South-South cooperation initiative aims to enhance resilience in AfricaAug 26, 2015
Maputo – African countries have convened in Mozambique this week for a south-south Leadership Development Forum on climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR). The initiative, entitled MADRiD, or Mainstreaming Adaptation and Disaster Reduction into Development, brings together 23 participants from four countries for a three day dialogue on how best to mainstream DRR and climate change into development.
MADRiD was established in 2012 by UNISDR with the support of South Korea. UNDP joined as co-organizer later that same year. The Maputo session is the 5th Leadership Development Forum and is specifically focused on sub-regional leadership development in southern Africa. Expected outcomes of the forum include increased political commitment, better access and sharing of technical resources, greater cooperation and exchange amongst countries, and strengthened national advocacy for disaster and climate resilient development.
Willing to share its experience with neighboring countries and interested in learning from them, the Government of Mozambique offered to host this Leadership Development Forum in Maputo. With the support of a range of partners, including the SADC, the Government of South Korea, the City of Inchon, UNDP, UNISDR, UNHABITAT and UNOPS, the forum aims to strengthen regional initiatives and encourage political support for mainstreaming.
Angelika Planitz, UNDP’s Global Lead for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support notes that DRR/CCA mainstreaming is a continuous processes that constantly evolves as the awareness of risks in a society improves and new opportunities arise to push forward this agenda through policy, legislative and institutional reforms.
“Even the most advanced countries around the world are regularly reminded by disasters that they still have a long way to go in order to risk-inform their development and build resilient societies,” notes Planitz. “The Leadership Forum is an opportunity for regional countries to share their lessons and capacities. As the flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in February demonstrated, disasters are often regional events and tightened bonds between countries will make preparing for disasters, as well as reducing risks in advance, that much more effective.”
African countries have made immense strides in strengthening disaster risk reduction during the last decade, with flood-prone Mozambique in particular emerging as a leader in DRR. UNDP has worked with Mozambique over the last two decades and has supported the country as it has undertaken massive institutional and policy overhauls to revamp and enhance its disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation capacity.
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