Adopt nature-based solutions to reduce flood risks –Legarda

PIA-NCR file photo

CALOOCAN CITY, Dec. 19 (PIA) -- Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda is calling on government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to effectively implement environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction measures to ensure safer and more resilient communities to floods.

Legarda made the call during a recent Flood Resilience Summit attended by the academe, experts, and decision-makers to discuss programs and policies that would reduce the risks of flooding in communities.

“The increasing severity of typhoons and resulting floods—such as the succession of typhoons Pepito, Quinta, super typhoon Rolly, tropical storm Siony, Tonyo, and typhoon Ulysses—are stark reminder that extreme weather, high-impact events threaten to affect millions of our people, compounding challenges to health and security and economic stability with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawmaker emphasized.

As the author of landmark laws on climate adaptation and disaster resilience, including the Climate Change Act and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Legarda said that the national government and LGUs must focus on providing tools for locally-led adaptation.

“We must expand financial resources available to local governments, community-based organizations, and other local actors, to help create multi-stakeholder support with greater influence on evidence-based decision-making. It is at the local level where we can best identify, prioritize, implement, and monitor climate adaptation solutions,” she said.

“Many of our LGUs have already started investing in flood control infrastructure, such as river embankments, pumping stations, floodwalls, drainage systems, storm drains, canals, and flood retention areas. However, this must be done in tandem with non-structural flood mitigation measures,” she added.

The deputy speaker noted that over the past decades, areas around waterways have become densely populated, affecting water flow. The social challenges that aggravate climate and disaster risks include urban congestion, where many people who live in informal settlements are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Despite warnings, communities continue to live in inadequate housing on or near waterways.

This was further compounded by the problem of solid waste management where uncollected trash, consisting mostly of single-use plastics, clog water flow and create problems in drainage. Poor land-use planning has aggravated climate impacts.

“We must widely adopt nature-based solutions to reduce flood risks, such as restoring wetlands for water storage and soil moisture; reconnecting rivers to floodplains; planting mangroves to protect from coastal flooding; and increasing green urban spaces,” Legarda said.

“Nature-based solutions, which are sustainable and cost-effective, offer great potential to reduce risks from multiple hazards and to yield jobs, improve livelihoods, and protect biodiversity,” she added. (PIA NCR) 

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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