Press Release
April 28, 2009

Loren calls for adoption of 9 achievable
actions embodied in Beijing Declaration

Senator Loren Lorerda yesterday pressed for the adoption of nine "achievable actions' recommended in the Beijing Declaration for tackling global warming concerns into national and local government planning.

Reporting to the Philippine Senate after her successful trip to Beijing, China, Loren said the declaration memorializes the firm conviction and commitment of delegates from around the world to mainstream gender into disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation policies and programs.

"Mr.President, I am glad to be back and report to this honorable chamber the manifold challenges we, and the rest of the world, are facing in the 21st century to reduce the disaster risks in a changing global climate amidst prevailing gender imbalances and insensitiveness," she told the Senate yesterday in her privilege speech.

Loren, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, attended the International Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in Beijing last April 20-22 in her capacity as the Asia Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction.

"This challenge calls for a collective effort to tackle effectively this most complex human development problem through an innovative, integrated, holistic, proactive and gender-sensitive approach that builds on partnerships, collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders," Loren said.

Recommended actions embodied in Beijing declaration were: 1) increasing political commitment, 2) developing national policies, laws, strategies, plans and budgets, 3) fostering the linkage between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation from a gender perspective, 4) collecting gender-specific data and statistics on impact of disasters, 5) increasing awareness of public and media, 6)supporting research institutions to study the cost-benefit and efficiency of gender-sensitive policies and programmes, 7) securing the actual application of disaster risk assessments, 8) improving and mainstreaming a gender perspective and equal participation between men and women, and 9) capacity-building of professional organizations, communities and pertinent national and local institutions.

Loren revealed that the actions were endorsed during the three-day conference attended by parliamentarians and delegates from 43 countries, UN agencies, and Civil Societies. The nine recommendations, Loren said, could be achieved by 2015 but would require accountability from governments, UN agencies, and parliamentarians and counselors.

Loren said the governments are required to review and report their progress in the implementation of the nine actions to the UNISDR for the mid-term review of HFA in 2011, while parliamentarians and counselors are required to take steps to ensure gender mainstreaming in national legislation through policy and budget allocations at national and local levels.

"In multifarious and concrete ways, the Beijing Declaration has paved the way for gendering disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. I trust that the brilliant minds and humane hearts of the members of this chamber will find wisdom in implementing the nine recommended actions," she told the Senate.

"I am honored to have been part of this process and hope that this august chamber will support and adopt this praise-worthy initiative. My esteemed colleagues, as members of the human race, stewards of the earth, and elected leaders of our people, we have a moral and sworn duty to heed the call of the times," she told the Senate.

"We must unite our efforts to reduce disaster risk, build resilience, and adapt to climate change. The opportunity for us to do all of these is here and the time to seize it is now, and only now," she said.

"We can no longer sit idly and watch disasters sow seeds of graver poverty and unbearable hardship for our future generation to reap. The face of the future depends on us. Let us rise to our duty. Let us be the new breed of leaders who will rule over disaster and climate change, and not be ruled by these," she asserted.

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