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Legarda Pushes for Disaster-Resilient Zamboanga Peninsula

September 5, 2012

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY CALLED FOR GREATER COOPERATION AMONG LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA AS SHE PUSHED FOR BETTER DISASTER RISK REDUCTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, is organizing the fifth Regional Forum on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in Zamboanga City on September 6. It will be done in partnership with the Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), targeting local government officials and other stakeholders.
The Senator, who is also United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, earlier led similar workshops for the Pampanga, Bicol, Cagayan de Oro, and Agusan river basins.
“The Zamboanga Peninsula is richly forested and blessed with several rivers and watersheds. But the pressures of modernization have resulted in deteriorating forests and pollution that threaten not only sources of livelihood but also the quality of life. Aggravated by climate change, the consequences of deforestation are alarming: flooding, soil erosion, siltation of rivers, damage to agricultural crops, and damage to infrastructure and private property are just some of the issues that the peninsula faces,” she explained.
Legarda said that local government units must turn every province, city and municipality disaster-resilient and must engage all key stakeholders and sectors, to promote cooperation and coordination among themselves, and to push for greater risk awareness in communities.
“Our actions should enable us to institutionalize a new brand of governance—the kind of governance, which ensures that environmental, climate change and disaster risk reduction laws and regulations are fully implemented. As elected leaders we have a moral obligation to the people, a commitment to good governance that transcends political and territorial boundaries,” she stressed.
“We must renew our commitment to responsible political leadership and effective risk governance and work together towards more resilient communities, and a safer and more vibrant nation,” Legarda concluded.