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Legarda on New DRR Framework: Let’s Turn our Commitment into Action

March 19, 2015

Following the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 at the Third UN World Conference for DRR, Senator Loren Legarda today said that countries should turn their commitment into urgent action.

 

Legarda, UN Champion for DRR and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that the new framework gives primary importance to understanding disaster risk, which is very important in determining appropriate solutions and actions.

 

“Understanding the risk will help us know how we can effectively address it—for governments to develop the necessary programs, for legislators to create the appropriate enabling policies, for local governments to develop multi-hazard early warning systems based on the specific risk present in their communities, for the private sector to invest in risk-reduction measures, and for citizens to be proactive in helping reduce the risks,” she said.

 

“We need to bring action down to the local level and to be able to do that, everyone must have a good grasp of the risk so that everyone is part of crafting the solution and the actual implementation,” Legarda added.

 

The Senator also highlighted the need to ensure the protection of cultural heritage from disasters, which is an aspect that is often overlooked.

 

She cited as example the damages to historical structures such as centuries-old heritage churches caused by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol in 2013.

 

The Sendai Framework includes such provision to “protect or support the protection of cultural and collecting institutions and other sites of historical, cultural heritage and religious interest.”

 

Legarda said, “We often overlook this aspect, but I am glad that this has been considered in the new framework because part of our sustainable development is the protection and conservation of cultural heritage. The protection and conservation of historical landmarks and heritage sites, the protection of cultural heritage or resilient cultural heritage must also be part of our DRR efforts.”

 

The Sendai Framework for DRR sets four priority actions: understanding disaster risk; strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; investing in DRR for resilience; and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to ‘Build Back Better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

 

It outlines seven global targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, including substantial reduction in (1) global disaster mortality, (2) numbers of affected people, (3) economic losses in relation to global GDP, and (4) disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services. It also aims to achieve (5) an increase in the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020, (6) enhanced international cooperation, and (7) increased access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.