Invest in Resilience, Legarda Tells WEF

May 23, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda has encouraged both government and the business sector to include resilience at the core of private and public governance as she stressed that disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) is a wise investment, during the interactive session “Designing Solutions on Climate and Resource Risks” of the World Economic Forum on East Asia.


“Globally, economic losses due to disasters are taking a toll on development. These losses will continue to escalate unless DRRM becomes integral to national development plans and business investment strategies,” said Legarda, who was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the WEF in the year 2000 in Davos, Switzerland.


The United Nations report, Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013, showed that global economic losses from disasters since 2000 are in the range of $2.5 trillion.


“Poverty and inequalities worsen as natural hazards and climate change constantly affect the poor and keep them trapped in a vicious cycle of risk and poverty. We can ensure our economic resilience by reducing disaster risks, letting investors be aware of it, and requiring business investments to take into account DRRM measures,” Legarda said.


The Senator said increasing public and private investments in advancing DRRM and climate change adaptation (CCA), and transitioning to clean energy, are the greatest economic challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.


She also stressed that in areas that have been devastated by disasters, governments must build back stronger and wiser.


Legislators are likewise urged to address gaps in policies through measures that will: link science and policy-making; finance mechanisms for climate and energy solutions—including energy efficiency, clean technology and green infrastructure investment; and enable the private business and financial community to support comprehensive climate and energy policies and to invest in climate and clean energy solutions.


She also urged the business community to embed DRRM in business processes to strengthen resilience, competitiveness and sustainability.


Legarda said that robust business continuity planning is part of the private sector’s corporate social responsibility.


“Private companies should mainstream resilience in their value chain. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are especially encouraged to develop their BCPs because disaster impacts such as destruction of road infrastructure, bridges and local facilities have drastic effects on them. The business sector is also encouraged to conduct and share risk assessment and best practices of their companies,” she said.


“Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation must be closely linked to development—the kind of development that does not create new risks but promotes resilient investments,” Legarda concluded.***