February 6, 2015
After four days on Peace Boat and activities in the ports of Valparaiso, Chile and Callao, Peru, the “Road to Sendai 2015: Making Cities Resilient,” program organized by Peace Boat and the Latin American office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), concluded successfully.
During the Chile to Peru segment of the program, seven Promoters of the global campaign “Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting ready!” participated in sessions about lessons learned from disasters that have occurred in Japan and Latin America over the past 20 years. During these sessions, they also shared experiences regarding the strengthening of community resilience, partnerships between the public and private sector, urban resilience, and the role of the Promoters in their respective countries.
Lorena Romero, Promoter of the international campaign in Costa Rica, said: “It’s essential that we continue working in groups and in an interdisciplinary manner that allows discussion about different mechanisms of communication and various work strategies, with different social actors, including local governments, public institutions, and the private sector, with the aim of establishing partnerships and concrete results that contribute to the resilience of our countries.” Sidei Furtado, the Promoter of the international campaign from Brazil, added: “Listening to the different experiences of the other Promoters was a really important educational experience, and we share share the same objectives.” Javier E. González, campaign Promoter from Uruguay, noted: “I arrived at Peace Boat as a member of a group and left strengthened as a member of a team.”
Henry Peralta, Promoter of the campaign from Colombia, said he appreciated the professionalism and warmth of Maria Perez and Simon Rogers, Peace Boat staff members working on the program during the Valparaiso to Callao stretch, and noted that the “Road to Sendai 2015″ program gave the campaign promoters the opportunity to strengthen and consolidate their engagement with the post 2015 new framework of disaster risk reduction. Susana Fuentez, the international campaign from Chile, added: “The experience on Peace Boat was incredible, because it sealed a framework of collaboration between Chile’s Municipalities Association and the UNISDR, towards which we had been working in the past six months, and action plans to reduce the risks of disasters were created by the Promoters and the working networks in Japan. We also learned that in Japan there are both professional and volunteer firefighters, and the use of both systems improves responses to disasters.”
Peruvian children delivered a “Quipu” with their messages, feelings and opinions for Peace Boat to carry to the World Conference to be held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.
Upon the ship’s arrival in the port of Callao, Peru, a meeting was held for local government members. One hundred and twenty people participated in the meeting, including 16 mayors who had the opportunity to share their experiences in the field of comprehensive risk management. Other distinguished guests included María Luisa Silva, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Peru, delegates of the Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute (INDECI), the National Center for the Evaluation, Prevention and Reduction of Disaster Risks (CENEPRED), and the Ministry of Finance, as well as representatives of the private sector, the Red Cross, Practical Solutions, and other non-governmental organizations.
During the event, the feelings, opinions and vision of young people from Latin America and the Caribbean regarding the development of resilience were expressed on a “Quipu”, and Peruvian children from the “Movimiento Voces”, a youth movement coordinated by the Coalition for the Resilience of Children and Youth of Latin America and the Caribbean (CORELAC), delivered a declaration to Peace Boat. Their Quipu and declaration were made possible with the support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and INDECI, and Peace Boat will deliver them to Sendai, Japan and present them during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), which will take place in Sendai on March 14-18 of this year.
The onboard sessions served also to reinforce the personal dedication of the campaign promoters, and share the achievements and challenges the campaign faces in the road to the World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction. After the program, the Promoters of the international campaign “Developing Resilient Cities: My City is Getting Ready!” returned to their home countries to continue working on strengthening the resiliency of the Americas.