UN Recognizes Senator Loren Legarda as a ‘Hero of Resilience’

October 15, 2012

Senator Loren Legarda expressed gratitude for being recognized by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) as a Hero of Resilience.

Of the three billion women worldwide, Legarda is the only Filipino and one of only few who were recognized as heroes of resilience by the UNISDR in celebration of the 2012 International Day for Disaster Reduction. This year’s theme is Women and Girls: The [in]Visible Force of Resilience.

“I am thankful for this recognition as it gives importance to the work that we have been doing to make our country disaster-resilient and to help encourage other nations to do the same,” she stressed.

Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Climate Change, has authored the Climate Change Act and the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law, which have been cited by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom as the best laws in the world. Legarda also authored the country’s landmark legislation for the environment, the Clean Air Act and the Solid Waste Management Act.

“This recognition also goes to all Filipinos who are one in the effort to help build their communities resilience against disasters, because all our initiatives, policies, and programs for effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation will not be successful and effective if not implemented in the grassroots,” Legarda pointed out.

Aside from Legarda, UNISDR recognized the late Professor Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2004, as Hero of Resilience. The Green Belt Movement, which Maathai founded, has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya and empowered communities, especially women and girls, to promote environmental protection.

Legarda’s inspiring leadership in the global campaign for good environmental governance was recognized in 2001 by the World Economic Forum held in Davos, which named her as one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow.

In 2001, the United Nations Environment Programme conferred on her the title of UNEP Laureate and included her in the Global 500 Roll of Honor.

In 2008, the United Nations appointed her as its Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption for Asia and the Pacific.

At her own initiative, Legarda has spearheaded an information and education campaign on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through regional workshops for local governments, nationwide dissemination of climate change documentaries, and her greening program called Luntiang Pilipinas, which has planted two million trees in more than 500 hectares across the Philippines.