Bundesstadt Bonn

Bonn and its networks support other cities in disaster preparedness

UNDRR, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, has named the Federal City of Bonn as a new resilience hub for the Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative. The certificate will be handed over by Mami Mizutori, UNDRR Head and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, to Mayor Katja Dörner on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at the Old City Hall.

Mami Mizutori, UNDRR Head and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Mayor Katja Dörner

As a resilience hub, Bonn is committed not only to continuing to pursue disaster risk reduction and resilience building locally, but above all to supporting other cities in doing so. To this end, the city has joined forces with many partners to set up a three-year program, the implementation of which has already begun. These include, for example, the international city network for sustainability ICLEI, which is also based in the federal city, and the Bonn Network for International Civil Protection and Risk Management. Also involved are the Bonn Water Network, the Bonn Climate Group, the BION network and the gender@international Bonn network.

To mark its official launch as a resilience hub, the city of Bonn, together with ICLEI, invites mayors and partner organizations to an exchange. On the occasion of the ICLEI conference "Daring Cities", several European and overseas resilience hubs and cities with a lot of experience in resilience building are currently on site in Bonn. These include Malmö (Sweden), Recife (Brazil), Makati (Philippines) and Quelimane (Mozambique).

They all share their experience and knowledge with other cities in the global Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative, dedicating themselves to supporting and advising other municipalities, promoting collaboration between cities, and providing mutual support. These "hubs" play a critical role in sharing knowledge, building capacity and creating learning opportunities, and inspiring other local governments to work toward greater resilience. 

Mayor Katja Dörner is concerned about this commitment, not only for Bonn itself: "The phrase 'better safe than sorry' is still not taken seriously enough. We have seen how real the risks to people and infrastructures caused by the climate crisis are, in particular, with the Ahr flood, but also recently in Mozambique, where Cyclone Freddy raged. We need awareness, good concepts, but also the financial and human resources in cities to protect lives without hesitation in an emergency."

Raising awareness of disaster risk reduction

As a resilience hub, the city of Bonn plans to use its local partners and networks to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction. In addition to the population of Bonn, target groups include cities in Germany and Europe, as well as Bonn's project partner cities Cape Coast (Ghana), La Paz (Bolivia), Chengdu (China), Ulanbataar (Mongolia), and Bukhara (Uzbekistan). Priority will be given to sharing experiences and networking in several formats developed with partners. For example, there will be an international webinar series on resilience issues, inviting local and regional governments from around the world. Further online activities and international conferences will reach out to a broader resilience community.

Back in May, the international water operator partnerships met in Bonn. Participants were treated to an excursion on stream flooding and a discussion event on resilience, both in partnership with the Bonn Water Network. For ten years, Bonn also hosted the leading global forum on urban resilience, Resilient Cities. Since 2020, this has been followed by the Daring Cities forum, which focuses on addressing the climate crisis more broadly.

Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative

The initiative aims to support cities in building resilience and encourages municipalities that have already successfully established resilience projects and programs to accompany other cities on this path. Bonn has applied to be one such "resilience hub." A special feature of Bonn's application is above all its intensive cooperation with local networks, such as the Bonn Network for International Disaster Prevention and Risk Management, the Bonn Water Network and the international city network for sustainability ICLEI. In addition to these cooperations, Bonn can also point to successes and projects in flood protection and in the fight against heat and heavy rain.

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