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About UNEP
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United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
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Disaster Management – Activities

Capacity Building

Capacity Building for Prevention and Mitigation of Environmental Emergencies in Wuxi, China

Wuxi has been growing at a phenomenal rate in recent years, bringing with it, not only an increase in its population, but also in the range and volume of industrial activity. Along with the inherent advantages of this growth, have come disadvantages as well. Industrial and manmade emergencies, by themselves and also compounded by natural disasters, have increased the risks and vulnerabilities of the local populations. Such emergencies have also had serious impact and effects on the natural ecosystems.

There is a clear need to increase the awareness and understanding of the intricate interlinkages of the above issues, build capacities and knowledge to mitigate and prepare for such emergencies, and implement action plans to reduce such hazards and risks.

The training and capacity building for urban officials was organized “to strengthen the sense of alertness and handling ability for the crisis management in Wuxi”. It covered urban risk reduction and disaster management staretgies. The initiative included collecting of existing information on the types of disasters (natural and man-made) that Wuxi currently faces or might face in the future. Based on this a custom-tailored training agenda was developed and delivered for the participants. The training included brain-storming on the future actions to be undertaken by local governments.

The capacity development initiatives included an introduction to UNEP’s APELL tool (Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at the Local Level), as well as overviews of disaster prevention, industrial accidents and disasters, and strategies and tools for disaster management (for example, Chemical Hazard Identification System and Rapid Environmental Assessment).

The initiative was carried out in partnership with a number of local organizations, including Wuxi Municipal Government, Wuxi Environment Protection Bureau, Security Monitor Bureau, and Foreign Affairs Office.