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MANILA, Philippines – To residents of Zambales, the threat of disasters is never far from their minds.

Much like the rest of the Philippines—a country facing some of the worst effects of climate change—planning must capture the changing nature of risks and evolving demands of resilience, adaptation, and development.

To help Zambales’ local government with this, the Local Government Academy (LGA) and Manila Observatory (MO) teamed up to train provincial officials on climate and disaster risk assessment training (CDRA).

The activity, which will run from June 19 to 23, 2017, will train Zambales’ Risk Assessment Team and a team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Region 3 office and the LGA on climate and disaster risks and risk assessment applications in planning, budgeting, practice and sustainable development goals. 

By the end of the training, the team from Zambales is expected to have the knowledge and appreciation of climate risks which leads to more systematic and strategic directions in strengthening local disaster risk reduction systems. 

The training for the Zambales team is the second of the risk appreciation trainings. A previous activity was from October 10, 2016 to October 14, 2016 with officials from Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Northern Samar, and Davao Occidental. (READ: Risk awareness, assessment key to better disaster preparation)

Unlike previous CDRA trainings, however, personnel from the DILG and LGA will be participating to design a process that could be scaled up for nationwide implementation.

Preventing risks, disasters

Local government units (LGU) bear most of the responsibilities in disaster preparedness, and with the CDRA, planning officers as well as the disaster risk reduction officers should be able to meet the challenges of climate change action.

The CDRA is a decision-making tool critical for risk prevention and reduction. It leads to an agreed output that informs LGU decision-making on climate action specifically for the preparation of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (LDRRMP) and Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP).

Through the LGA, the DILG implemented the “Strengthening the Capacities of Philippine Local Governments in Disaster Risk Reduction” (SCPLG-DRR) project in 2015. It targeted high risk, low capacity LGUs that have received the Seal of Good Local Governance.

Funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the project aims to strengthen the system of disaster risk reduction (DRR) through empowering provinces, focusing both at the community and LGU levels. (READ: LGA and Spanish government join forces for disaster preparedness)

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