Abuja, 19 May 2014: Attendees at a regional conference on disaster risk reduction in Nigeria have made recommendations for input to the upcoming World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015.

Emerging from the Special Session on 'Building Urban Resilience' organised by UN-Habitat, at the 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Abuja, Nigeria, city governments and stakeholders have recommended several critical inputs in order to reduce the risk to the continent of the impact of disasters, both natural and man-made.

In the understanding that the Hyogo Framework for Action outlining national commitments to reducing risk from disasters will be reviewed at the World Conference, the conclusions of the participants to the Special Session are that new national commitments should:

  1. Promote effective decentralization of competencies to local governments along financial resources,and improved regulatory frameworks and mechanisms for accessing resources at national and global level for disaster risk reduction and management and resilient recovery;
  2. Ensure that cities conductand enforce participatory risk mapping and participatory physical planning for hazard prone areas, protection areas, expansion areas, and work for the upgrading of existing at-risk areas, especially informal settlements;
  3. Emphasize monitoring and accountability of urban risk reduction measures as a structural component of national obligations and for reporting progress against the goals of HFA-2 through cohesive targets and indicators for measuring progress on urban resilience and linkage to the delivery of basic services (e.g. access to clean water, sanitation, food security, health, education, etc.).
  4. Build the human and technical capacities of local governments and urban dwellers and communities to address urban risks and build resilience to develop, deliver and enforce resilience action plans at city and sectorial level
  5. Continue to promote local governments’ and communities’ preparedness, contingency, response and sequenced recovery,including early warning systems and improved tools for vulnerability and humanitarian assessment in urban areas, with attention to the involvement of neighbourhoods and slum dwellers at the urban, peri-urban and human settlements level.

It is expected that these will be included in the conclusions of the Regional Platform consultations, and be reflected in upcoming preparations for the World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction, and carry through to the Habitat III conference in 2016.