Margareta Wahlström, the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), welcomed the region’s 10 local authorities who have signed up to take part in the campaign, which means they have demonstrated a robust approach to risk management.
The 10 Greater Manchester authorities were confirmed as members of the campaign after being presented with signed certificates from Ms Wahlström, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, during an event at The Lowry arts centre in Salford on 8 September.
Taking part in the campaign will enable AGMA authorities to work closely with other urban areas to share innovative ideas, and Greater Manchester has also been named as a role model for other cities both in the UK and internationally.
The work being done by Greater Manchester’s boroughs was also recognised at the University of Salford’s international conference on building resilience, which took place from 8-11 September.
Ms Wahlström said, “This is a milestone for the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, which we launched four years ago and which has over 2000 members across the globe.
“The UN is happy to welcome the UK’s second largest conurbation into the campaign as an example of a city where land use, planning and disaster risk reduction go hand-in-hand. The Greater Manchester Resilience Forum is a text-book model of how to design a multi-agency partnership coordinating civil contingencies activity for a large urban area.
“It’s a major boost to the campaign that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its member boroughs have agreed to be a role model for Total Resilience and to take part in city-to-city learning which will benefit other members of the campaign who can learn a lot from studying good practice here.
“This recognition for Greater Manchester further solidifies the UK’s reputation as a global leader in the area of building resilience to disasters. The UK government recently took part in the first-ever peer review of its performance in implementing the international agreement on reducing disaster risk, the Hyogo Framework for Action. This has encouraged others to follow suit and boosted discussions on how to measure progress in building resilience.”
Councillor Mike Connolly, leader of Bury Council and AGMA lead on disaster risk management, said, “Greater Manchester contains several large rivers and is exposed to a number of climate-related and severe weather risks. Flooding is acknowledged as a major hazard, along with heat waves, storms, gales and high winds.
“Understanding the importance of preparing for disasters, rather than simply responding to them, is absolutely crucial for towns and cities in the 21st Century. By taking part in the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, authorities across Greater Manchester are demonstrating that their resilience plans have been gauged against the strongest benchmark available. It also means we are able to build closer links with other cities and organisations across the world and we can become role models for other urban areas.”