Wetlands International’s Dr. Cabanban receives Outstanding Scientist Award in Korea

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Dr. Annadel S. Cabanban, Country Representative and Program Manager of Wetlands International Philippines Programme, was bestowed the Outstanding Scientist Award by the Society of Wetlands Scientists – Asia Chapter. The award was given during the joint meeting with the Korea Wetlands Society held in Sungcheon City, South Korea on 19-21 August 2019.

“Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) is much needed in the Philippines where the population is exposed to and vulnerable to the risks associated with various natural hazards. Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction concerns the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to reduce disaster risk with the goal to build the resilience of human communities,” said Dr. Annadel S. Cabanban, in her talk on sharing eco-DRR lessons in the Philippines.

Dr. Cabanban in Korea at the award giving ceremony

Dr. Cabanban, a marine biologist by training, shared some eco-DRR lessons in the Philippines at the Joint Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists – Asia Chapter and the Korea Wetlands Society “Wetlands International has been promoting Eco-DRR as part of the integrated risk management (IRM) approach under the global Partners for Resilience Programme 2016- 2020 and in collaboration with the Partnership on Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). Lessons learned were presented from implementation in the Philippines on coastal wetlands and rivers at five sites: the northern portion of Manila Bay; coastal wetlands in 3 islands of Coron; rivers and peatland in eastern Leyte, river and peat-swamp in the Agusan River Basin, and in the watershed and tributaries of the Cagayan de Oro River. Alongside implementation, capacity building and partnerships are essential to ensure sustainability as well as to scale up Eco-DRR implementation,” she explained.

To build resilience of communities, Dr. Cabanban said that UN Environment and PfR partners are working together under the up-scaling EcoDRR initiative, supported by the European Union, to develop Trainings for Trainers delivered at the regional level and promoting Eco-DRR mainstreaming through the Ramsar Convention and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

“Indeed, undertaking Eco-DRR in wetlands has the potential to contribute to international agreement objectives on resilience and disaster risk reduction, such as the Resolution XII.13, Ramsar Convention, Aichi targets, CBD, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Sustainable Development Goals,” she furthered.

Her talk was a collaboration with Dr. Nathalie Doswald and Dr. Karen Sudemeier-Rieux, who are both with the Crisis Management Branch, UN Environment in Geneva.

During the event, opportunities for collaboration were explored with the Ramsar Regional Centre – East Asia and PEDRR. Trainings for Eco-DRR in the East Asian region were also agreed in principle and will be discussed further for implementation in 2020.