The Philippines reiterated its full support of the Comprehensive Disaster and Climate Risk Management (CRM) program of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, head of the Philippine delegation to the 27th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP27), served as a panelist in the event “Scaling Up Comprehensive Risk Management to Avert, Minimize, and Address Losses and Damages” where she discussed the adoption of the CRM approach in mitigating the disastrous effects of climate change.

The CRM program seeks to integrate risk-centered approaches into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and climate/forecast information into national and subnational disaster risk reduction strategies, aligning them better with the national adaptation goals.

UNDRR said that disasters do not have to be devastating to both environment and society, and countries must come to a solution in reducing its vulnerability and exposure to rapidly growing climate-related hazards, such as cyclones and floods.

According to UNDRR, the CRM program will serve as a tool to integrate disaster and climate-related strategies, plans and financing to avoid extreme events and disasters that could lead to substantial losses and damages.

The CRM approach considers a number of factors to purposively strengthen synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including the identification of mutually beneficial opportunities across policies and programs, and the development of government capacities for cross-sectoral planning.

The program also focuses on studying short, medium, and long-term risks through information gathered from weather, seasonal and climate forecasts and predictions, and translating this information to enable comprehensive planning and implementation.

Loyzaga said the Philippines supports the CRM approach as a way to reduce intersecting vulnerabilities and address complexities in managing compound and cascading risks. She said that there must be an apex plan to achieve this, noting that understanding the risk is part of a charting a resilient development trajectory.

“We need to unpack the systemic risks, and invest more in prevention,” Loyzaga said, adding that investments that recognize the intersectionality of vulnerability and the links between climate change impacts and with disaster risks need to be made across all sectors.

The Philippines, she noted, will be reframing its climate change and disaster risk management plan based on a science-based, data-driven and systems approach. This will be part of the chapter the DENR is leading in the drafting of Philippine Development Plan for 2023-2028.

The environment chief also noted the critical role of government at the various decision-making levels in order to break the cycle of risks. ###