Filipino scientist wins UN award for disaster risk reduction

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Filipino scientist wins UN award for disaster risk reduction
Scientist and diplomat Glenn Banaguas holds up the UN award which was conferred to him on Wednesday, March 25, 2022, at the ceremony in Bali, Indonesia.
Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN Secretariat

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino scientist Glenn Banaguas won the United Nations' (UN) Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction Award this year, besting more than 200 nominations worldwide. 

This makes him the first Filipino individual to ever receive the accolade in the award's 35-year history. 

Banaguas is the president and founder of the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI). In 2010, he also spearheaded the institute's flagship program — Climate Smart Philippines — which brings scientific experts and stakeholders together in addressing disasters and preventing losses from climate change and other hazards. 

"I extend my thanks and gratitude to the organizers of the UN Sasakawa Award for recognizing Climate Smart Philippines’ efforts to empower people from all walks of life to develop evidence-based, humane, and gender-responsive solutions," he said during the awards ceremony in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday. 

Banaguas is also a diplomat, educator and expert on issues related to the environment, climate change and disaster risks in Asia. 

He is the recipient of several accolades, including The Outstanding Filipino Laureate (TOFIL), Outstanding Young Scientist Awardee from the National Academy of Science and Technology, and the Asia Leaders Awardee for Sustainable Leadership. 

The UN's Sasakawa Award is awarded to individuals, groups and institutions who promote inclusive and resilient approaches in disaster risk reduction in line with the UN's Sendai Framework, which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce such risk but this responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders.  

This year, Quezon City-based non-profit Save the Children-Philippines also bagged an award this year in the Organization category. 

Previous winners from the Philippines include the City of San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur in 2011 and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's Typhoon Committee in 1988. 

The Philippines is the eighth most exposed and vulnerable country to natural disasters, according to the latest World Risk Index. On average, twenty typhoons and storms hit the country every year, affecting homes, livelihoods and infrastructure in impoverished places. 

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