The Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N), and the World Vision International organised a Webinar on “Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030): Engaging Academia and Faith Actors to Strengthen Cities Resilience”. The webinar convened on 25 November 2021 was attended by 59 participants from 19 countries globally including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UK, and Vietnam. The webinar content was presented by 8 distinguished speakers from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the UN Environment Programme, World Vision, the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N), and 2 fellows of KAICIID International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.
The 105 minutes webinar was moderated by Mr. Armen Rostomyan, AIT RRC.AP setting the scene by reminding participants that to achieve objectives of the Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement, and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development it is crucial to engage all stakeholders including academia and faith actors at all levels. He further emphasised on the role of academia during all phases of the disaster management cycle and the role of Faith Actors in strengthening cities' resilience to climate change and disasters, especially in conflict-affected countries, as many Faith Actors hold a high degree of trust and influence in their communities including a unique network for information dissemination, and access to hard-to-reach areas.
Dr. Naoya Tsukamoto, Director of AIT-RRC.AP formally started the webinar delivering a short welcome speech. Following the welcome address, the keynote speech was made by Mr. Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of the Office for Northeast Asia (ONEA) and Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) for Disaster Risk Reduction in Incheon, the Republic of Korea and Dr. Iyad Abumoghly, Director, Faith for Earth Initiative of the UNEP.
The keynote speech was followed by a series of presentations from five distinguished speakers Ms. Sunisa Soodrak, Associate Programme Management Officer, UNDRR, Bangkok, Ms. Hijroatul Maghfiroh, Programme Manager: Environment and Climate Change sector at the Nahdlatul Ulma Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Institution, His Eminence Pandit Krishna Kripa Dasa (aka Juan Carlos Ramchandani), Hindu priest, and President of Hindu Federation of Spain, Dr (Kay) Nuttavikhom Phanthuwongpakdee, EPIC-N Asia Coordinator, Thammasat University Research Unit in Urban Futures and Policy, and Ms. Yukiko Yamada Morovic, Technical Director for External Engagement and Programming, Livelihoods Sector at World Vision.