WorldGBC launches post-disaster toolkit

Developed with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) and UN Habitat, the Sustainable Reconstruction & Recovery Framework advances a holistic, inclusive and resilient approach to reconstructing communities.

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) launched the Sustainable Reconstruction & Recovery Framework — a “post-disaster toolkit” with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD), UN Habitat, and Green Building Councils in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

Bringing together local and international expertise, the Sustainable Reconstruction & Recovery Framework advances a holistic, inclusive and resilient approach to reconstructing communities across the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.

The Framework is structured around six themes which emphasize that disaster risk reduction, and the sustainable urban reconstruction of the physical environment, can restore the wellbeing of communities, revitalize livelihoods, and support social and cultural life.

The WorldGBC states that this resource does not propose a one-size-fits-all solution, but highlights key issues and methods to create bespoke solutions for individual and community-wide sustainable reconstruction projects.

“As we build momentum to the UN Climate Conference COP27, the priority must be on facilitating knowledge for an equitable transition to sustainable, low-carbon infrastructure solutions that bolster resilience for all communities and economies. The Sustainable Reconstruction and Recovery Framework is a toolkit for disaster-hit areas that does just that for all the countries located in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean,” says Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council.

According to the organizations, the Middle East and North Africa region, including the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED), is the most water-stressed region in the world, and is heating at twice the rate of the global average. From extreme heat waves, extensive drought periods, flash floods, coastal erosion, and cyclones, the last half-century has seen the area experience an increase in extreme weather events. Along with climate change, communities are experiencing rapid urbanization and an increase in civil unrest, conflicts, and infrastructure degradation. 

“Centred on a set of detailed technical guidelines, this work reflects international best practice on sustainable urban infrastructure reconstruction and development. Recommendations are applicable to other neighboring regions such as MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Framework incorporates the EBRD Environmental and Social Policy and its Performance Requirements, and will leverage the broad WorldGBC network for outreach and capacity building,” says Adonai Herrera-Martinez, Director Environment and Sustainability, EBRD Environment and Sustainability Department.

The six themes or guiding principles to sustainable reconstruction include:

  1. Efficient resource utilization

A physical environment that ensures the proper utilization of resources, continued growth and environmental resilience.

  1. Environmental and climate resilience

Promote long-term integrative planning to decrease the communities’ vulnerability and increase its adaptability to the harmful effects of climate change.

  1. Sustainable mobility

Ensure freedom of access to all members of society in an environmentally sensitive and healthy manner.

  1. Integrative social and economic resilience

Ensure social networks are given equal importance to physical networks, and are rebuilt and supported in the physical environment in ways that facilitate opportunities for economic growth and community resilience.

  1. Health and wellbeing

Address both the objective and subjective aspects of community wellbeing, especially post crisis.

  1. Heritage

Maintain a strong link to the heritage of an area, representing the historic and cultural richness of the region, which is crucial in ensuring belonging and in turn, wellbeing.

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