:

An update from Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction — 13 July 2020

In the newsletter circulated by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori writes about the lessons brought about by the COVID crisis: with good governance being at the heart of disaster resilience and the need for better recovery strategies that are climate-conscious and environmentally sustainable.

I have been thinking, writing, and talking a lot about good governance recently and how its absence can drive disaster risk.

COVID-19 has driven home the understanding that without good disaster risk governance it is extremely difficult to manage any other underlying drivers of disaster risk. The most glaring example of this is the continued failure to make progress on tackling the climate emergency, notably the continuing rise in greenhouse gas emissions as we ignore the catastrophe in waiting if we stay on the current path towards 3˚C or more in global warming. I was glad to have the opportunity to announce on the first day of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in my keynote remarks for the ‘Virtual Side Event on Water-related DRR under the COVID-19 Pandemic’ that the focus of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13 will be on disaster risk governance. This is in the context of promoting target E of the Sendai Framework which seeks a substantial increase in the number of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.

Failure to act on the science and warnings about the threat of a pandemic were at the heart of the inertia to prepare for COVID-19 in many countries despite the inclusion — at the insistence of UN member States — of biological hazards and risks (including pandemics) in the Sendai Framework five years ago.

Since then only a few national disaster risk reduction strategies have taken pandemics into account, a point I made again during my participation earlier this month in The Economist magazine’s podcast The World Ahead.

You can be rest assured that our Regional Offices are working hard to redress this and to support governments to put in place DRR strategies which recognise the multi-hazard and systemic nature of disaster risk.


Speaking at another event hosted by the HLPF focused on sustaining efforts to switch to sustainable energy, I made the point that there is no doubt that fossil fuels are a major contributor to the alarming levels of increasingly systemic disaster risk across the world.

The five years since the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted have been the hottest on record, and the number of extreme weather events has almost doubled over the last twenty years.

Many countries are now challenged with responding to extreme weather events such as cyclones, drought and storms while struggling to contain COVID-19. A key guiding principle of the Sendai Framework is to ensure that all new investments are risk-informed to avoid the creation of new disaster risk.

This is especially important for energy sector infrastructure which in turn supports other critical infrastructure on which societies depend.

We need to recover better from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that requires political commitment and ambition to fight climate change, and a wholesale switch to sustainable energy.

We look to the G20 nations, responsible for almost 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, to lead by example.


Work is now underway in UNDRR to pull together the initial learnings we have been able to gather on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it currently stands and make it readily accessible in a user-friendly format. We know that the pandemic is far from over but the better we know what has worked well and what hasn’t thus far will help us in tackling the next phases, reducing its impact and recovering faster and better.

In the meantime, you can catch up here on the informative series of webinars that we have been running with partners since the onset of the pandemic.


Mexico is one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19. Over 30,000 people have lost their lives and there are over 270,000 confirmed cases, in the country which is in a region which has now become the epicentre of the pandemic. Many people are finding it hard to make a living and businesses are struggling to stay afloat as preventive measures are introduced.

UNDRR’s Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean has signed a “Resilience Protocol” which is a collaborative agreement with ARISE Mexico and the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism aimed to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which are so important to employment.

ARISE Mexico is part of UNDRR’s worldwide Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) which recognizes the need to better integrate risk into business practices and decisions, as well as generate networks of support with different partners like Chambers of Commerce.


UNDRR’s newly appointed Director, Ricardo Mena, delivered a statement to the HLPF under the theme “protecting the planet and building resilience” in which he highlighted the fact that less than half of UN member States have developed national and local disaster risk reduction strategies since the adoption of the Sendai Framework five years ago.

His statement concluded: “Disaster risk governance requires clear vision, plans, competence, guidance and coordination within and across sectors, and full engagement with civil society.

An important way of measuring disaster risk governance is against key targets of the Sendai Framework including reducing loss of life, reducing the numbers of people affected and reducing economic losses.

COVID-19 has been an enormous setback for the efforts of many countries in achieving these targets with serious implications for efforts to achieve the SDGs.

UNDRR urges UN Member States to put in place national and local disaster risk reduction strategies which recognise the fact that disaster risk is systemic in nature and widespread across all sectors and development processes.”

* * *


I hope that you will find this update useful and informative.
If you would like more information about UNDRR’s many activities, please do visit and please — stay safe and well.

Web-based Geospatial Risk Database for COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery

The National Resilience Council of the Philippines forged a partnership with the Coastal Cities at Risk in the Philippines Project of the Ateneo de Manila University, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, and EpiMetrics, Inc. to implement the Web-based Geospatial Risk Database for COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery training program. Its first phase was launched from June 16 to 23, 2020. The training program enhances local decision support systems by providing both temporal and spatial situational awareness. It was designed to advance the continuing professionalization of Philippine local government officials in the area of evidence-informed disaster risk governance.

The Geospatial Risk Database Decision Support System was first developed by Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in close coordination with the Philippine Department of Health Region X to support and inform responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being web-based, the geospatial risk information platform may be utilized and updated by team members who are working from different locations.  Their basic deliverables include building a shared dashboard that reflects the collection, analyses and visualization of data critical to containment and mitigation.

Other thematic layers may be created to enable greater situational awareness of syndromic data at the household level and pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as tracking the status of cases, the distribution of food relief packages, and the delivery of financial assistance under the Philippine Social Amelioration Program.

This spatio-temporal approach to mapping COVID-19 is an innovation that facilitates a shared awareness of natural and biological hazards, exposure, and vulnerability. It enables a systems approach to analyzing disaster risk which may then inform local climate and disaster risk assessments. A greater understanding of the complexities of COVID-19 may then facilitate the inclusion of pandemic prevention and response in future investments in medium and long-term resilience.

Program participants include the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Muntinlupa, Naga, Ormoc, and Zamboanga, and their respective academic partners in the NRC Resilient LGU Systems Program, namely: Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, University of the Philippines-Visayas, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Ateneo de Naga University, Visayas State University, and Ateneo de Zamboanga. Local government teams included officers of the City Planning Development Office, Health Office, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

During the closing session of the 6-day training program, city teams presented their initial project outputs which consisted of a preliminary dashboard, ArcGIS StoryMaps, and their work plan for the full development of their COVID-19 Web-based Geospatial Risk Database.

For more information about this program and other NRC initiatives, please email [email protected] or visit

Participants of the training program pose for a class photo during the closing session held on June 23, 2020. Addressing the audience are NRC Convenor Ambassador Roberto R. Romulo, NRC Co-chair for the Private Sector Mr. Hans Sy, NRC Vice-Chair for CSOs/NGOs Mr. Ernesto Garilao, DND Undersecretary Mr. Cardozo Luna, and DILG Undersecretary Mr. Nestor Quinsay, Jr.

An update from Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction — 25 June 2020

In the newsletter circulated by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori writes an update on the on-going efforts and initiatives by DRR Organizations and Advocates in the fight against COVID-19.

There is worldwide recognition that the fight against COVID-19 will mainly take place in our cities and towns. The denser the population, and the more informal the human settlement, the more likely it is that the virus will spread.

In my opinion piece, with the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, we highlight the fact that some 95% of COVID-19 cases have come from urban areas where pandemic preparedness is more urgent than ever, particularly in challenging situations where disease outbreaks could coincide with an extreme weather event.
It was a theme that I revisited in a webinar organized by our Panama Regional Office The cities of the Americas and the Caribbean facing COVID-19: Resilient Cities. A major economic contraction could plunge 28 million people in the region into poverty in one of the world’s most urbanized regions.

Later this year, the Making Cities Resilient Campaign will be succeeded by an initiative joining forces with UN-Habitat, the World Bank, UCLG, ICLEI, and other partners to shift the focus from advocacy to implementation of local DRR strategies to enhance local resilience over the next decade.

In my recent remarks to the Executive Bureau of UCLG I highlighted three focus areas:

  • First, provide advisory support for improved and risk-informed investment and development planning, climate finance, municipal finance, and climate adaptation;
  • Second, improve coordination between national and local governments and national associations of local governments for risk reduction measures,
  • And third, forge strong partnerships at the local level for more efficient implementation of policies for local resilience.

The lack of funding has been identified as the biggest challenge in building local resilience and we hope this broadened engagement will help cities to overcome this. We also want to enhance city-to-city exchanges and mentoring amongst local governments at different stages of development.


The International Recovery Platform (IRP) has produced a useful compendium for COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery comprising 21 tools and guidelines for Health Sector Recovery; Private Sector and Livelihood Recovery; Inclusive Recovery; and Disaster Recovery Governance.

Recovery from COVID-19 must seek to build the resilience of public and private systems and the sooner we start planning to factor in biological hazards and risks in national and local DRR strategies (Sendai Framework Target (e), the better.

The wider recovery effort will require multisectoral participation to address a range of issues that are also relevant for many other types of disaster (e.g. infrastructure, education, governance, commerce). The unprecedented nature of the current disaster requires consideration of new approaches in order to recover better.

The COVID-19 Recovery Policy Brief for decision and policymakers defines the COVID-19 recovery context and supplements existing guidance with key principles and practices to guide recovery planning.


Work is continuing through our Regional Offices to ensure national strategies are aligned with the Sendai Framework on the inclusion of biological hazards and risks.

For instance, our Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has completed a review of 22 existing national strategies to examine the level of integration of biological hazards. The Office is now moving to interviews with country Sendai Framework focal points to understand and support countries in strengthening their risk management governance.

Similar review processes are underway in all other Regional Offices.

Given the concentration of COVID-19 cases in urban settings, the Regional Office for Arab States has developed a questionnaire on cities’ role in preparing and responding to COVID-19.


We recently disseminated the UNDRR Statement by the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism on “Applying Lessons from COVID-19 Prevention and Risk Reduction to Build a Sustainable and Resilient World”. It calls on government leaders to:

  1. Implement a preventive approach as we build back better.
  2. Commit to protect the most vulnerable.
  3. Strengthen multilateralism based on long-term vision, democratic values, human rights, health equity, accessibility, social justice, and respect for nature.
  4. Provide messaging consistent with medical advice and ensuring that harmful misinformation is quickly countered.
  5. Encourage appropriate individual action.

The Statement reads: “Despite the disruption and suffering caused by COVID-19, we are provided with a rare opportunity to develop case studies, lessons learned and policy guidelines on the risk management of the pandemic and share them globally. It also will lead us to revisit much that underpins our modern world – from governance, investment, production, and consumption, to our relationship with nature and each other, placing risk reduction at its heart.


The UN Secretary-General has appointed Ricardo Mena as the new Director of UNDRR. Ricardo has a wealth of disaster response and DRR knowledge from his field and HQ experiences. He joined UNDRR as head of our Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean in 2009. Since 2017 he has been chief of branch in charge of Supporting and Monitoring the Implementation of the Sendai Framework. In his new role as my deputy, Ricardo is well-positioned to become an even stronger advocate on behalf of DRR.

Do check out our ongoing series of blog posts under DRR Voices on PreventionWeb. Dr. Rahel Steinbach highlights how gender and age are decisive factors influencing people’s ability to prevent, prepare for and recover from COVID-19 and its consequences. PhD researcher, Sapana Basnet Bista, has four recommendations for inclusive risk communication. Dr. Aaron Clark-Ginsberg writes about How DRR can help reduce elderly loneliness during the pandemic.


I hope that you will find this update useful and informative.
If you would like more information about UNDRR’s many activities, please do visit and please — stay safe and well.

Response and Recovery Efforts by the Private Sector and Local Governments in the Philippine

NRC President, Ms. Toni Yulo-Loyzaga spoke about the Response and Recovery Efforts by the Private Sector and Local Governments in the Philippine during the Multi-Hazards Approach and COVID-19: Flattening the Curve and Early Recovery Lessons Webinar organized by APRU- Association of Pacific Rim Universities

Watch the full session below:

Coronavirus disease (COVID 19) has caused devastating damage to the whole world and shown how important it is to prepare for a pandemic as hard as other disasters. Some countries are in the early phase of recovery after going through extremely difficult times and experiences. This webinar aims to share these experiences and the lessons learned from the response and recovery by different sectors: UN agencies, governments, the private sector, and academia. For more information about the webinar and speakers, please visit