Legarda rallies LGUs behind climate action
Sen. Loren Legarda has lauded local government units (LGUs) that have taken steps towards climate action as she rallied other towns and cities to follow suit, emphasizing their crucial role in building disaster-resilient communities.
At the inaugural Climate-Adaptive and Disaster-Resilient (CLAD) Awards for Cities and Municipalities held Friday, Legarda called on local governments to take on a more active role in serving as “climate champions” in their locales, being the frontliners in the fight against the devastating effects of climate change.
She noted “technological, socioeoconomic and global challenges” in the 21st century that “dramatically alter the way we live in our communities,” with quality of life “at stake.”
“It is the responsibility of the government, especially local government units (LGUs), to understand the challenges and to take proactive measures that will optimize our nation’s future — to plan, build and support sustainable communities,” Legarda said in her speech at Friday’s awards.
“It is critical that the increased attention, interest, and sense of urgency in responding to the challenges posed by climate change and disaster risks are translated to local actions that effectively reduce disaster vulnerability,” said Legarda, the foremost climate action advocate at the Senate and a United Nations Global Champion for Resilience.
She lauded the roster of 10 pioneering CLAD awardees for “implementing innovative strategies” to manage and adapt to the effects of climate change, saying they would serve as a benchmark for others to emulate.
The rites came just weeks after the historic United Nations climate pact came into force, binding the international community to the commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to contain global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. An increase in excess would mean the warming of the Earth would be irreversible.
“You will be our models for resilience. We should tell and retell your success stories for other local communities to emulate,” said Legarda, who organized the awards with the Climate Change Commission.
“You will be climate champions who will share your experiences with other LGUs so they too will make their cities and municipalities climate and disaster-resilient,” she said.
She said the awardees would serve to prod other cities and towns “to increase investments in disaster risk reduction, conduct and share risk assessments, establish effective and efficient early warning systems, and protect ecosystems.”
“We will urge local leaders to build homes, schools, and hospitals that are safe and secure amidst natural hazards; design and construct roads, bridges and other infrastructure that help spur economic growth but with disaster risk reduction in mind,” she said.
This year’s CLAD awardees are: Canaman, Camarines Sur; Carmona, Cavite; Dumangas, Iloilo; Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; Legazpi, Albay; Malolos, Bulacan; New Lucena, Iloilo; Palompon, Leyte; Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; and Tublay, Benguet.
The winners each received P500,000.
They were selected for oustanding sustainability projects such as crop and farming initiatives, reforestation and mangrove growing, solid waste management, rainwater catchment, and health and psycho-social interventions on disaster-related trauma.
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