Making the case: Senator Legarda has been a tireless global advocate for building a safer tomorrow.
By Brigitte Leoni
BANGKOK, 14 October 2013 –
Philippines Senator Loren Legarda marked the 2013 International Day for Disaster Reduction with the launch of a national Resilience Award to inspire local leadership to build safer communities.
The United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation unveiled the initiative on the same weekend in which Typhoon Nari left at least 13 people dead in the northern provinces of the Philippines; a sobering reminder of the urgent need to strengthen resilience in this highly-hazard prone country.
At least 750,000 people were affected before the typhoon made its way out into the South China Sea towards China and Viet Nam.
“We must look at exemplary efforts so that we may enjoin other communities to strengthen their resilience as well,” said Senator Legarda, who is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
“We want to show our local government units that it can be done; we can fight climate change and we can save our communities from the threats of natural hazards.”
The new award is jointly supported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
The 2014 winner will have its progress assessed against the Ten Essentials of UNISDR’s “Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!” campaign.
To be eligible, the authorities must also submit a Local Government Self Assessment Report that measures local level implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the international global framework to reduce disaster risks.
The winner will become a Role Model for Resilience and receive support from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as global recognition from UNISDR.
The 2013 International Day for Disaster Reduction this year focused on disability and disasters.
Senator Legarda highlighted the importance of greater recognition and inclusion of people with disabilities in disaster management efforts. “We must know more about their challenges and about their abilities to cope and to take part in disaster risk reduction efforts,” she said.
More than one billion people in the world live with a disability and for the first time at the global level their story is being as a result of a survey to mark the 2013 International Day for Disaster Reduction on October 13.
Thus far 5,450 people from 126 countries have revealed how most people with disabilities never participate in disaster risk management or related planning and decision making processes and few have personal preparedness plans.