Makati City hosts 15th CityNet Disaster Cluster Seminar

The Makati City local government spearheaded the 15th CityNet Disaster Cluster Seminar on Wednesday, June 7, as part of its efforts in promoting climate change awareness and sustainability and forging relationships with other cities around the globe in creating disaster risk reduction (DRR) solutions and initiatives.

The two-day seminar (from June 7 to 8), with the theme "Rethink Resilience, Resilience in Action”, was held at Dusit Thani Makati.

It was attended by the mayor herself and over 70 participants from different countries and organizations, with one goal in mind: The sharing of disaster risk reduction knowledge with the rest of the world towards an environmentally friendly society.

"This seminar marks a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure global relevance through local disaster risk reduction solutions. As we all know, cities in the Asia Pacific region face increasing systemic risks due to various factors such as climate change, urbanization, and other environmental issues. Through this event we aim to bring together professionals and practicioners of disaster risk reduction from differebt backgrounds to share best practices and provide necessary guidance on addressing these challenges," Binay said.

"We believe that through sharing knowledge and experiences, we could develop city-to-city cooperation to support capacity development and specific areas of DRR," she added.

The city government said that the two-day seminar about innovations in disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

"It is a two-day hybrid event exploring how cluster members can measure what we value, design systems to factor in risk, and reconfigure governance and financial systems guided by the United Nation’s / UNDRR’s Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2022," it said.

On Sept 26, 2022, Makati City has been chosen as the Disaster Cluster leader of CityNet, the largest association of urban stakeholders aiming to promote sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Binay, CityNet's Disaster Cluster convened in September where the city has once again expressed its interest in serving the cluster after being its co-lead for four years. After the meeting, Makati City was also elected to become the vice-president of CityNet for 2023-2026 together with Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

As the president of CityNet's National Cluster in the country, Binay said Makati City will continue to improve and strengthen its disaster risk reduction and management capabilities and share its knowledge to other local government units (LGUs) in the country.

Makati City had also been proclaimed by the UNDRR as the first-ever Resilience Hub in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.

Binay said that with this proclamation, Makati City will lead in the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative.

MCR2030 aims to contribute directly to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) and other global frameworks by empowering cities to become inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030.

“Over the past decade, Makati has made great strides in its journey to resilience largely aided by MCR tools made accessible to us. We are eager to pay it forward by optimizing the opportunity to share our knowledge, best practices, and resources with other cities so that together, we can attain the highest level of resilience come 2030,” Binay said.

The UNDRR defines resilience hubs as cities, municipalities, or local authorities that have political and technical commitment to take actions to address disaster and climate risks.

It said that in order to qualify as a resilience hub, a city must have reached a high level of resilience building commitments, showed sustained mechanism for DRR/resilience investments, and with an expertise and interest in disseminating best practices to other cities joining the MCR2030. The position is renewable every three years.

MCR2030 resilience hubs may also host international events related to the MCR2030; coordinate study tours to showcase practical examples and share experience; twin up with other cities to provide support in the expertise area; provide technical assistance and support training to enhance resilience awareness and in the development and implementation of the DRR/Resilience strategies; publish and disseminate knowledge products, lessons learned and good practices; provide access to partners who can support the journey of twinned cities along the Resilience Roadmap; inject seed financing; and provide assistance with credit ratings and development of municipal bond markets.

The mayor explained that since the city's signing up for the MCR campaign in 2010, it has effectively mainstreamed and institutionalized disaster risk reduction in its policies, plans and programs.

Its best practices in DRR have also been shared in a number of international platforms joined by cities all over the region.