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TFD Attends CityNet Seminar in Yokohama to Improve Disaster Rescue Performance to International City Levels

A fire drill being conducted Taipei City Fire Department (TFD) Senior Specialist Yu Chia-i led a delegation to Yokohama, Japan, to participate in the 12th CityNet Disaster Cluster Seminar from September 3 to 7, 2019. Over a period of 5 days, they exchanged with other international cities Taipei City’s endeavors in reinforcing its resilience. Taipei City is also the only city in Taiwan to have been invited to attend the seminar.

With intensifying extreme weather and disaster, people’s lives and property are at risk, therefore strengthening disaster prevention and disaster mitigation among cities has become an important topic. In recent years, with the UN and numerous other international organizations advocating the concept of a resilient city, Taipei City Government joined the CityNet international organization at the invitation of former Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada in 2004. The purpose of CityNet is to foster friendly cities, collaboration between Asia-Pacific cities, achieve ecological sustainability, public participation, and global connectedness. So far, CityNet has already recruited 99 member cities.

Taipei City Government has a special emphasis on disaster prevention and rescue, therefore it has dispatched delegations to participate in the quadrennial seminar since 2004. In 2015, Taipei City joined the disaster cluster upon the recommendation of the Yokohama Project Office. Furthermore, Taipei City hosted the 9th CityNet Disaster Cluster Seminar from September 22 to 24, 2016 for the first time in Taiwan.

The 12th CityNet Disaster Cluster Seminar lasted for 3 days, and TFD Senior Specialist Yu Chia-i led a delegation to Japan to attend the seminar on September 3, which was hosted by Yokohama Deputy Mayor Mr. Katsunori Watanabe. UNDRR Office in Japan Director Dr. Yuki Matsuoka presented the priority goals of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to kick off the seminar.

The participating cities include Barisal in Bangladesh; Choibalsan in Mongolia; Kathmandu, Hetauda, Biratnagar, and Lalitpur in Nepal; as well as Makati, Balanga, Tuguegarao, and Iloilo in the Philippines; Yokohama in Japan; and Taipei City, totaling 12 cities. In particular, the mayors of 3 cities attended the seminar in person. Scholars, experts, NGOs, and industry representatives are also invited to attend the seminar to explore the 4 priority goals of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, where the seminar approach is adopted to share one another’s experiences, innovations, and practices in disaster mitigation.

Taipei City also briefed other cities on its endeavors and accomplishments in reinforcing the city’s resilience. Through inter-city technical collaborations and experience sharing, Taipei City’s disaster prevention/rescue system and efforts have been refined, in turn, increasing Taipei’s international visibility in its quest in becoming an international city and society.