The Philippine APEC Study Center Network`s 17th General Assembly and Annual Symposium are set to kick-off on June 28 at the Little Theatre, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.

The symposium, which has the theme `Resiliency of Local Economies to Natural Disasters`, is being organized by Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in partnership with PASCN and will be held from 8:00 am to 12 noon. It intends to highlight the capacities and initiatives of local governments and the economic sector in reducing the risks associated with natural disasters and in improving their adaptation and recovery. The passage of Republic Act 9729, also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, established the legal and institutional framework for climate change governance and mainstreaming climate resilience into government mandates across sectors.

In a broader regional perspective, emergency preparedness is one of the key elements of the human security agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In 2009, APEC Leaders reaffirmed the importance of enhancing human security and reducing the threat of disruptions to business and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC`s Emergency Preparedness Working Group was formed to address this issue and to play a constructive role in enabling the region to better prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters. Climate change and disaster risk management is also one of five proposed areas of priority for the Philippines for the 2015 APEC Summit.

The PASCN was established in 1996 through an administrative order as the Philippines` response to the APEC Leaders Education Initiative which aims to develop regional cooperation in higher education and research. It is composed of 10 member institutions, namely, the Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo De Manila University, Central Luzon State University, De La Salle University, Mindanao State University, Silliman University, University of Asia and the Pacific, University of San Carlos, University of the Philippines, Xavier University, Department of Foreign Affairs-Foreign Service Institute, and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, which serves as PASCN`s lead agency and secretariat.

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