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Central America Commonwealth: Local Resilience Progress










By: Humberto Jaime

Quezalguaque, Nicaragua, February 19. - Speeding up the implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action and the development of resilience in communities, participating in the Global Campaign for Resilient Cities and promoting local DRR capacities, are among the main commitments made by 46 municipalities of Honduras, Nicaragua and el Salvador, following the constitution of the Commonwealth for Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction and the Endogenous Local Development of their territories.

The initiative is a result of the efforts made by the Commonwealth of Central America and specially the previous work done by the Commonwealth of Cuenca del Rio Telica - Department of León, Nicaragua- which has promoted, since 2007, better relations between the development activities and ecosystems looking forward to better life conditions, sustainability and resilience in communities, in a region highly exposed to natural hydro meteorological and geological hazards.

Reyna Chavarría, Mayor of the Municipality of Quezalguaque, stated that: "by establishing the Commonwealth between the municipalities of Quezalguaque, Telica and Larreynaga, information to other municipalities in the other regions of the country has spread facilitating access to the information on the campaign and its main objective, through exchange of experiences, naming this action Commonwealth Association.”
 Also, Helena Molin, Deputy Director of the United Nations Secretariat for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, commented: "We think that what they are doing and achieving with effort and leadership by themselves and as a group, is an example to everyone in the work we are promoting.  It is the first time I've seen an initiative of Commonwealth Associations for Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction and Endogenous and Sustainable Local Development.  We are keen to follow and learn from their process, documenting steps and achievements”.

The commitments of the Commonwealth Association were seated in the "Declaration of Quezalguaque: Resilience, Sustainability, and Endogenous and Sustainable Local Development in our Municipalities and Territories" and includes support to the UN Habitat agenda, promoting participatory planning and ensuring the "protection of Mother Earth”.

The signing ceremony was held during the "Exchange of Successful Experiences” organized by the Commonwealth of Cuenca Rio Telica, Nicaragua; a community with a population of 70 thousand inhabitants in a territorial extension of 1,373.7 Km2 which brings together the municipalities of Quezalguaque, Telica and Larreynaga-Malpaisillo.  These municipalities are among the first who joining the Global Campaign of Resilient Cities 2010.

Representatives of the Commonwealth attended the international meeting: Tri-national of the Gulf of Fonseca (MUGOLFO) formed by 24 municipalities of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras; Omepetina and its two municipalities on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua; and the Commonwealth of Norte de Paradise (MANORPA), comprising 16 municipalities of Honduras, as well as the municipality of Santa Tecla, El Salvador.

The initiative has the support of the UNISDR, the Association of Swiss Solidarity Territories, National Engineering University of Nicaragua and UN Habitat.

Related links:
Global Campaign Making Cities Resilient: My City is getting ready!
Declaration of Quezalguaque: Resilience, Sustainability and Endogenous and Sustainable Local Development in our Municipalities and Territories
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR