Press Release
August 27, 2011

Sri Lankan Mayors Visit PHIL, Legarda Commends San Francisco, Camotes for Sharing Best Practices on Disaster Prevention

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded the local government of San Francisco in Camotes Islands, Cebu, for hosting a three-day study visit of four mayors from Sri Lanka, in light of the World Disaster Reduction Campaign: "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

"The challenge before local leaders are clear: Communities should be safer, more resilient, and even more ready to act when disaster strikes. I commend the municipality of San Francisco for taking the lead, sharing solutions and hosting the first peer learning event in Asia to reduce disaster risks," said Legarda, the UNISDR Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

Local chief executives from Sri Lanka visit the Philippines this week (Aug 25-27) to observe best practices in reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change.The delegation is comprised of four mayors of Sri Lankan cities of Balangoda, Tangalle, Puttalam and Mannar, which are prone to landslides, floods and cyclones.

"It is encouraging to note that local government alliances for disaster risk reduction between countries are initiated in the Philippines. The municipality of San Francisco's Purok System, solid waste management and marine conservation initiatives are indeed worth emulating by other local governments, even those beyond the country's shores, which face similar challenges and opportunities in pursuing disaster-resilient local development," Legarda stressed.

The World Disaster Reduction Campaign aims at getting Mayors, local governments and national authorities to take action towards making cities resilient as part of sustainable urbanization. According to Legarda, about 80 provinces, cities and municipalities to this campaign, including the municipality of San Francisco, from the Philippines were already engaged in this campaign.

"Local leaders must be fully aware that their pledge to the campaign also means committing to increasing investments in disaster risk reduction, conducting and sharing risk assessments, establishing effective and efficient early warning systems, and protecting your ecosystems, among other essential actions," Legarda concluded.

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