Climate change crusaders hail children's booklet on disaster preparedness

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -– A colorful booklet recently made available as a disaster risk reduction management tool for children has earned the admiration of local anti-climate change impact crusaders.

Published through a coalition of international groups working for the welfare of children, the booklet should be something that “no classroom should be without a copy of,” according to Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Manny de Guzman.

In a statement reaching here Tuesday, De Guzman, who also serves as senior advisor at World Meteorological Organization and president at Asia Pacific Institute for Green Development, hailed the coalition “for this great initiative to make the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction child-friendly.”

The coalition, called Children in a Changing Climate, is composed of ChildFund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision International and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

The ChildFund Alliance is a global network of child-centered development organizations working in the poorest countries around the world to create opportunities for disadvantaged children.

Alliance members believe in the open exchange of resources and information as a means of reaching more children in need more effectively and members cooperate to share best practices in child survival, protection and development.

Together, the alliance works to eradicate the root causes and the effects of poverty on children by implementing meaningful solutions, resulting in positive future.

The Plan International is a development group operating in 51 countries across Africa, the Americas, and Asia to promote and protect children's rights while Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children working in around 120 countries to save children's lives, fight for their rights, and help them fulfill their potentials.

The World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice and Unicef is a UN program that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

The coalition, according to ChildFund, is a partnership of leading child-centered and humanitarian organizations, each with a commitment to share knowledge, coordinate and work with children as agents of change in full recognition of their capacity to prepare for and respond to shocks and stressors.

De Guzman said the colorful booklet titled Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: For Children points out that, kids who understand dangers, who are empowered and listened to, can play an important role in their own protection.

Adopted at the Third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan on March 18, 2015, the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 is the outcome of stakeholder consultations initiated in March 2012 and inter-governmental negotiations from July 2014 to March 2015, supported by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction at the request of the UN General Assembly.

It is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015 conceived to give further impetus to the global work under the International Framework for Action for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of 1989, the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World and its plan of action, adopted in 1994 and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction of 1999.

De Guzman stressed that when children speak out and their needs are prioritized, they contribute to long-term development after a disaster and build safer communities for everyone.

“This booklet is about disaster risk reduction – working together to reduce the chance that a hazard will turn into a disaster and preparing for disasters when they do happen. Disaster risk reduction should happen at the level of national government, local government and in communities and families. It means engaging and listening to everyone,” he said.

The Sendai Framework, De Guzman added, aims to make sure that everyone is ready when hazards strike, so that responses are more effective and better organized, the book says, stressing that everyone should be ready when hazards strike so that responses are more effective and better organized.

Written by Helen Kearney and edited by Felipe Cala of the ChildFund Alliance, the booklet of 70 pages acknowledges that “the children that care for our world are the real heroes.”

It reveals that 75 million of children around the world are affected by disasters and nine million of them were forced out of school by disaster in 2014 alone.

This child-friendly Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, its publisher says, was developed in consultation with children by the coalition, resulting in documents that support processes of child-friendly accountability by making the Sendai Framework accessible to children, especially those aged 10 to 14.

Manuel “Nong” Rangasa, the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) executive director who is based in Albay, said the booklet can be included as a tool in the K-12 mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and disaster risk vulnerability reduction (CCADRVR) project.(PNA) LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD