Thursday, August 20, 2009

‘Climate risk-reduction measures are investments’

Estrella Torres in the Business Mirror (Philippines): “It’s not a cost, it’s an investment.” This is how public and private stakeholders look at efforts on disaster risk reduction (DDR) on climate change, saying these measures should be part of the development programs of the local governments to attract investments and reduce human and infrastructure costs due to natural calamities.

University of the Philippines Prof. Raphael Lotilla said local government units should integrate disaster risk-reduction efforts in their overall development programs to promote investments and reduce costs being incurred during natural disasters.

“Disaster risk-reduction efforts should be part of the overall development plan of all the local governments rather than a stand-alone plan for the national government,” said Lotilla, executive director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas in East Asia. Lotilla was among the speakers at the 13th Asia Pacific Policy Forum on Climate Change Adaptation, hosted by the Australian Embassy in Manila on Thursday.

Public and private stakeholders on climate change agreed that reducing the risks of natural disasters should no longer mean additional financial burden to the local governments, but should instead be opportunities to attract investments and stabilize local economies.

The Australian government announced a new grant worth P123 million to fund three projects to help the Philippines to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce the risks of natural disasters. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said the Philippines is one of the priority countries for Australia’s climate-change adaptation program owing to the vulnerabilities of many provinces in the country….

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