Meetings and conferences

Local level resilience and pandemic risk

Organizer(s) United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia European Committee of the Regions

With over 75% of citizens now living in urban settings across Europe, cities and regions are more than ever on the frontline when a disaster strikes. The dramatic impacts of the global pandemic struck at the heart of our local settings, across all regions of the EU. Governments at all levels, and in particular local and regional authorities, have been called upon to provide emergency services, coordinate efforts and mitigate as far as possible the impact on economies. In an effort to contain the impacts of the virus, local authorities have taken various measures in addition to national measures, to reduce the existing risk and prevent future risk associated with biological hazards. The role of local initiatives and processes, such as volunteering networks, has been critical in responding to the immediate needs and recovery efforts. At the same time, cities and regions continue to face risks in their local contexts, which make the landscape of risk particularly complex and increase the vulnerability of citizens, vital systems and economies.

This workshop is organised by the Committee of the Regions Natural Resources Commission and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in partnership with the Center for European Volunteering. The event will bring together local (cities and municipalities) and regional representatives to share their experience in building local resilience in the face of a complex risk landscape, recently exacerbated by the pandemic outbreak.

Discussions will enable us to draw some practical good practices and lessons learnt and give critical attention to a topic at the heart of local authorities’ strategies for resilience and disaster risk reduction, and the role of societal resilience through volunteer engagement. The aim of the workshop will be to draw out a set of concrete recommendations for building back better and more resilient systems at local and regional level, and the role of the EU in this regard.

The timing of the session will coincide with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October, focused this year on national and local Strategies for Disaster Risk Reduction, under Target E of the Global Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

We look forward to welcoming you to the workshop.


Andrew Bower, Programme Manager, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Belgium.


Cecilio Cerdán Carbonero, General Director for Cooperation and Global Citizenship, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spain.
Roberto Ciambetti, President of the Veneto Regional Council (Italy) and President of the Italian delegation in the CoR, European Committee of the Regions, Italy.
Gabriella Civico, Director, Centre for European Volunteering (CEV), Belgium.
Noemie Fompeyrine, Head of the Paris Resilience Office, City of Paris, France.
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Switzerland.
Cristina Piva, Councillor for Volunteering & Education, City of Padova European Volunteering Capital 2020, Italy.

Code: 13WS1139V
Format: Workshop
Theme: Cohesion and Cooperation
Partners: European Committee of the Regions - NAT Commission, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Languages: English (EN), Italiano (IT)
Virtual platform: Interactio

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