Senator Loren Legarda today echoed the call for building resilient societies and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in support of the outcome of the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku, Japan.
Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, noted that the ministerial conference’s theme was to create ‘Joint endeavors for solutions,’ calling on officials, experts, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences on disaster risk reduction.
“While we already know what increases hazards and worsens effects of disasters, we still need to improve on our actions. We need to be proactive and have better strategies for disaster preparedness, and joint endeavors such as sharing of knowledge and best practices will help us have disaster-resilient communities,” she said.
The World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku was held from July 3 to July 4 in four major cities in the Tohoku region. Among those who attended were representatives from the governments of 63 countries, including the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and other relevant ministers, 14 international organizations, and representatives from local governments, the private sector and civil societies.
“Based on experiences in the very recent past, a big disaster is likely waiting to happen to our people. The Philippines topped the list of the countries that were worst-hit by disasters in 2011. We are at a precarious geographical position as a country on the ring of fire and the typhoon belt. We have to completely abandon the old mindset of waiting for the next disaster to strike, and instead, focus on acting decisively now to mitigate the future impact of natural hazards,” Legarda explained.
“The outcome of the recently concluded World Ministerial Conference reminds us that we need to pay attention to every stage of disaster risk reduction. We need very strong urban governance, good urban development planning, effective early warning dissemination systems, a strong program for disaster education, as well as resources for disaster mitigation and mechanisms for post-disaster rehabilitation,” Legarda concluded.***