Senator Loren Legarda urged authorities to implement science-based national and local action plans to reduce disaster risks and address impacts of climate change in order to ensure the safety of Filipinos and the resilience of communities.
Legarda, Global Champion for Resilience of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), made the statement in celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR).
This year’s focus is on the second of the seven global targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which seeks to “substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.”
“It is essential for us to recognize the value of science and academic work in understanding climate and disaster risks that should inform our policies and guide our actions. By doing so, we become more aware of our vulnerabilities and therefore be able to implement appropriate measures to effectively address them,” the veteran legislator said.
“Making use of climate and disaster science and data would put more families out of harm’s way, or perhaps, allow us to achieve a zero-casualty record, which has been achieved by our local government units (LGUs) in Albay and Batanes,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
According to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the average population affected each year has risen from around 60 million people (1976-1985) to over 170 million (2005-2014). The UNISDR and Centre on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), in their study “The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters,” also listed our country as the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world because of the 274 disasters we experienced from 1995 to 2015.
The lady senator also highlighted the importance of building the capacity of our LGUs in implementing effective science-based climate and disaster action plans.
“A comprehensive risk assessment and understanding should be incorporated and mainstreamed into our local development planning processes and systems. The academe and scientific community should take part in this approach in order to save more lives and secure the livelihoods of all our people,” she concluded.