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Pinoy scientist makes history with prestigious UN award for disaster risk reduction

By Brooke Villanueva Published May 26, 2022 5:14 pm

A Pinoy scientist and diplomat recently bagged the United Nations’ Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is the first time that a Filipino has won in the award’s 35-year history.

Glenn S. Banaguas got ahead of over 200 nominations across the globe at this year’s competition with the theme Building Resilience through a multi-hazard approach.

“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,” Banaguas said as he received the award. 

According to the Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN, the accolade is “bestowed on institutions, groups, and individuals that promote inclusive and resilient approaches to disaster risk reduction in line with the UN’s Sendai Framework.” 

The Filipino awardee established Climate Smart Philippines at the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute back in 2010. His well-thought-out initiative turned out successful, bringing together various scientific experts and stakeholders “to tackle disaster risks and prevent potential damage and losses from climate change and other hazards besetting the Philippines.” 

Banaguas, the president and founder of the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute, strongly advocates for science-based policy solutions. Among his previous recognitions for his excellent work are The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureate, Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Science and Technology, and Asia Leaders Awardee for Sustainable Leadership. 

On top of Banaguas’ historic individual win, Save the Children-Philippines reigned supreme in the Organization category of the prestigious 2022 tilt. 

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – Typhoon Committee as well as the City of San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur took home the same award in 1988 and 2011, respectively.