Legarda: Next PHL President Must Make Climate and Disaster Resilience a Priority

February 27, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today said that whoever will be the country’s next President must make climate and disaster resilience a priority of government, especially because the Philippines is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and natural hazards.


“Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation should be part of the agenda of our presidential candidates and all other candidates whether running for local or national positions. Our media forums have been discussing these issues but still not as extensively as they should be. Super typhoon Yolanda was an eye-opener on the devastating effects of climate change,” said Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience.


“Disaster and climate resilience should be at the core of development. Disasters like Yolanda can undo years of economic growth, while climate change impacts like stronger episodes of El Niño can slow down development programs. Unless we address the risks posed by disasters and climate change, extreme weather events will continue to destroy our farms and crops, decrease fish yield, increase poverty incidence, threaten public health and security, and cause loss of lives and biodiversity, among other impacts,” she added.


The Senator said that presidential candidates must incorporate in their plans of action the measurable targets under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


The Sendai framework gives primary importance to understanding disaster risk, which is very important in determining appropriate solutions and actions; the SDGs aim to guide nations on how they can achieve inclusive and sustainable development by achieving certain targets over the next 15 years; while the Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise within the century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


“The next President and leaders of the nation should embrace these goals as their own. We should tread on the path of resilience and sustainability. Our leaders must all be forward-looking and think long-term lest we remain forever a developing nation,” Legarda concluded.