Press Release
May 25, 2009

Loren Keynotes "Gross National Happiness" Conference

Senator Loren Legarda left for Thimpu, Bhutan yesterday to address the Bhutan National Sensitization Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction, in her capacity as United Nations (UN) Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for the Asia Pacific Region.

Loren was invited by Bhutan Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Lyonpo Minjur Dorji and the royal government of Bhutan.

Before leaving for Bhutan, Loren said that climate change has become the biggest challenge to mankind, with its devastating effects that include extreme droughts and flooding, decimation of species and very strong weather disturbances like super typhoons.

In 2008 alone, 321 disasters had been recorded, killing about a quarter of a million people and affecting 200 million more, she said, adding that they also resulted to $180 billion worth of economic losses.

Loren is chair and founder of the Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines) movement which, through its many volunteers from the private and public sectors, have already planted over two million trees nationwide.

Climate change is blamed on global warming, which, in turn, is due mainly to increased greenhouse gas emissions by man. One way of decreasing said emissions is to plant more and more trees.

Loren is expected to share to the Bhutan delegates the Philippine experience in dealing with climate change, including her efforts to push for the adoption of climate change measures and disaster-risk reduction in government's program of actions and policies.

The senator is either an author, co-author or sponsor of landmark environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Management Act and the declaration of several bio-diverse areas in the Philippines as sanctuaries protected by law.

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