Desarrollando ciudades resilientes 1 Millón de Escuelas y Hospitales Más Seguros


Johan Prieto, Executive Director of the Civil and Environmental Protection Institute, Municipality of Chacao. Photo by: Adelfo Solarte










By: Adelfo Solarte

Edited by: Abelina Caro and UNISDR – The Americas
MERIDA, Venezuela, October 30, 2013 – EL RIESGO NOS TOCA” ["RISK TOUCHES US"] was the slogan of the First Meeting on Responsibility of Local Governments for Risk Management and Disaster Reduction. It sought to draw attention to the need for local governments to urgently include disaster risk management and reduction on their agendas.

Before hundreds of people in the CORPOANDES auditorium in Merida, speakers Jose Araque of the Chair for Peace and Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero and Patricia Jacome of the Civil Neighbours for the Environment Association shared successful experiences carried out in the communities of Los Curos and La Mucuy Baja, respectively.

Meanwhile, Abelina Caro Ilarrazza, national coordinator of the Local Disaster Risk Management Networks of the CESAP Social Group and Promoter of the UNISDR Global Campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" in Venezuela raised awareness of this important initiative and invited municipal officials to join the campaign and take specific actions in the field of disaster reduction.

In addition, Johan Prieto, Director-General of the Institute for Civil Protection and the Environment of the Municipality of Chacao, shared the risk reduction field experience of the municipality, a current participant of the UNISDR Global Campaign. He emphasized the need for the authorities to provide political support and administrative continuity to actions, while Jorge Riera of the Merida State Educational Zone focused on the contributions that can be made by the educational sector and how vital it is for local government planning to consider risk management education.

Aspiring political candidates from the municipalities of the Mérida metropolitan area also attended the meeting, including Ricardo Rivas and Simon Rodriguez, both mayoral candidates in the upcoming December 8 elections in the municipalities of Campo Elias and Libertador, respectively. They discussed the importance of maintaining spaces for local dialogue and municipal responsibility for disaster risk management in order to create more resilient cities.

The event was organized by the Local Risk Management Networks of Merida, an initiative which: brings together 15 institutions involved in capacity building in the area of risk management; disseminates best practices; and implements local public advocacy plans. Adelfo Solarte the Network coordinator in Merida, considered the meeting to be very positive since it activated interest in the issue of risk management and brought different actors from the Merida society together.

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