On 16 April 2016, Ecuador’s coast was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and the towns that were affected, in a traditionally vulnerable region, continue to face challenges in reconstruction and economic recovery.
Against this background, “intermediate” cities, regions and small towns will be taking part in a post-disaster peer-to-peer learning workshop, to be held in Manta between 3 and 5 August 2016.
The workshop is the initiative of Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabí University (ULEAM), in the Ecuadorian city of Manta. ULEAM has been acting on behalf of the country’s universities to lead the way in providing technical advice on post-earthquake reconstruction. It offers technical and academic support to technicians in the 10 towns that have been affected.
In addition to UNESCO’s Chair in Intermediate Cities, the University of Lleida (UdL), which UCLG has been working with for a number of years, members of the Forum of Regions, Intermediate Cities and national actors at all levels of government in Ecuador will be attending the event. They include the Ministry of Housing, the Association of CONGOPE (Consortium of Provincial Governments of Ecuador) Regions and the Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities (AME), as well as two United Nations agencies – UN Habitat and UNISDR.
The workshop will use simplified planning methodologies – a basic plan (hyperlink) – and will share previous experiences implemented by the province of Santafé (Argentina) with UCLG and the UNESCO Chair, as well as provide a basis for development policies between different tiers of government. Thanks to the involvement of the regions (provincial governments) of Andalusia and Catalonia, they have also established contacts with solidarity-based activities already started by UCLG’s other members, such as the Andalusian Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI) and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP).
“As an organisation of united local governments, we are also committed to providing support and technical exchanges at dramatic times such as natural disasters. You are not alone!” said Mayor Sefiani, President of the UCLG Working Group on Intermediate Cities, in a video message to the leaders of the cities that were affected.
The workshop will comprise 10 basic plans aimed at technical specialists and politicians so they can coordinate priorities in the municipal council and intergovernmental decisions and agreements on awarding reconstruction projects. UCLG and the United Nations agencies will also share the plans and publicise them worldwide, in the hope that once again they can raise the profile of activities and initiatives to rehabilitate areas affected by natural disasters.
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