The country s laws on climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) are the bestin the world, UN special envoy Margareta Wahlstr m saidThursday. Wahlstr m, special DRR representative of UN Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon, praised the Philippines for taking the lead in theglobal campaign to mitigate disaster risks brought about by globalwarming. She commended Senator Loren Legarda, the UN Champion for DRR andCCA for Asia and the Pacific, for ensuring the passage ofclimate-responsive laws and for mainstreaming the CCA and DRRmechanisms into the national political agenda. You do have now an excellent legal framework for disaster riskreduction and an excellent legal framework for climate adaptation.The basis [of the laws] is really for empowering localgovernments, Wahlstr m said in a press conference. Legarda thanked Wahlstr m for the compliment, but told the mediathat the challenge is to translate them into local communityaction to save lives, and reduce disaster risks and economiclosses. |
An environmental crusader for two decades now, Legarda authored theClimate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729), which createdthe Climate Change Commission and cosponsored the PhilippineDisaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121). Wahlstr m stressed that both laws highlighted the policy shiftfrom a reactionary to a proactive stance in addressing disasters. We have in the Philippines the best two laws not only inAsia-Pacific, but in Margareta s words in the world, saidLegarda. Since her arrival on Tuesday, Wahlstr m has met with governmentofficials, businessmen and donors.
She will be here until May 5 toengage both the government and private sector in strengthening thecountry s disaster resiliency initiatives. She will go to Albay province, where she will have a discussionwith 31 mayors in a two-day seminar sponsored by Governor JoeySalceda. We are here to really sustain engagement in the Philippines, andsupport the realization of the legal basis of the action plan thatalready exists in the country, Wahlstr m said. Wahlstr m talked about the international strategy on disasterrisk reduction, or UNISDR, that called for safe schools, safehospitals and safe cities through programs such as theretrofitting of buildings, the relocation of communities andgovernment public infrastructure from hazard-prone areas, andcapacity-building such as disaster-preparedness training. Other environment laws Legarda also authored other environmental laws such as theRenewable Energy Act, Solid Waste Management Act and theEnvironmental Awareness Education Act.
She pointed out that the challenge is to translate nationalpolicies, plans and programs into local action with measurablegains. She said that with the policy framework already in place, what wasneeded was to make the laws work at the grassroots level.
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