20 June 2012
SAN FRANCISCO WELCOMED AS ROLE MODEL AND FIRST MAJOR US CITY TO JOIN UN CAMPAIGN
RIO DE JANEIRO, 20 June 2012 – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the US City of San Francisco as both a role model and the first major US city to join the Making Cities Resilient Campaign which seeks to saves lives and reduce economic losses in member cities.
Speaking today at the Rio+20 Resilient Cities event, Ms. Wahlström said: “We welcome Mayor Edwin Lee on behalf of the people of San Francisco as the 1,000th city to join the UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient campaign. San Francisco’s participation further signifies that cities of all sizes and economic strength are prepared to take the lead on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
“We are also particularly pleased to designate San Francisco as a role model city for ‘Advancing Resilience through the Whole Community Approach’ given the City’s efforts to engage its citizens at neighbourhood level in building resilience.”
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said: “San Francisco has worked tirelessly to increase our overall resilience by investing in our physical infrastructure, such as our water system, and increasing the capacity of our residents and communities to respond to and rapidly recover from disasters.”
San Francisco is well-known as the birth place of the UN and as an icon of resilience around the world. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire was one of the worst disasters in the history of the United States causing 2,000 deaths and destroying 28,000 buildings. Today the city has a profound understanding of the nature of risk which arises from its coastal location in an active seismic zone vulnerable to rises in sea-level, drought and heavy rainfall.
San Francisco media contact:
Francis Tsang Chief Deputy Communications Director Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee Phone: +415 554 6467
About UNISDR: UNISDR is the UN office dedicated to disaster risk reduction. It is led by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and supports implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters which seeks “the substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries.”