UPRI, HREP, and Envi Groups call for urgent policy actions to address PH ‘Disaster and Climate Emergency’

Manila, Philippines — The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) in partnership with the House of Representatives Office of Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, Greenpeace Philippines, and Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) call for urgent policy actions to address the disaster and climate emergency in the Philippines.

Through an online “Disaster & Climate Emergency Policy Forum” on December 10, said groups call for the urgent passage of the Department of Disaster Resilience Bill to accelerate a whole-of-government mobilization to ensure that the current and future generations of Filipinos are to survive the projected accelerating impacts of climate change and disasters.

The UPRI, Greenpeace, and LCCAD jointly advocate for the following policy actions:

  • Declare 2020 as a Disaster and Climate Emergency awareness year;
  • Raise awareness on the intent/salient features of the DDR bill and to call for international humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the recent typhoons;
  • Join LGUs in their call for support for vulnerable Philippine communities to enable them to adapt and develop resilience to climate change and disaster related impacts, especially those devastated by the recent parade of typhoons;
  • Catalyze networking among the sectors and local actors in pursuing end to end support system and exchanges on best working practices; and
  • Call for whole-of-society and whole-of-government mobilization on disaster and climate emergency, in behalf of climate vulnerable LGUs and multi-stakeholders, including the mobilization of disaster and climate financing for recovery and rehabilitation, and building for a better new normal.

In preparing for present and future hazards amplified by climate change, Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the UPRI, emphasized the importance of planning. “Scientific planning across various sectors of society is one of the most effective tools to mitigate the harsh impacts of natural hazards. When combined with education and awareness building with the goal to embed a culture of safety, it becomes the real early action measure in a people-centered early warning system,” said Lagmay.

However, genuine disaster and climate resilience goes beyond survival and preparation. According to Naderev Saño, Southeast Asia Executive Director of Greenpeace, “We need to stop equating ‘climate resiliency’ with expecting highly vulnerable communities and sectors to simply try and survive the impacts of the climate emergency. Rather, we need coherent strategies that are rooted in clear and immediately implementable policies that protect people and climate, ensuring that those least responsible for emissions and yet are suffering the worst impacts are finally granted climate justice and a better future.”

The policy actions advocated by the said groups are “key to ensuring capacity and scaling up the level of ambition so that Philippine Disaster-Climate resilience action actually results in transformational efforts and initiatives” said Manuel Rangasa, Executive Director of LCCAD.

These include climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and activities. “Activities can be classified as contributing to climate change mitigation if they promote efforts to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions or enhance greenhouse gas sequestration or total avoidance. Activities can be classified as climate change adaptation if they achieve at least one of the following: a) addressing current drivers of vulnerability, b) building resilience to current and future climate risks, c) incorporating climate risks into investments, d) incorporating management of climate vulnerability and disaster risk assessment into plans, policies and institutions” said Rangasa.

The House Committee on Disaster Resilience recently approved House Resolution No. 535, declaring a disaster and climate emergency in the Philippines which Albay Rep. Salceda calls it “the necessary first of many steps”.

The Disaster and Climate Emergency Policy Forum aims to be one of the “next steps” to underscore the immediate need for an interaction and collaboration of various national, local government units, academe, civil society organizations, business communities and tri-media industries responsible for climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, response and resiliency.

Through legislation and oversight, the country should learn from past mistakes and make sure not to repeat them everytime, by being active in changing the present practice. In addition, immediate policy responses must be made to address massive loss and damage suffered by the disaster stricken provinces, through the mobilization of funds for disaster recovery, rehabilitation, guided by post-disaster and anticipatory adaptation planning and coordination for a better new normal.


Please accomplish this registration form to attend the forum: https://bit.ly/DisasterClimateRegForm

Facebook Event link: https://bit.ly/UPRI-DCE-Event

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