Ethnically sensitive approaches to disaster preparedness
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) - Colombia/Venezuela Program was selected by the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) as one of the community experiences exhibited in the new “MAGMA interactive museum of risk” in Bogota, Colombia.
The LWF country program’s project stands out because of the ethnically sensitive approaches to disaster risk reduction that it has pioneered since 2014. The display is meant to show the application of disaster risk management in the Colombian culture and capture the exchange of knowledge, experiences and practices.
Building bridges for community-based action
“Towards more resilient territories: ethnic approaches in disaster risk management in Colombia” is the theme of the selected exhibition. Historically, public officials, social organizations, traditional authorities and the general population have had limited access to information around the subject of disaster risk management and response. This often created an obstacle to implementing sustainable and effective projects. The continued advocacy and perseverance of the LWF, funded by the European Union, helped raise awareness and drive the advancement of disaster risk response in Colombia.
In 2018 and 2019, together with the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the LWF country program shaped approaches that aligned with the needs of diverse ethnic groups. The project created a bridge between government agencies and ethnic authorities and laid the groundwork for disaster risk management and community resilience.
Our country program has been pioneering ethnically sensitive approaches to disaster risk reduction for almost 10 years, and it has proven to be a key foundation to community resilience.
Adriana Franco CHITANANA, LWF Representative for Colombia and Venezuela
“It has been a privilege to see how the work of LWF Colombia-Venezuela is used as an educational tool to improve the resilience of the communities we work with and inspire other communities” says Adriana Franco Chitanana, LWF Colombia-Venezuela Representative. “Our country program has been pioneering ethnically sensitive approaches to disaster risk reduction for almost 10 years, and it has proven to be a key foundation to community resilience.”
In the museum, visitors are shown how ancestral practices and regional wisdom can be key in creating a customized approach for local disaster risk reduction, mitigation and adaptation to climate change. This exhibit illustrates the challenges and risks in the co-inhabited regions with both ethnic and rural farming communities. By building trust between the different community actors, their diversity became a strong asset in overcoming risks to their communities.