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Loren: “Adapt or die” in climate change

December 15, 2009

SEN. LOREN LEGARDA, NP-NPC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, YESTERDAY URGED FILIPINOS TO UNDERTAKE RESPONSES OR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE, AS GOVERNMENT LEADERS GATHER AT COPENHAGEN.
Loren said that the world, especially developing countries like the Philippines, must “adapt or die” in responding to climate change.
In relation to the Philippines, Loren, who is noted as a champion of environmental protection, described the two main threats facing the Philippines as a result of climate change. These are “extreme weather events” and the “rising of the water.”
Loren deplored that the developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change than the rich developed nations. She thus appealed to the rich nations involved in the Copenhagen conference to contribute more funds to the fight against climate change as they are the most responsible in disseminating carbon toxics that pollute the atmosphere.
In preparing against climate change catastrophes locally, Loren suggested that buildings and residences should be re-designed to cope with floodwaters, such making them taller or providing for additional space on top so people would not have to cling to rooftops during heavy floods.
She also suggested that the seawalls should be strengthened against rising seas, while the dams should be reinforced against rampaging floods inland. Likewise, the protocol for release of water by the dams should be reviewed to prevent a repetition of the floods by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
Loren said that the Department of Agriculture and the farmers should take into account the change in seasons wherein the rainy season comes earlier or much later for planting. She noted that in the recent typhoons many hectares of rice and other crops were flooded and ruined. Some farmers were also caught flatfooted by the early rains.
Loren urged the DA to produce a rice plant variety that could survive even during flooding.
As chair of the Senate committee on climate change, Loren was the principal sponsor of the Climate Change Act recently signed into law by President Arroyo. The law created a Commission on Cimate Change that would craft a nationwide action plan to adapt to climate change and reduce human casualties and property damage during natural catastropohes.
Loren is also the United Nations “champion” for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Asia Pacific region.