Legarda: Women can be Frontliners in Climate and Disaster Resilience Efforts

September 14, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda said that women can be the frontliners in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction at the World Assembly for Women 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.


“Women have the ability to lead their communities towards resilience. In fact, there are many best practices led by women in many nations, including the Philippines,” said Legarda, the only Philippine participant in the high level symposium that was convened by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


The Senator was part of the session, “A Society where Self-determination of Women is Assured”, which was also attended by Former UK First Lady Cherie Blair and Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament.


“We must design adaptation programs for women in food security, improve women’s rural livelihoods, invest in gender sensitive green technologies, empower women in disaster risk reduction efforts, ensure that women and girls have access to clean water and renewable energy, and provide basic health and education opportunities,” Legarda stressed.


Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, also identified the mainstreaming of women’s role in DRR as a crucial part of disaster prevention, relief and rehabilitation.


Meanwhile, Naoko Ishii, Chairperson of Global Environment Facility (GEF), echoed Legarda’s call for gender sensitivity in climate protection and expressed support to the Philippines’ efforts in the management and conservation of its protected areas.


“The GEF Chairperson, Naoko Ishii, committed to provide the technical and financial assistance for the 100 protected areas in vulnerable and endangered areas in the Philippines that will be community-based and run by women and indigenous persons. This, I will legislate into national landmarks for protection and conservation,” said Legarda.


There are 113 areas in the Philippines, but only 13 have been covered by the country’s laws. The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, which is chaired by Legarda, is currently working on the proposed Protected Areas Declaration Act, which will ensure that the remaining 100 protected areas will be covered by legislation to ensure additional resources for the continued management, monitoring and conservation of these natural resources.


“The protection of our environment should be part of our climate change adaptation and disaster resilience efforts. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources already accesses GEF resources for biodiversity. We will make sure that the Philippines, which is a very low emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) and a most vulnerable nation in the world, will have the support of the global community in its resilience programs,” Legarda concluded.