By Michael F. Rellosa
WE just finished commemorating, albeit somewhat low key, Earth Day 2021 (actually, a three-day event celebrated from April 20 to 22). In recent years, Earth Day’s primary objective has morphed into raising awareness about global climate changes. It is very apt for a country such as the Philippines, which by most accounts, is the country most prone to climate change and the disasters it spawns such as typhoons, floods and drought. These disasters, in turn, create a plethora of issues such as stronger storm surges, higher sea levels, bleached coral reefs, dwindling fish stocks, denuded mangroves and disappearing sea grass meadows, just to name a few, which in turn, have deleterious effects on coastal fish stocks, crops, coastal properties, etc., a veritable domino effect of negatives on all areas of our life.
Enter the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), an agreement whose objective is to substantially reduce disaster risks and losses in lives, livelihood and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. The goal is to “prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks, through the implementation of integrated and inclusive economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political and institutional measures that prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and thus strengthen resilience.”