Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management News

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

Filipino Scientists Featured in the 2nd Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition

UP Diliman, Quezon City -- The 2nd Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition award ceremony took place at Aldaba Hall of the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus last December 5. The competition organized by the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) “focuses on the promoting of communication of scientific concepts through film platform.” This year, DOST-SEI collaborated with UP College of Mass Communication to emphasize the “value of the audio-visual medium in science education” with the theme "A Portrait of the Filipino as a Scientist."

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Photo courtesy of Newsbytes Philippines.

Two projects won the Best Film award for the Youth and Science & Technology Professional category. Philippine Science High School - Central Luzon students won the Youth category for their film on Nicholas Czar Antonio with the title “Ilusyon” while "Paglabud" (When the Waves Swell) of ThinkConnect.PH won the S&T Professional category for their work focused on Dr. Margie Dela Cruz.

A documentary featuring UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center Director and UP Resilience Institute Executive Director Mahar Lagmay as a Filipino scientist won the Viewers’ Choice Special Award. Videos for the category were chosen by viewers after they were streamed online from November 27 to December 1.

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Photo from DOST-SEI Facebook post.

Members of the UP Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students, Incorporated (UP ALCHEMES, Inc.), a duly registered youth serving organization recognized by the National Youth Commission, filmed the feature documentary conveying the theme “A Portrait of a Filipino Scientist.”

The students invited Dr. Lagmay as a featured scientist, with their recognition of the impacts of Project NOAH not just in the disaster risk reduction and management but in the whole scientific community of our country. Their documentary film explored Dr. Lagmay's career in disaster research which led to his leadership of the UP NOAH Center.

“The program NOAH was designed to gather all of the funded research development projects of the government and put them together. Those that were related to disaster risk reduction, [were put] into operation so that there will be a direct impact of the research to the people that are in need," Dr. Lagmay said.

UP NOAH at the DOST ASTI’s 30th Anniversary Events

Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Quezon City — Last December 1 to 8, 2017, in celebration of their 30th anniversary, the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) held multiple conferences, stakeholders’ forums and a recognition ceremony with the theme TREINTA: Tatlong Dekadang Masulong na Pananaliksik sa Agham at Teknolohiya. Through the Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network (PREGINET) and the Computing and Archiving Research Environment (CoARE), DOST-ASTI has been a partner of UP NOAH since the latter’s conception in 2012. UP NOAH participated in three events: the Philippine Launch of [email protected] Network, the 3rd CoARE Stakeholders’ Meeting and Policy Forum, and the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center Stakeholders’ Meeting.

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Jay Samuel Combinido of DOST ASTI describing UP NOAH as one of the main users of the CoARE Science Cloud.

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As UP NOAH is linked to PREGINET via UP Diliman, it is also linked to [email protected]ect, the successor of the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) project. This enables researchers of UP NOAH to connect to researchers and access data sets around the world through a high speed and high quality network. Notable applications include the download of massive remote sensing data and live streaming of conferences and events.

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[email protected] provides a dedicated regional high capacity and high quality network for research and education communities across Asia-Pacific and Europe. As UP Diliman is a partner of the Philippine Research , Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET) of DOST ASTI, UP NOAH is connected to different Research and Education Networks around the globe that allows for collaboration and linkages between international institutions through the Trans Eurasia Information Network (TEIN).

The supervisor of UP NOAH’s WebGIS and Development team, BA Racoma, was also invited to speak about his experiences with CoARE’s Science Cloud in the December 8 forum. Most of UP NOAH’s online assets are hosted in the Science Cloud where our developers conduct processes ranging from automated downloading and processing data, staging of web applications, to the publishing of maps and data to the NOAH website. Products of UP NOAH are also downloadable both via the Science Cloud (http://noah.up.edu.ph/downloads) and the Data Catalogue (http://asti.dost.gov.ph/coare/data/datasets/).

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UP NOAH Developer and Researcher, BA Racoma speaking at the CoARE Event on December 8, 2017.

The Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center's Stakeholder Meeting was another event in the series. There, the project's capabilities were showcased to promote future inter-agency cooperation efforts. These include Rice Monitoring, Forest, Cover Mapping, Change Detection and other technical discussions from remote sensing experts. There were also updates on the Diwata-2 satellite and its numerous applications.

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Showcase of the PEDRO Center project, including a replica of the Diwata-2 satellite.

As the core component of the UP Resilience Institute, the UP NOAH Center is thankful for the continued partnership with DOST-ASTI in its efforts to undertake DRR and CCA research to improve the Philippines' resilience.

“Delubyo” as a Filipino Keyword in UP Diliman’s Linggo ng Wika 2017

August 24, 2017 — Experts from two different disciplines shared their knowledge about the words “indie” and “delubyo” in the seminar titled “Mga Susing Salita: Pambansang Seminar sa Pagbuo ng Diskurso sa Konseptong Pilipino” organized by the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino (SWF), headed by its Director, Dr. Rommel B. Rodriguez.

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Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino, professor and former Dean of the College of Mass Communication; and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the UP Resilience Institute and Director of the UP NOAH Center, were the speakers in the said event.

For his part, Dr. Lagmay underscored the importance of “wika” in helping Filipino communities embrace available lifesaving information towards a more resilient nation.

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Dr. Lagmay talked about the use of the keyword “delubyo” in efficiently and effectively preventing disasters. According to him, the keyword should be addressed by warning and response. Warning is the responsibility of the government and it needs to be timely, accurate, understandable, and reliable. On the other hand, response means that communities need to do their part to act correspondingly and accordingly upon the warning that the government provides.

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Grab UPDate Diliman’s September – October 2017 issue and turn to pages 10 and 11 to read more about this article. UPDate Diliman is the community newspaper of UP Diliman and is published by the UP Diliman Information Office, the public information and communications arm of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Volunteers for OSM Mapping Party help in Building Resilient UP Campuses

Makati City — Map the PhilippinesGrab, and OpenStreetMap (OSM) Philippines co-organized a mapping party in celebration of the OSM’s Geography Awareness Week at Grab PH’s headquarters in Makati last Saturday, November 25. It was attended by volunteers, students, government employees, non-government organization (NGO) workers, and some of the Grab personnel who significantly helped map the building footprints UP Campuses.

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Taking from the event’s description, students, map lovers, families and communities host events around the world to celebrate the importance of geography every November. The mapping party helped contribute to the mapping efforts of OpenStreetMap, the free and openly editable map of the world.

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Feye Andal, a UP NOAH researcher, gave an overview of UP NOAH and the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) to the participants. She also introduced the UP mapping tasks that were used in the mapathon. Mapping UP campuses is a current capacity building activity of UP Resilience Institute as a part of its effort to help build resilient communities in the country..

CURRENTLY RUNNING MAPPING TASKS:

The UP RI, with the UP NOAH Center as a core component, would like to thank Map the Philippines, Grab, and OpenStreetMap for organizing this activity.

UP NOAH and OpenStreetMap (OSM) for building Resilient UP Campuses

The UP Resilient Campuses Project by the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI), having the UP NOAH Center as a core component, aims to create disaster management contingency plans to address the UP campuses’ vulnerability to natural hazards. It intends to take off from previous and existing plans and improve them by using the latest technology and the best methodologies to develop better strategies specific to the higher education units of the University of the Philippines campuses. This new and improved plan will cover the entire scope disaster risk management, from the identification of the risks all the way to recovering from disasters. It also aims to develop strategies to become resilient against the adverse impacts of geological and climate related natural hazards. An important activity in this endeavor is the utilization of crowdsourced and collaborative mapping through the benefits of using OpenStreetMap data.

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UP NOAH has long embraced public participation and open data to improve emergency response and disaster mitigation throughout the country. Through this crowdsourced method of generating geospatial data through the internet, we are a step closer to solving spatial problems with the help of satellite applications and mapping technology. This low cost innovation creates fast dissemination of specific geo-information onto the OSM base map. The collection of data is directed towards a smaller dedicated audience who are “on the ground” and are readily available to support rapid humanitarian mapping services.

Also, UP NOAH, OSM, and the UP community will be able to harness the geographical contributions of the volunteers through the WebSAFE tool of the NOAH website. End-users, especially the officials of local government units and members of civic groups, can better rely on the information translated to the website tools.  This data from thematic OSM mapping can be a solution to the heavily involved damage assessment and analysis activities before, during, and after large-scale emergencies.

Map Your Campus and Community with UP NOAH!

With your help, we will be able to create a community that may represent a breeding ground for diffusion of crowd-based mapping knowledge. This in turn will open opportunities in solving spatial planning, not only to the network of scientists and geographers but even to the public at large.

To help you get started, here is a YouTube video on how to use OpenStreetMap in 10-easy steps!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2bUg_Q9nWw

As a way to complement the expanding and existing content of the crowdsourced, free, and open-source mapping technology of OSM, UP NOAH conducts and joins mapping initiatives. This is in partnership with different organizations, institutions, agencies, and even student organizations who all share the same goals and objectives of having a disaster-resilient Philippines.

To those who already have their OSM accounts, you can contribute by using the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) Tasking Manager, an online task manager for a collaborative and seamless mapping manager for OSM contributors.

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CURRENTLY RUNNING MAPPING TASKS:

For more information, you can also access the OSM Learning Guide or e-mail the OpenStreetMap Philippines community at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the UP NOAH Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCC and UP NOAH Center introduces the Geospatial National Analytics Platform (GANaP) for Climate Vulnerability and Disaster Risk Assessment

The Climate Change Commission celebrated the Climate Change Consciousness Week last November 20-24 and highlighted the efforts in putting forward solutions for tackling the challenges of climate change shared by the key stakeholders of the country including, but not limited to, the government, the private sector, and the academe. The activities sought to promote and gather support in taking actions to build resilience in pursuit of sustainable development goals.

One of the main activities was the “Local Climate Change Action Planning: Approaches and Good Practices”, a forum which underlined the significance of community engagement to innovative climate actions and for climate change resilience building. The forum was attended by the Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Phase 1 (Project ReBUILD).

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CCC ReBUILD’s Capacity Building Team and Project Management Unit at the ReBUILD booth during the Local Climate Change Action Planning: Approaches and Good Practices Forum

Project ReBUILD is currently being implemented by the Climate Change Commission – Climate Change Office (CCC-CCO), in collaboration with the University of the Philippines (UP) through the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding assistance from the Government of New Zealand/New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP). The project aims to improve competencies of local key actors to address disaster risks from natural hazards and impacts of climate change by using science-based vulnerability and risk assessment in the formulation and implementation of measures. One of the outputs of the project is the Geospatial Analytics National Platform which serves as a repository for the exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability and risk level data of the its pilot Local Government Units (LGUs) namely Tuguegarao City and Municipality of Iguig in Cagayan Province and Passi City and Municipalities of Zarraga and Dumangas in Iloilo Province.

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Exposure unit map of the Municipality of Zarraga, Iloilo displayed at the UP NOAH Center website under the ReBUILD feature.

GANaP is an online service where geospatial data such as maps and locations are overlain or displayed on different user preferred base maps. It enables users who do not have access to traditional GIS software to view the said geospatial data.  For the purpose of the project, the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center website was used as the repository and platform for the abovementioned functionalities. In this way, the LGUs will be able to take advantage of the UP NOAH Center website’s feature while utilizing the vulnerability and risk assessment features that will be produced through Project ReBUILD. Hence, the simulated climate change-adjusted hazard maps will also be displayed on the UP NOAH Center website. For vulnerability and risk assessment (VRA), the GANaP will feature a worksheet where the LGUs can input and display the data needed to complete the exposure database that will be used for conducting VRA. Through this platform, LGUs can input, edit, and save their work. Upon saving, the LGUs will be able to visualize the output of the VRA through vulnerability and risk matrices. The LGU can download the matrices which can be used as input in their Comprehensive Land Use Plans and Local Climate Change Action Plans.

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Vulnerability and disaster risk assessment online platform of Project ReBUILD

In line with these, the LGUs’ representatives will have log-in credentials which will allow them to generate the matrices. In preparation for developing the platform to Decision Support System for LGUs and other stakeholders, the backend of the platform will be arranged in such a way that it can accommodate the conversion of the vulnerability and risk matrices to vulnerability and risk level maps at the city/municipal level.

Written by: By Joy Santiago