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Armenian Cities Strive to Withstand Disasters

“Disaster risk is increasing with every passing day. Poverty, rapid urbanization, climate change – these and other factors are leaving people and communities ever more exposed.” – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
In the last 20 years disasters have killed 1.3 million people and affected 4.4 billion, caused 2 trillion USD in economic losses. Developing countries accounted for nearly 95% of all deaths caused by natural disasters. More than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities.
By 2030, 60 % of the population will be living in cities and urban areas and over the next 50 years that number will increase to 70%.

In Armenia more than 60% of the population is already living in urban areas. Cities disaster vulnerability is particularly increasing when the poor people live in the city’s high-risk areas. Unfortunately, in designing and developing cities less attention is being paid to the risk consequences, such as earthquakes, landslides, and other hydro meteorological phenomena.

Therefore, the current and future challenges in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in terms of development planning require new approaches, techniques, skills and set of abilities, which needed to identify and strengthen. States need to unite their efforts to create a safe environment for urban residents, and develop a number of innovative approaches for solving this challenge.

November 25-27, a workshop on theme Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development was held at the conference hall of the Crisis Management State Academy.

The aim was to strengthen DRR and CCA capacities of the Armenian cities joined to the Making Cities Resilient Global Campaign, focusing on the development and implementation of the action plan on resilient cities, promote the city-to-city cooperation.

The organizers were Ministry of Emergency Situations of Armenia, Crisis Management State Academy of MoES, UNISDR Office for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute, Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform of Armenia, UNDP Armenia and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

The workshop was attended by the employees of the Aarhus Centers of Armenia, local government representatives of Aparan, Spitak, Vanadzor, Akhtala and Gyumri communities, headed by the mayors or deputy mayors.

During the three days of the workshop, participants received theoretical knowledge, via using the appropriate tools developed a strategy draft on complete and effective implementation of the action plan on Making Cities Resilient based on the MCR 10 Essentials.

Mari Chaqryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan