image— Floods in Kampala

Climate Change, Urban Resilience and Disaster Risk Management

Currently Africa has the lowest carbon footprint basically because of the low levels of urbanisation. With 50% of African population projected to be living in cities by 2050. The concern for the increasing loses from disasters, related to floods, drought are posing a serious challenge to sustainable urban development.  
Cities continue to be the major generators of pollutants and major agents of climate change. The current use of energy resources at city administration, firm and household level are influence the GHG emissions and significantly affect the energy balance. Issues of climate change can no longer be left to national agencies alone. Although Africa still has a very low carbon footprint, the costs of poverty on the environment is eroding the natural reservoirs that were acting as air and water purifiers. This coupled with inefficient energy use in the urban areas creates a significant impact on the environment. Transitioning cities to a low carbon development path will require the involvement of all stakeholders with various interventions at city level, firm and Household level and how these interventions interact to influence public investments, regulations and development control.
Managing the balance between developing and delivering green growth in the urban areas will start with urban planning and design that can support the low carbon development path in all East African cities. The major legacy of many East African cities now is the growth outside their administrative boundaries into satellite cities or expansion into mixed use towns and suburban neighborhoods that increases the cost public service delivery.
Urban Planning and design is at center of improve land-use that support urban agriculture and food production, environment management and protection, control floods through directing  stormy water under sustainable Urban drainage systems. The forum will seek to exchange Urban Management Practice needed to address the effects of climate change, building systems and structures for urban resilience while enhancing capacities at both community and institutional to identify and plan for early interventions intended to avert possible disasters. The need to develop capacity and systems to mitigate, adapt to, recover and learn from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces vulnerability and increase well-being is central to delivering sustainable cities.  The forum will facilitate the identification of opportunities and challenges in the existing policies and institutional mechanisms for disaster risk management and will seek to discuss the region progress towards risk reduction and climate change. It will provide an opportunity for the DRR community to further promote the regional agenda on disaster and climate risk management.

It will seek to address the following concerns:

How can cities transit into sustainable cities?
How to optimally utilize urban landscape in manner that strikes a balance between environment and human settlement?
Are the regional cities ready for climate finance, what are the various options that are available?
Should the regional cities be concern with climate change, what are the necessary policy and regulatory environment needed to transit our cities into climate smart cities?
How to develop low carbon development strategies and Disaster risk reduction strategies as responses to building a resilient and sustainable city?
How to promote renewable energy and energy efficient programs?
What is the relevancy of the international and national frameworks for climate change to subnational city development strategy?

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