Press Release
October 25, 2010

Legarda Double efforts, act swiftly on disaster
risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Senator Loren Legarda today reiterated her call to both the national government and local government units (LGUs) to double their efforts and act swiftly to make the country resilient to disasters and able to combat the effects of climate change.

Legarda made the statement as she noted that the Philippines ranked 6th in a Climate Change Vulnerability Index. Furthermore, Manila has been tagged as one of the most dangerous cities to live in if a natural hazard strikes.

"The whole world is telling us, matter-of-factly, that we are in great danger every time a natural hazard hits us. It is telling us that we must exert greater efforts and we must act double time because we are among the countries that are most vulnerable to disasters," the Senator stressed.

Based on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, compiled by British-based global risks advisory firm Maplecroft, the Philippines is the world's sixth most climate-vulnerable country, out of 170 nations. The ranking was attributed to the country's growing population who are exposed to flood, drought, storms and sea-level rise.

Meanwhile, a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Integrated Regional Information Networks showed that Manila, the state capital, is one of the five most dangerous cities in the world to live in when a disaster strikes because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and lies in a coastal area. The presence and continuous growth of slum areas also contribute to the city's vulnerability to disasters.

In this regard, Legarda, the UN's Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, reiterated her call to all local leaders in the country to commit to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction's (UNISDR) campaign to build more sustainable and disaster-resilient towns and cities.

"We must realize that every decision we make with regard to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is crucial to our survival. We must plan carefully but swiftly," Legarda said.

"Our disaster risk reduction and management system needs to be more proactive, coherent, and effective. Committing to the UNISDR's disaster resiliency campaign would help us achieve that target," she added.

The UNISDR's program, Making Cities Resilient, encourages towns and cities to commit to the "Ten Essentials" to scale up investments in urban planning, infrastructure and building safety; protect ecosystems to mitigate floods; and install early warning systems, among other measures.

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