OCD to hold first int’l disaster resilience forum

Maris Federez   •   July 23, 2021   •   795

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is set to hold its first International Disaster Resilience Forum (IDRF) on July 29 to 30, 2021 as part of the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).

In an advisory, the OCD said the forum is seen to serve as a venue for sharing best practices in the strengthening of disaster resilience; understanding the importance of governance, citizen-participation, and global partnerships towards disaster resilience; and reinforcing cooperation between stakeholders.

“The IDRF will tackle integrated and interconnected solutions through information sharing and discussions on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Disaster Resilience from experts and practitioners around the world,” it added.

Participants in the forum’s various sessions will learn the trends and best practices in disaster response.

Strengthening disaster resilience and sustainable development in the New Normal will also be discussed in one of the sessions.

The OCD extends its invitation to leaders, policymakers, executives, experts, and civil society groups to participate in the forum that will have a live broadcast through Civil Defense PH Facebook page and Youtube.

Registration is available through the following links:

  • Plenaries, Open/Closing Ceremonies – tinyurl.com/IDRF-POC
  • Session 1 – tinyurl.com/IDRF-DRR2021
  • Session 2 – tinyurl.com/IDRF-PR
  • Session 3 – tinyurl.com/IDRF-BBB

Climate emergency remains as urgent as ever amid COVID-19 pandemic—Cimatu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2020

Climate change still remains as urgent as ever amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu.

“It is like the COVID-19 emergency, just in slow motion and much graver,” Cimatu said on Wednesday (July 22).

The DENR also said climate change have a multiplier effect which would lead to other problems, from ecosystem stability to food production and human conflict.

“Deforestation disrupts weather patterns and the water cycle, contributes to climate change, and destroys the habitats of important species. Chemicals and waste are polluting the air, soil and water, killing millions each year,” the department said in a statement.

Cimatu said major environmental protection programs like solid waste management, reforestation and biodiversity conservation, must be consistent with the overall response to COVID-19, future pandemics and climate crisis.

“The government—through the Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR—will prioritize actions and investments that will reduce long-term health impacts and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change,” he said.

OCD denies supplying disinfectant solution that caused police doctor’s death

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2020

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has denied that the disinfectant solution supplied to the quarantine facilities of the Philippine National Police (PNP) which caused the death of a police doctor came from them.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Spokesperson Mark Timbal said the OCD only supplied the PNP with food, janitorial services, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and other medical equipment.

“Iyong ginamit nilang pang spray hindi po sa amin iyon. Kaya po ang gagawin namin ay makikipagtulungan kami sa PNP to determine itong bagay na ito to an investigation (The spray they used did not come from us. So we will coordinate with the PNP to determine this through an investigation),” he said.

Timbal also said they are prepared to face investigation, if necessary, to determine who needs to be held accountable for the death of Dr. Casey Gutierrez who lost his life after inhaling the disinfectant used at the Philippine Sports Arena Quarantine Facility.

“We welcome the investigation para po malinawan iyong nangyari dyan sa facility na iyan at sa kasamahan nating doctor (to shed light on what happened in the facility and to our fellow doctor),” he said.

On May 24, Gutierrez was said to have had difficulty in breathing after he reportedly inhaled the chemical from the disinfectant spray used during the decontamination procedure. He died on May 30.

Meanwhile, four other police officers were also admitted to the hospital after inhaling the said chemical. –AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Locusts swarm across parts of India, attacking agricultural lands

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2020

Huge swarms of locusts took over the skies of Northern and Central India on Monday (May 25) and Sunday (May 24), affecting agricultural lands.

The pests were mostly seen across large states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

On Sunday, actions were taken in the city of Mandsaur, in central India, to contain the swarm by spraying pesticides.

One of the deadliest pests for farms produce, locusts are known to destroy crops and vegetables, and whatever they find in their way, in search of food.

Animals also get affected by eating the same leaves as the locusts and can suffer from diarrhoea.

Locust swarms are not new in East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But climate scientists say erratic weather linked to climate change has created ideal conditions for the insects to surge in numbers not seen in a quarter of a century.

If allowed to breed unchecked in favourable conditions, locusts can form huge swarms that can strip trees and crops over vast areas. (Reuters)

(Production: ANI, Hanna Rantala, Gabriela Boccaccio)

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