BIMP-EAGA approves anti-disaster project

The Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) has adopted the Philippine proposal to implement a $1.2-million project intended to build communities that are resilient to calamities through disaster preparedness.

In a press statement, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said the Philippine government presented the climate adaptation proposal to representatives of the sub-region during the environment cluster meeting late last month in Sandakan, Malaysia.

The goal of the proposal, said Janet M. Lopoz, executive director of MinDA, “is to lessen the impact of climate change, with the prime goal of preventing environmental disasters within the region.”

Based on the initial target, the proposal will be implemented in three years and will also include “capacity building on humanitarian assistance and disaster response leading to the development of disaster preparedness action plans at the community level,” the agency said.

The final draft of the proposal will be presented to the officials of the sub-region within the month, the agency said.

The implementation of the proposal, said Ms. Lopoz, will be through projects that will develop disaster risk management capacities of the communities as well as help address environmental issues with the sub-region, a group that was developed during the time of then president Fidel V. Ramos aimed at implementing social and economic projects within the less developed areas in the member countries.

As a result of adopting the proposal, the sub-region will come up with policies on climate change adaptation and mitigation based on its output, including “climate change-proofing” of infrastructure, to help communities cushion the impact of climate change.

Among the policies would be the proposal for the preservation and conservation of the environment, said the official, pointing out that among the issues that need to be addressed is preserving the river basins in each of the countries.

“Water is a shared resource among all (the four) countries, and our ecosystems are in a way interconnected with each other,” said Ms. Lopoz.

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