World’s best climate change laws are in the Philippines – Margarita Wahlstrom: A reaction
Anchor for Allvoices
Margarita Wahlstrom’s remarked,World’s best climate change laws are in the Philippines. This is a giant recognition for the Philippines’ humble achievements “for taking the lead in the global campaign to mitigate disaster risks brought about by global warming.” Specifically, these are in the areas of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR).
Margareta Wahlstrom is UN special envoy of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who arrived in the country since Tuesday and has been meeting with government officials, business and donors. In those meetings and conferences as Michael Lim Ubac reported and quoted, “Wahltrom talked about the international strategy on disaster risk reduction, or UNISDR, that called for "safe schools, safe hospitals and safe cities" through programs such as the retrofitting of buildings, the relocation of communities and government public infrastructure from hazard-prone areas, and capacity-building such as disaster-preparedness training.”
Wahlstrom met with Senatorand commended her for being “the UN Champion for DRR and CCA for Asia and the Pacific, for ensuring the passage of climate-responsive laws and for mainstreaming the CCA and DRR mechanisms into the national political agenda,” Ubac said further.
In a press conference Wahlstrom said, "You do have now an excellent legal framework for disaster risk reduction and an excellent legal framework for climate adaptation. The basis [of the laws] is really for empowering local governments."
In response, Leagarda thanked Wahlstrom for the compliment, but told the media that the "challenge is to translate them into local community action to save lives, and reduce disaster risks and economic losses."
Legarda is noted for the planting of millions of seedlings of trees. Such initiative was the brainchild her early terms in the Philippine Senate. Over and above her brainchild tree planting program she had not reported how many thousands or at least hundreds that have actually survived and growing as mighty trees by now.
A known environment crusader for over ten years now, Legarda took pride of her sterling legislative efforts and achievements for having authored the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729), which created the Climate Change Commission and cosponsored the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121).
Such measures prompted Wahlstrom to stress that both laws highlighted the policy shift from a reactionary to a proactive stance in addressing disasters.
In response, "We have in the Philippines the best two laws-not only in Asia-Pacific, but in Margareta's words-in the world," said Legarda.
It is a heavily loaded working visit in the country for Wahlstrom. Earlier today, she is in Albay province, attending a two seminar together with 31 mayors under the sponsorship of Governor Joey Salceda.
Wahlstrom will leave the country tomorrow, May 05 after wrapping-up her more than 3 day consultations with government officials, businessmen and donors.
Wahlstrom’s 3 day working tour in the country enabled her to see the glittering impressiveness of Philippine environmental laws as they were written. She heard how persuasive and convincing the laws are as she was briefed about them. Nevertheless, she just scratched the surface of the whole Philippine environmental picture. She has not dug the essence of those laws in the courses of their implementations.
For the UN special envoy to see how the laws she appreciated very much are implemented, she must visit the Philippines during times of calamities. She must be on hand to see and observe the actual operations of the measures.