Project: National HDR 2016: How to improve security of vulnerable municipalities in Serbia?

Kraljevo – Development of Civil Protection as a measure to increase local resilience to natural disasters

As a reaction to previous natural hazards – earthquake, floods, and landslides - a city of Kraljevo was developing various models of planning, protection and response to natural disasters. Yet, according to participants of the focus groups held in Kraljevo on 12th and 13th November 2015, contextually shaped model of Civil Protection that has been developed recently in Kraljevo, represents systemic response in increasing resilience to natural disaster risks in this local community. This said, the developed network of civil protection commissioners trained to be prepared and mobilize the citizens in times of crisis, proved to be successful model of local response to crisis during 2014 floods in this part of Central Serbia. Besides, as focus groups participants stressed, good cooperation of local self-government (LSG) and public enterprises dealing with city water, roads and city sanitation including their active participation in the activities of the Emergency Situations Headquarter of the LSG largely contributes to city’s resilience to natural disaster risks. Still, interviewees indicate that there is still a room for improving local natural disaster risk planning and risk assessments as well as increase risk prevention through introduction of training programmes in schools and pre-schools.

Representatives of civil society organizations from Kraljevo confirmed the need for developing risk prevention programmes and their introduction into school and pre-school curricula and stressed the need for understanding the role of women in increasing local resilience to natural disaster risks. Moreover, recognition of the role of women and their increased inclusion in the system of prevention and risk response may significantly contribute to enhanced local resilience in Serbia, concluded representatives of civil society organization Fenomena from Kraljevo.

Kraljevo is one of 13 towns and municipalities included in the 2015 National Human Development Report (NHDR) research whose central topic is resilience of Serbian towns and municipalities to natural disasters. The Public Policy Research Center is selected by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to prepare this Report.