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Workshop on: “Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab Region”

London (UK)   9/10 May 2018

Under the patronage of the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United Kingdom

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

In progress on the implementation of the SENDAI Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab Region, Resurgence, – a leading proponent of resilience frameworks and their monitoring and dissemination that is based in the Digital Greenwich Innovation Centre in 6 Miter Passage – organized, in close collaboration with the Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) based in Riyadh, KSA the Smart and Resilient Cities Workshop “Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction”, which took place in London (UK) on 9/10 May

This Workshop is part of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Regional project, to support reporting against the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 for 25 Arab cities using the 2017 UNISDR Disaster Resilience Scorecard – New Ten Essentials. This was the first step by Resurgence in reaching out to towns and cities in the Middle East and brought together representatives from central government and cities in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Lebanon, with the aim of taking selected cities through the Resilient City Framework.   The occasion also marked the launch of a roadmap, showcase and guide to the use of Open Data to make cities more resilient.

Trevor Dorling, Director of Digital Greenwich/DG Cities, opened the Conference with Mr. Abdullah Al Subail, Deputy DG of AUDI.  Ragi Saro of UNISDR set out the key elements of the Sendai Framework and the strategy behind its Making Cities Resilient campaign.  Nuha Eltinay, Director of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development at AUDI showed how the Framework was being implemented at the local level in Khartoum and other Arab cities.  Allan Mayo, DG Cities’ Smart City Strategist, showed how smart city concepts could work in a complementary manner with the “10 Essential Elements” of the Sendai Framework to help cities achieve their Sustainable Development Goals.

After Kieran Power, AECOM, provided a wider, global perspective on the implementation of resilience and disaster recovery, the question was raised whether cities would need disaster risk reduction officers in the medium term, when cities had implemented the framework.  Given the importance of data in anticipating and managing new risks, it was ventured that the role could be subsumed and prioritized within the role of a municipality’s data analytics capability.

The Workshop then focused on the implementation of the 10 Essential elements of the Sendai Framework.  The key issues to emerge were:

1. The need for follow-up with multi-Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) sectoral meetings at country level, to include the specialties of all DRR institutions, to understand the relationship between the National DRR data loss monitoring frameworks and Local institutional disaster risk management structures to ensure consistency and to maximize the potential synergies arising from combined activities.

2. Focus on updating existing disaster risk monitoring data-sets to ensure the effectiveness of the Resilience Scorecard assessment results, and pave the road to developing a Sustainable Resilience Action Plan.

3. To identify the interrelationships with Smart Cities Strategies, and the use of the Open Data Infrastructure Guide for Urban Resilience to provide the datasets and dynamic ongoing risk mapping capability required for the implementation of City Resilience Action Plans.

Feedback from delegates indicates this Workshop to have been a tremendous success, which has stimulated the inevitable question of how to build on it.  AUDI, Resurgence and DG Cities will be discussing this in the weeks to come.



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