“This is a very relevant award bestowed to us by the international community, which acknowledges the dedication of scientists who work on natural hazards.
It’s a validation of trust, which is very important to the work we’re doing here,” Dr. Lagmay said.
Dr. Lagmay is the first scientist from Asia to receive the award.
The accord is given based on a scientist’s outstanding research achievements in fields related to natural hazards. Their interdisciplinary activities and how their research has been applied in the mitigation of risks from natural hazards are also assessed.
Dr. Lagmay serves as one of the drivers of disaster science and research in the Philippines, establishing and leading DOST Project NOAH, which stands for Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. NOAH is the country’s flagship program on disaster mitigation.
Since NOAH was launched in 2012 under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), it has lead in innovation in producing high-resolution hazard maps, improving flood early-warning systems, and enhancing storm surge modelling and forecasting in the Philippines. DOST Project NOAH has received national and international awards in the past in recognition of its efforts.
The Plinius medal was established by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in 2001 to encourage interdisciplinary research on natural hazards. In its website, EGU said that the award is given to scientists with outstanding contributions to the field of natural hazards and its mitigation.
The recognition is eponymous to Greek scientist Gayus Plinius Secundus, known as Plinius the Old who was born in 24 A.D., in Como, in the Italian Peninsula. His main scientific legacy consists of 37 volumes of the work “Naturalis Historia” (Natural History). He also studied the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius which brought demise to ancient cities Pompeya and Herculano in 79 A.D.
With the name of Plinius, the medal is intended to acknowledge all the efforts to improve the knowledge and mitigation of natural hazards, according to the EGU.
“We will strive to work more and do our best to maintain that trust, by doing good work in Project NOAH for the Filipino people,” Dr. Lagmay said.