Be prepared for climate change

Perspectives

Myanmar is among the top-ten countries most severely affected by climate change, according to international research organizations. People in Ayeyawady and Yangon Regions still cannot forget the losses of life and property they suffered during and after Cyclone Nargis struck in 2008, the most lethal cyclone in the history of the country.
But cyclones are just one type of natural disaster that Myanmar has been suffering from. In fact, Myanmar is exposed to hazards such as floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides, and the occurrence of these natural disasters has increased with the changing climate.
To make Myanmar safer and more resilient against natural hazards, thus protecting lives, livelihoods and development gains, we should integrate the four Rs into our daily lives and practices. Four Rs stand for reduction, readiness, response and recovery. For disaster risk reduction, we should reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate reforestation and the use of renewable energy, constructing disaster-resistant buildings and cooperating with the international community, local governments, government agencies and NGOs in reduction activities. For readiness, we must install early warning systems, build communication networks, raise public awareness and identify hazard-prone areas where buildings with standard designs that can withstand natural disasters should be constructed. Responses to natural disasters should be promptly conducted to prevent losses of life and property as much as possible by developing disaster response plans for each and every region. Recovery measures include hospitalizing the injured and providing food, clean drinking water, medical care, construction materials and even support for the livelihoods of victims.
Managing a natural disaster is efficient only when each and every one of the people participate in the reduction, readiness, response and recovery activities. So everyone in Myanmar should integrate the four Rs into their daily lives and practices as climate change has accelerated.

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