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PIA Press Release

NEDA, AUSAID, UNDP push for DRR integration in local plans

Davao City (24 October) -- The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), with development partners United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), launched the Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA) in Local Development Planning and Decision-making Processes at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila on October 22, 2009.

The project aims to mainstream the integrated concerns of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into local decision making and planning processes. Disaster risk reduction is conceived as a defense against the hazardous impacts of climate change and variability such as extended droughts and floods.

The project comes at a time when parts of Metro Manila and Northern Luzon have recently seen massive flooding due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. To date, the typhoons' damage is estimated at PhP20 billion worth of crops and infrastructure and has relegated affected individuals and families to live in evacuation centers.

"It is in this context, therefore, that we need to take stock on what went wrong with our disaster preparedness and mitigation programs." Said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Acting Director General Augusto B. Santos, referring to the humanitarian onslaught brought about by the recent typhoons.

With a total budget of AUS$2.5 million, the project aims to bring awareness and understanding of DRR/CCA to the community level, incorporating it into local level land-use and development plans. The project also includes the enhancement of multi-stakeholder cooperation by creating mechanisms for their participation.

"The project is very timely as it will promote a medium- to long-term strategy to rebuild the disaster affected areas into stronger and more resilient communities, while frontline agencies and local government units currently focus on the quick recovery of these areas,"

The project will build on the DRR methodologies and tools developed under the recently concluded NEDA-EC-UNDP Project on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Subnational Planning which are embodied in the Guidelines on Mainstreaming DRR in Subnational Development and Land Use/Physical Planning.

Santos added that in order to make the endeavor successful, the project aims to improve current information systems for planning and development. He also emphasized the importance of public awareness on climate change, the need to incite positive collective action, and the necessity of basing decisions on local realities.

"We recognize the enormous responsibilities of cities and municipalities to their constituencies who bear the brunt of disasters, and so all our actions in this project are focused on building their capacities. We hope to stir action, not only among those directly involved in disaster management or among scientists, but among each one of us. Disaster risk reduction as well as climate change adaptation is everybody's business," Santos said. (NEDA) [top]

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