Under the USAID Mekong–Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities program, the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, the Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies, and the Thailand Environment Institute released a new report, Assessing City Resilience: Lessons from Using the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Local Government Self-Assessment Tool in Thailand and Vietnam.

The self-assessment tool was tested in four cities with a twofold purpose:1) to develop a process of public dialogue around the tool to discuss and assess of institutional capacity on climate resilience; and 2) to test the application of the tool within the context of climate change projects and share results with UNISDR.

While disaster risk reduction and climate resilience efforts often focus on building physical infrastructure, the report highlights critical gaps in institutional capacity.  Key areas that require action include improved hazard and risk assessments, better processes to define and identify vulnerable groups, reliable and publicly accessible data and information, effective urban land-use planning, and critical public infrastructure designed for resilience.

Commenting on the report, UNISDR’s Head of Advocacy and Outreach Mr. Jerry Velasquez noted that, “this is the first time that the tool has been formally used in climate vulnerability assessment for the purpose of urban development planning as well as disaster and climate change planning and response.”  The USAID program will build on this report by applying the tool in other city-level public dialogues later in 2014.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update 


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