5-6 September 2019 | MAKATI – UCLG ASPAC, in collaboration with Makati city government, highlighted the role of local government in accelerating the implementation of Sendai Framework at the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Forum held on 5 September 2019 in Makati City, Philippines. The 194 delegates coming from 14 countries enriched discussions in the forum organised in conjunction with UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting 2019 the next day. This event gave distinguished city representatives ample opportunity to link and unite for strengthened effort and commitment, most particularly in the field of disaster risk reduction and management.

Mayor Mar-len Abigail Binay-Campos of Makati the host city, in her welcome remarks, expressed the vision of Makati to be the first smart city in the country by 2025. Driven by this vision of a smart city with sustainable and resilient communities, the city hosted the DRRM Forum to allow participants to learn and exchange ideas from local leaders on effective and efficient disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. UCLG ASPAC President and Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini called on local governments to support the Sendai Framework implementation and stated that “Protecting the life of the people is an area I want to see more in UCLG ASPAC programmes and activities.”

Keynote speaker, Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha of the Nepal Reconstruction Authority explained how the geographic landscape made the country susceptible to natural disasters such as flooding, landslide, and earthquake. He shared that the country is in transition to a federal system and local governments are evolving to fulfil its functions. He noted that disaster component in local government plans are curative and not preventive. Moving forward, he offered solutions such as financial instruments and infrastructure developments to support local governments in addressing the challenges on DRR.

Discussion in the forum was also enriched with two panel discussions. Panel 1 provided the link of national and local DRR strategies to accelerate the achievement of Target E of the Sendai Framework and Panel 2 focused on post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation. Speakers included representatives from central government, local government, and civil society who discussed their work and DRR initiatives.

Delegates participated in a study visit at the Makati DRRM Operations Centre at the Makati City Hall. The Makati Command, Control, and Communication (C3) Centre opened in full operations in 2006. A pioneering unit in the country for centralised emergency coordination and response, Makati C3 provides an Emergency Management Framework and a seamless concept of operations for the local governments in the country. It served as a model for localised emergency management. Delegates were also introduced to the city’s response vehicles and equipment.

Participants of the forum also had a fruitful discussion at the UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau Meeting and Council Meeting on 6 September 2019. Key results of the meetings include: 1) the hosting of 8th UCLG ASPAC Congress; 2) consolidating UCLG ASPAC nominations for the UCLG World Presidency 2019-2022; 3) supporting the candidacy of Xi’an Mayor as Co-President representing ASPAC in UCLG World Governing Body; and 4) supporting the candidacy of Daejeon City to host the 2022 UCLG World Congress.

UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting 2019 and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Forum saw successful organisation through insightful discussions and the achievement of agreements among members on organisational matters. UCLG ASPAC thanks local government of Makati for the kind support and hospitality expressed throughout the event.