Monday, February 28, 2011

Top bodies in the Philippines join forces to combat disasters and climate change

Prevention Web: The Climate Change Commission, the Philippines’ top body for climate change, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the country’s top body for disaster risk reduction and management, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) to jointly improve community resilience in the Philippines in the face of the looming problems presented by climate change.

The agreement comes on the heels of unusual heavy rains in the Philippines in early 2011, which caused landslides, flash floods, and storm surges that have already affected two million people and damaged approximately 5,400 houses. More extreme weather events in the future are likely to increase the number and scale of disasters.

Under the M.O.U., the two organizations will jointly support the formulation and implementation of disaster risk reduction and climate change action strategies by local government units and improve the provision of climate risk information to local authorities. They will also work to encourage local governments to coordinate the review and monitoring of their disaster risk reduction and climate change action plans.

…Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary of National Defence and Chairperson of the NDRRMC, and Commissioner Lucille Sering, Vice-Chair of the Climate Change Commission, signed the M.O.U. at an event titled “One Against Risks.” “Local governments are asking for a structured and well-coordinated approach to action plans stipulated by law. The NDRRMC and Climate Change Commission have therefore agreed to. With the M.O.U. in place, the organizational capacities and mechanisms of NDRRMC can be leveraged and existing resources can be better directed to link and implement action plans for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” explained Mr. Gazmin.

“The mission of the Climate Change Commission can never be achieved without integrating disaster risks. Expectation can never be managed properly without addressing both impacts of climate change and risks of disasters. At the most basic level, the CCC and the NDRRMC need to cooperate with each other if communities are truly going to adapt and be resilient,” said Ms. Sering….

Super Typhoon Cimaron struck the northernmost large island in the Philippines, Luzon, on October 29, 2006. From NASA

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