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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

NEDA launches Guidelines on Mainstreaming DRR

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director-General Augusto B. Santos, who led the recent launching of the Guidelines on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Subnational Development and Land Use/Physical Planning, said that the Guidelines is a pioneering initiative in the Philippines to formally mainstream disaster risk reduction into the development planning process.

"It allows government planners and other development practitioners to enhance subnational (regional and provincial) planning analyses by recognizing risks posed by natural hazards, assessing the vulnerability of the population, economy and the environment to these hazards, and determining appropriate measures to reduce or manage these risks," Santos said.

Providing a methodology for risk estimation abstracted from available hazard and disaster data, the Guidelines cover eight natural hazards of geologic and hydrometeorologic origin and adopt a conceptual framework that is flexible to include all kinds of hazards, including those related to climate change.

According to Santos, "As more hazard, exposure and damage data become available in the future, the methodology for risk assessment could be further enhanced."

UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Amelia D. Supetran said that the UNDP sees the Guidelines as a "cutting edge product even by global standards, with solid empirical basis to enable the country's local planners to generate more realistic development plans that take into account physical constraints like natural hazards."  

The DRR Guidelines is an output of a project implemented in response to the Action Agenda for Disaster Risk Management that the NEDA Board-National Land Use Committee adopted in early 2006 just after the landslides in Guinsaugon, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte.

In coming up with the Guidelines, NEDA tapped DRR experts from the academe, "risk management" government agencies, and other member agencies of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

The Guidelines were formulated with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department.

The launching of the DRR Guidelines was among the activities conducted in celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

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