Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five challenges on climate change

Manila Bulletin (Philippines): The International Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Gender in Beijing last April 20 had Philippine Senator Loren Legarda giving the opening address, a rare honor to the country. She has been a long-time advocate for environmental enhancement in the international arena. The United Nations designated her regional champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-pacific.

Such credentials, as well as her involvement in shaping disaster risk reduction measures as a legislator, made her the perfect choice to give that opening speech. In the Beijing assembly, Senator Loren identified five challenges that must be met worldwide if climate change is to be tamed. These are:

1. “The understanding that our social vulnerability depends much on the choices we make and the actions we take as leaders and decision makers, as planners and builders, and as members of a society and a community”;

2. “We need to revisit and rethink our current frameworks and strategies for socio-economic development. Our development approaches and practices in the past decades have allowed disaster vulnerabilities to grow, to spread, and to prevail until today”;

3. “We must adopt an innovative, out-of-the box approach, to tackle effectively this most complex human development problem of the 21st century. We need a more integrated, holistic, and proactive approach of reducing vulnerabilities and of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters; an approach that builds on partnerships, collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders”;

4. “To facilitate proactive action, we need to change our way of thinking and doing --- we need a paradigm shift, an overhaul of policies that have become irrelevant and unresponsive to today’s complex problems of risk, poverty, gender and climate change”;

5. “We need to invest today for a safer tomorrow. We need to make disaster risk reduction our primary strategy for adapting to climate change”….

Songda, a mammoth typhoon in 2004, seen from space

No comments: