Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management News

Compilation of latest research news on climate change adaptation/management and disaster risk management

The UP Resilience Institute joins DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDSS Field Exposure Visit

On October 10 to 12 2018, representatives from the UP Resilience Institute joined the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Program on its 1st Multi-stakeholder Assessment on Local DRRM-CCA Gaps in Carmen, Surigao del Sur. The Kalahi-CIDSS Program seeks to empower local communities to achieve improved access to basic services through the institutionalization of community-driven development. In response to the debilitating effects of disasters on community beneficiaries, the strengthening and mainstreaming of DRRM-CCA has been identified as a priority component of the program. The UP Resilience Institute was one of the academic and civil society partners invited to participate in the field exposure trip to help develop policies, plans, and strategies for building community resilience.

Other participants came from the Department of Finance, Department of Agriculture, and Rappler-Move.PH. Along with Mayor Jane Valeroso-Plaza of Carmen, Surigao del Sur, the group visited the barangays of Hinapoyan and Antao to take part in focus group discussions with local officials and community volunteers.

In Barangay Hinapoyan, participants were shown the projects implemented under the Kalahi-CIDSS program which included access roads, gabions, box culverts and solar-powered street lights. These projects were chosen by community members themselves as priorities to improve transport of agricultural products and to mitigate hazards such as flooding. Volunteers shared their experiences working under the program, and the team learned that the implementation of these projects have improved the quality of life of the community, especially in terms of safeguarding their households, by reducing flooding incidents. They have also said that they felt empowered by the program as they gained knowledge on climate change, the hazards present in their area and how to mitigate them as well as skills in project planning and management.

In Barangay Antao, the team had the opportunity to talk with barangay officials on how they discovered the issues affecting their locality and their criteria for project prioritization. The team found that the barangay’s location on a flood plain has resulted in agricultural fields often being inundated during heavy rains. With the Kalahi-CIDSS, they were able to build a footbridge to help them cross in times of flooding, an access road, and a food terminal where they can sell their agricultural products. They have noted that with the construction of the access road, profits have increased since they no longer have to pay laborers to carry their products.

The Kalahi-CIDSS DRRM-CCA team has introduced hazard and poverty maps, environmental management filters, and other simple analytical tools to help communities make informed decisions. This has allowed community beneficiaries to gain insights on the prioritization of risk-mitigation measures and disaster/emergency lifeline facilities appropriate for their area.


A community volunteer shares her experience with the Kalahi-CIDDS Program during a focus group discussion in Barangay Hinapoyan, Carmen.


The social hall serves as an evacuation center of Barangay Hinapoyan. Community members have noted that the structure is not sturdy and is in need of repairs.


The participants inspect a gabion in in Barangay Hinapoyan, one of the Kalahi-CIDDS projects chosen and implemented by community members as a flood control project.


Focus group discussion with barangay officials in Antao, Carmen.


Group photo with DSWD officers, Carmen local government officials, Brgy. Antao officials and community volunteers, and other field exposure participants.

UP RI participates in a workshop reviewing the National Climate Change Action Plan

The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP): Thematic Consultation on Adaptation-Mitigation Nexus Analysis Knowledge and Capacity Development workshop is a follow-up activity of the Inception Report conducted last August 28-31, 2018. The 2nd consultation workshop scheduled on October 8-12 aims to validate the step-wise description of the process of adaptation-mitigation nexus analysis drawing upon lessons learned from the Inception Workshop, validate the provisionally identified systems of interest across the thematic sector namely food security, water sufficiency, ecological and environmental stability, human security, climate-friendly industries and services, sustainable energy, and knowledge and capacity development, and discuss issues, gaps, and challenges identified in the monitoring and evaluation of the NCCAP for 2012-2016. The workshop intends develop outputs that will illustrate the adaptation-mitigation nexus analysis sectoral linkages, identify the key processes and inputs to refine and complete the analyses for all systems of interest across the seven themes using the data from the previous workshop, and pursue agreements on the ways forward addressing the issues, gaps, and challenges identified.

The program started by an opening remarks by Mr. Jerome Ilagan, Division Chief of Policy Research and Development Division Climate Change Office, of the Climate Change Commission. Mr. Ilagan stressed the priorities on updating the NCCAP in consideration with Sea Level Rise and gas emission in the country and how the NCCAP must find its way to the Philippine Development Plan. Afterwards, Ms. Elaine Borejon provided brief introduction of the NSFCC and NCCAP. She highlighted the RA 9729 which mandates the CCC to formulate the NCCAP in accordance with NFSCC which is the roadmap to reach the goal of enhancing adaptive capacity of communities, increase resilience of natural ecosystem to climate change and optimize mitigation opportunities towards sustainable development. She also provided of summary of what happened from the previous Inception Report.

Later on a presentation on the overview of the results of the NCCAP 2012-2016 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&e). The M&E Team composed of CCC staff, agency counterparts, GIZ advisors, and research assistances, and independent evaluators conducted data gathering and analysis. Highlights of the key accomplishments and findings are as follows:

  1. An integrated national anchor program has not been established either for knowledge and capability development;
  2. Outputs and activities were identified but are pursued sectorally, rather than coherently through integrated structure programs
  3. Major decision support systems (DSS) were established, but they are as yet sectoral, not yet through an integrated nor interopable, and has yet to be centrally-managed
  4. Several vetting mechanisms, processes and criteria were developed and implemented to identify, prioritize, and pilot climate adaptation and mitigation actions under most of the themes.
  5. There was an attempt across themes to rationalize the development and prioritization of the adaptation measures on the ground considering local knowledge and experiences, but no information to categorically establish that locals and communities were actually involved in the identification and vetting or prioritization processes of climate measures.
  6. During the reporting period, a national climate changes awareness survey revealed that there is widespread awareness climate change and its anthropogenic causes and that recent climate-related events and patterns are the new normal. However, it is likewise revealed that there is generally a low awareness of the government’s programs, projects and activities related to addressing climate change.

The session of the workshop was delivered by Mr. Richard Smithers from GIZ who presented the adaptation-mitigation nexus analysis process.

Mr. Smithers first clarified definitions used, defining of Climate Sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability based on IPCC AR5 definition. He stated that “Adaptation requires prioritization in relation to vulnerability and exposure to climate change particularly extreme weather and climate events.” Noting that mitigation is pursued as a function of adaptation. Mr. Smithers also discussed the Adaptation Principles, which are the guiding principles of the NFSCC 2010-2022, used and such principles include:

  1. Adaptation measures shall be based on equity
  2. Climate change initiatives by one sector should not hinder the adaptation of other sector but rather must complement
  3. Build adaptive capacity of communities and increase the resilience of natural ecosystem

Next, Mr. Smithers outlines the proposed outputs of the project, which included

  1. Adaptation-mitigation nexus analysis
  2. Data from consultations
  3. High-level guidance on a systematic process for the NCCAP update

After the session of Mr. Smithers, the Inception Workshop began. The workshop started with the validation of the SOIs for the nexus analysis, where the participants worked on the outputs from the previous workshop and reviewed and refined the outputs by identifying links between the NCCAP focal theme’s high-level activities and Sustainable Development Goals, Philippine Development Plan and other themes. The next part of the workshop included identifying common SOIs that were associated with the previous step. Completing the nexus analysis was the identification of the benefits of all high-level activities associated with each SOI for adaptation and mitigation by reference of the rankings initially determined.



Mr. Smithers of GIZ discussing the definitions.


Mr. Smithers joins the participants (which includes UP RI's Ms. Joy Santiago) in the workshop. The participants include representatives from DOH, DEPED, DILG, DENR and other government agencies.

UP RI goes to Cebu landslide ground zero

Last Friday, September 21, 2018, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Mr. Jake Mendoza and Mr. Bojo Sta. Maria of the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) went to Naga City, Cebu to assist in search and rescue operations. The team collaborated with UP Cebu, Datos Project, Terai Alicaba and Enzo Campomanes, and used local knowledge, building footprints, Open Data Sat images, K9-Search and Rescue and detectors to locate the buried houses. The scientific information provided by the group contributed to the hastening of the search operations.

Below are images of recommendations and maps given by the UP RI to the Search and Rescue Operations:


Images of ground zero and the incident command post obtained by the team:



Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Mr. Bojo Sta. Maria and Mr. Jake Mendoza.


UP RI produces a map helpful for the rescue of landslide victims

Yesterday, a rain induced landslide hit Naga City, Cebu. So far, it has been reported that 21 people are dead with 74 missing. Because of this, Dr. Mahar Lagmay ordered some of the GIS experts of the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) to map the building footprints that were buried by the landslide. Led by Ms. Feye Andal, UP RI used Open Street Map to plot out the households that were buried.

The map produced can be downloaded in this link:

Also, in his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Dr. Mahar Lagmay shared the additional information related to the landslide.




UP RI forges Partnerships at the UP College of Science

“As the Sendai Framework says, the disaster prevention and mitigation efforts as well as climate adaptation efforts of the country must be a whole of society approach.” – Mahar Lagmay Executive Director of the UP Resilience Institute

Representatives from the Public Safety Colleges (PPSC);GrupoKalinangan, Inc. (GKI); ABS-CBN Corporation; Map the Philippines; Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija; Municipalities of Padre Garcia, TaysanBatangas attended the ceremonial MOA/MOU signing held last September 12, 2018 at the UP Diliman, College of Science. 

Entitled “Providing Lifesaving Solutions for the Filipino People.” the ceremonial signings have the goal of strengthening existing collaborations and forging new partnerships between the UP Resilience Institute and various sectors in the society. The ceremonial signing also involved UP Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa, MD and UP Vice President for Legal Affairs Atty. Hector Danny Uy to represent the University of the Philippines.

This is in line with the with the Whole of Community Approach stipulated in the Sendai Framework as quoted by Dr. Mahar LagmayExectutive Director of the UP Resilience Institute during his keynote speech. Further in the event, the representatives from various sectors further solidified their commitment to work hand in hand with the UP RI by each giving statements of commitment pertaining to working together in order to create a culture of climate change and disaster resilience in the country.

A quote from Atty. Hector Danny Uy perfectly encapsulates the essence of the event:

Mahirappoditolahatangginagawa... mahirap din pomagreview ng mgakontrata… perohayaanniyo pong susugankoanginyongkomitmentbilangpangwakasMakaligtaslangpotayo ng isangbuhaysulitnapoangumagangito.”  - Atty. Hector Danny UY, UP VP for Legal Affairs.



UP RI YouthMappers Chapter launched.

“We don’t just build maps, we build mappers.” This statement echoed the empowering vision of the UP Resilience Institute (RI) YouthMappers, during its launch event last August 18, 2018, held at the National Institute of Geology’s Audio Visual Room, in UP Diliman.

The UP RI Youth Mappers chapter is the second chapter in the Philippines and its launching event was organized by UP RI, Map the Philippines (MapPH) and by the three Youth Mappers student leaders, namely: Joy Gonzalez, Paolo Pamintuan and King Louie Labadan.

The event was filled with informative talks, with Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of UP RI, discussing the mapping efforts of UP RI and the importance of youth volunteering. Celina Agaton, founder of MapPH and frequent partner of UP RI, presented about the collaborative efforts of MapPH, UPRI and OpenStreetMap (OSM) in helping build resilience in the Philippines in order to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, Eugene Villar, president of OSM Philippines, talked about how OSM has been used in the Philippines, its mapping parties and how it helped with the humanitarian efforts during Yolanda.

One of the UP RI Youth Mappers student leader, Iris Joy Gonzales, also took time to discuss the upcoming plans of the YouthMappers chapter. Also, Dr. Mahar Lagmay will serve as the adviser of the UP RI Youth Mappers chapter.

UP-YouthMappers-10.jpgDr. Mahar Lagmay talking about the role of maps in disaster risk reduction.

UP-YouthMappers-19.jpgMs. Celina Agaton of Map the Philippines.

UP-YouthMappers-25.jpgEugene Villar, President of OSM Philippines.

UP-YouthMappers-24.jpgIris Joy Gonzales discussing future plans.



YouthMappers, an “international university consortium on Mapping for Resilience”, organizes a global community of people in the academe to create and use open geographic data that address local development challenges worldwide[1].  

Sources: [1]