Integration of Disaster Risk Reduction into municipal planning documents

During June 2023, DevCon was engaged by UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programme to carry out analysis of compliance of local development practices with disaster risk reduction management needs. As a part of this engagement, a Study „Integrating disaster risks into spatial and planning documents, practices and possibilities“ was prepared. The Study was focused to possibilities of integration of DRR subjects into planning documents of ten local communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina who participated in the research. Their experiences are outlined as a guide for other cities and municipalities who need to pursue DRR actions by integrating it into local development plans making their citizens safer and local communities more resilient to all actual and future risks and dangers.

In the initial part of the Study, the authors have presented methodological framework and the research sample. Following the introduction, an overview of the legal context for implementation of relevant DRR actions was provided, with special attention to Sendai Framework, as well as to domestic legislation governing the legalization of illegally built buildings and the area of strategic planning and development management. Based on the research sample, the Study further presents obstacles and risks, as well as the local practices in planning and implementation of relevant DRR actions. Based on the analysis and findings of the research, relevant conclusions and recommendations are provided in the final chapters of the Study.

By combining primary data sources (a survey of ten local communities) with the available documents and reports, the authors wanted to show how integration of DRR subjects into strategic and planning documents, such as development strategies and urban plans, helps local communities to secure resources for implementation of relevant projects and activities based on realistically estimated needs arising from informed risk assessments. The Study also shows that wider integration of DRR subjects requires multidisciplinary approach and support from decision makers and higher level institutions. Further, it also proves that proper investments into disaster risk reduction are returned many times over, although they are not popular among the local decision makers and politicians.  

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