Over 70 participants of a 2-day workshop on urban resilience discussed the potential impacts of climate extremes and other disaster risks on the township of Dala, located on the southern bank of Yangon River.
The workshop was organized by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) on 6 -7 November 2019 in Yangon.
Government officials, diplomats, NGOs and other development partners engaged in discussions around four key themes of city resilience: health and well-being; society and the economy; governance and leadership; and infrastructure and the environment.
Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) representative, Daw May May Thwin remarked that the issues of disaster risk and climate change need to be addressed urgently in Yangon due to urbanization and the city’s redevelopment plans.
The Yangon Regional Director for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) also commented on the urgency of addressing disaster risk and shared the lessons learned from Cyclone Nargis.
In addition to discussing the core themes of urban resilience, the participants presented possible solutions to the various challenges confronting Dala Township in achieving sustainable resilience. Activities that were achievable in the short-term were identified and plans for implementation were discussed.
The results and recommendations stemming from this workshop will be compiled by ADPC. Further consultation with stakeholders and practitioners of urban resilience will continue and a report will be released in early 2020.
The workshop was a part of the Urban Resilience to Climate Extremes (URCE) project of ADPC, which is being supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
In Myanmar, Dala Township was selected due to its significant population and proximity to the city center, as well as the large-scale development plans for the area which include a bridge that will connect the northern and southern wards of the city by 2023.
Importantly, as the township is close to the river, there is a high-risk potential for flood exposure in addition to other climate-induced natural hazards. The risks will be exacerbated once the development of the area commences.
In his closing remarks, Mr Ash Carl, Director of Urban Resilience at ADPC thanked the government institutions for their leadership and the active engagement of all the partners present. He stated that they should increase the level of understanding of ongoing and proposed urban development challenges and provide innovative solutions to enhance urban resilience. “It will support the Dala Township to grow and thrive as a safe and resilient city,” he said.
Dr. Toe Aung, Deputy Director General of the Urban Planning Authority, YCDC delivered his closing remarks where he emphasized the importance of communication and cooperation between the different partners. On observing the workshop he stated: “We now clearly know the challenges… so we [YDCD] need all of our partners to work together on solutions.”