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Another milestone for a distinguished Filipino scientist was achieved by being recognized as the 2015 Plinius Medallist awardee by the prominent European Geosciences Union (EGU), the first Southeast Asian winner to be conferred with the medal.

Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH), once again proved that the country's current practice in disaster risk reduction (DRR) is of international standards as he received the 2015 Plinius Medal from the EGU. He received the medal last April 15, 2015 in Vienna Austria.

The EGU is Europe's premier geosciences union which aims to ensure the "pursuit of excellence in the geosciences and the planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide," as stated in their website.

The Plinius medal of the EGU Natural Hazards (NH) division is awarded to outstanding mid-career scientists who exemplifies commitment and significant contribution in undertaking research achievements in fields related to natural hazards.

Known as one of the country's leading international scientific experts on natural disasters, Dr. Lagmay was recognized for his "outstanding interdisciplinary natural-hazard research and natural-disaster engagement in the Philippines, particularly with respect to volcanic hazards, earthquakes, typhoons, landslides and floods," the EGU said.

Significant contributions in the country's DRR

At present, Dr. Lagmay also works as a professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences in UP Diliman and is recognized as a University Scientist as well. He was also given the 2014 University of the Philippines Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in Disaster Mitigation.

With the gamut of the research undertakings in the field of natural hazards he has done, Dr. Lagmay continues to strengthen disaster management and prevention capacity of the Philippine government. His works include analysis on major disasters in the country such as the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy, Sendong, Pablo, and Yolanda. Similarly, he also did a study on the geological hazards of the Bataan Nuclear Power plant, assessment of the 2013 Bohol earthquake and creation of storm surge forecasts under his leadership of Project NOAH.

These endeavors in strengthening the country's ability to facilitate effective DRR led him to be recognized by the EGU among the other nominees in his category.

Candidates for the EGU medal or award is screened from the submitted nominations through a rigorous assessment by the EGU Council, the Medal Committee members and the Union and Division Officers.

This additional recognition from a premier award-giving body illustrates that the research and development initiatives in the country continue to be at par with others through the invaluable commitment and perseverance of our Filipino experts (Edgilyn R. Alcasid).

Source: European Geosciences Union website (https://www.egu.eu/awards-medals/plinius/2015/alfredo-mahar-lagmay/)