Climate Resilient and
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Written by: Kesuma Yanti

Samarinda City, Indonesia, showcased its innovative approaches to disaster risk reduction and management at the 10th World Water Forum, held from 18th to 25th May 2024 in Bali, Indonesia.

The city had the privilege of being a speaker at the side event organised by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), titled "International Workshop on Building Smart and Resilient Cities and Communities in Asia and the Pacific: Role of Policy Makers and Planners of Local Government."

During the session focusing on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management for Building Resilient Cities and Communities, Samarinda City outlined the primary causes of disasters, particularly those related to water issues such as flooding. Factors discussed included high rainfall, shallow and narrowed rivers, construction covering natural waterways, clogged drainage systems, and improper land use.

Samarinda City, under Mayor Andi Harun's leadership, has adopted a proactive approach to tackle water-related challenges. This includes data-driven initiatives in collaboration with the CRIC project and Samarinda City's Regional Board for Disaster Management (BPBD), alongside infrastructure projects such as river normalisation and construction of retention ponds with a capacity of 100,000 m3, as well as the installation of floodgates on the Karang Mumus River. Additionally, the city emphasised law enforcement actions and regulatory measures to prevent disasters.

Collaboration emerged as a cornerstone of Samarinda City's strategy. Partnerships span various stakeholders, from central and provincial governments in river management to the River Basin Agency and the city's BPBD for early warning systems and disaster response. Notably, the city actively engages its community in climate change initiatives related to mitigation and adaptation. This fosters community participation in tree planting, disaster preparedness education, advocacy, and river cleaning initiatives.

With the vision of becoming a "Sustainable and Climate-Resilient City", Samarinda City has updated its development plans to integrate disaster risk reduction. Disaster contingency documents, landslide contingency plans, and a comprehensive disaster management plan (2021-2026) have been formulated. Mayor Andi Harun emphasised collaboration in striving towards the vision, highlighting the formation of the Climate Change Action Working Group (Pokja) with the CRIC Project and collaboration with the Embracing the Sun Project to adapt public spaces for climate resilience.

To conclude, Samarinda City's participation at the 10th World Water Forum not only showcased its proactive approach to addressing water-related challenges but also highlighted the importance of collaboration, community engagement, and innovative solutions in building resilient cities and communities in the face of global environmental challenges.

Kesuma Yanti is CRIC Project's Field Officer for the Kalimantan Region.

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