A FOCUS group discussion (FGD) on the topics of disaster risk reduction (DRR), disaster preparedness and climate change will be held by the Northern Mindanao stakeholders on November 18 at Chali Beach Resort in Cagayan de Oro City.

Engr. Leon M. Dacanay, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Northern Mindanao, said these are the same topics that topped the agenda of the full cabinet meeting in Loboc, Bohol that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presided recently.

He said DRR is conceived as a defense against hazardous impacts on climate change and variability, such as extended droughts and flash floods, among others.

Dacanay said the FGD will be done during the launching of the project “Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA) in Local Development Planning and Decision- Making Processes (LDPDMP)” by Neda-Northern Mindanao, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

The activity aims to generate awareness and support of the project stakeholders on the initial framework for mainstreaming DRR/CCA in the LDPDMP, as well as identify potential partners for continuing research, training on DRR/CCA mainstreaming and other future project activities.

Expected to participate in the FGD are local chief executives, heads of national government/regional line agencies, non-government/people’s organizations, academe and academic institutions and the private sector, including the religious, cultural and social organizations.

Dacanay said a companion activity of the FGD is the survey of institutional capacity for disaster risk and climate change (DR/CC) information system to include an assessment of the functional areas, starting with the current capacity/capability and roles of the stakeholders.

Included in the survey are the operational issues, particularly the needed resources, identified gaps, desired expansion services, respective mid-term/long-term plans and programs and cooperation and coordination, as well as, willingness of the stakeholders to collaborate among themselves.

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