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 and APRU-Multi-Hazards Program's Core Group Meeting and 6th Summer School

Last July 28, 2018, Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna - a UP Resilient Institute (UP RI) fellow and College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) faculty, represented the UP RI in the Core Group Meeting of the Multi Hazards Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities -International Research Institute for Disaster Science (APRU-IRIDeS). The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is “a network of 45 leading research universities from 16 economies around the Pacific Rim with 140,000 faculty members and 2 million students.”

According to, the official website of the association, the founding presidents of the institution envisioned to “establish a premier alliance of research universities as an advisory body to international organizations, governments and business on the development of science and innovation as well as on the broader development of higher education.” APRU-MH, one of the Programs of APRU, aims to “build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships.” It works to harness the collective capabilities of APRU member universities for research, strategy sharing and for contributing to international policy making processes.

During the core group meeting, Prof. Osamu Murao, of Tohoku University was introduced as the new chairperson for the Multi-Hazards Core Group, while Dr. Takako Izumi of Tohoku University’s IRIDeS, Prof. John Rundle from the University of California, and Prof. Christina Schonleber gave a review of MH Program’s current and planned activities.

37930272_10217701172348062_3210717649826742272_n.jpg37938217_10217701171988053_6517144746014539776_n.jpgAPRU-MH Core Group Meeting.

Prior to attending the Core Group Meeting, Dr. Luna also participated in APRU-MH’s 6th Summer School last July 24-27, 2018. The workshop-training whose theme was: “Applying science, technology and innovation in disaster risk reduction”, was held at Tohoku University, Japan. It hosted 28 participants from 9 countries, namely Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore and Turkey. The workshop-training included a presentation of disaster risk reduction (DRR) researches and initiatives by APRU member universities, a discussion on the lessons-learnt from the Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami, a field trip to the affected site of the earthquake and tsunami and a discussion on the international framework for DRR.

38072251_10217701168587968_6432087741965533184_n.jpgParticipants of the 6th APRU Multi-Hazard Summer School.

37837617_10217687012154066_886096068637360128_n.jpg37904691_10217687021994312_8098177999297314816_n.jpgStory of two schools: one that is 4 kilometers away from the sea but near the river and hills had 76 pupils and 10 teachers died in the 2011 tsunami. On the other hand, a four storey school close to the sea but isolated by the tsunami flood had just one casualty. The difference: the children would have been saved if the teachers and students evacuated to the hills and did not stay in the flat ground of the first school; in the second school, there was an agressive command to evacuate to the fourth floor instead of staying in more spacious gymnasium that was eventually destroyed by tsunami. Lesson: know your risk in wherever you are and act appropriately when hazards occur.

UP RI Contributes to Short Course for Mass Casualty Identification

The Filipino people are very much familiar with natural disasters that result to massive damages. As residents of a country prone to natural calamities, seeing casualties of disasters has become part of our collective experiences as a people.

With the aim or addressing these challenges, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, of the UP Resilience Institute, under the Office of the UP President, conducted a lecture about “Mass Casualty Incident Resulting from Natural Disasters” and “Community Preparedness for Mass Casualty Incident” in a training-workshop sponsored by University of the Philippines Manila’s College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with the College of Medicine and College of Dentistry.




The training-workshop entitled: “Short course on Forensics for Mass Casualty Identification and Intervention.”, which was participated by representatives from LGUs, NGOs, POs, Teachers and Law Enforcers and held last July 25-27, 2018, was convened in order to educate the participants on the role and importance of forensics in mass casualty incidents.




Photos by: Ms. Marilen P. Balolong








University of the Philippines participates in Metro Manila Shake drill 2018

On July 19, 2018, 1:00 pm, despite intermittent rain, the University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila Campuses participated in the fourth Metro Manila shake drill led by the Metro Manila Development Authority. The Shake Drill, according to the MMDA, is aimed to sustain and to improve the public’s awareness and consciousness in case a 7.2-magnitude earthquake happens.

As part of the drill, a communication exercise was done between UP Diliman and UP Manila – the two Metro Manila based UP campuses. Representatives from each campuses reported their status to Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Ph.D. of the UP Resilience Institute.

Upon conducting the earthquake drill, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla reported to Dr. Lagmay that the Manila Campus had no collapsed structures and that all managed do duck and assemble in the open grounds. Patients in the Philippine General Hospital – part of the UPM campus, however, were instructed to stay put.

Meanwhile, UP Chief of Security John Barona reported that twenty four units in UP Diliman participated in the MMShake Drill.

The following are pictures of some UP units participating in the drill:



College of Mass Communication in UP Diliman


Employees of UP Diliman's Quezon Hall evacuate near the Oblation.


UP Resilience Institute staff


UP Manila's College of Arts and Sciences


UP RI participates in celebration of Philippine Rise anniversary

In the first year anniversary of the renaming of the Philippine Rise from Benham rise, military, government officials, and different research agencies, together with the President of the Philippines, went to the Philippine Rise in order to send off the marine science research vessel BRP Gregorio Velasquez, and deploy buoys that will serve as additional markers for the underwater plateau.

UP Resilience Institute was given the privilege to participate and send representatives to this significant event.

Capt. Juancho Maraño (5th from the left) and the Philippine Coast Guard representatives with the UP Resilience Institute representatives.
(Standing from left to right) PCAARRD Representative Dr. Melvin B. Carlos, UP MSI Professor Dr. Gil S. Jacinto, and UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez Jr with the UP Resilient Institute representatives

The event, which was from May 15 -17, served as a commemoration of the first year that it was renamed to Philippine Rise from Benham Rise. In the said event, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that "We are not giving our rights..." As such, for the representatives of UP RI, the event showed to them, not only the government's commitment to the sovereignty of its territory, but also witness the launching of further marine science research in the area.

UP Resilience Institute, along with some of the leading scientists from UP, participated in commemorating the first year anniversary of Executive Order No. 25 or remaining the "Benham Rise" to "Philippine Rise" held in Casiguran Bay, Aurora.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte giving his opening message during the all-Filipino Maritime Expedition and Oceanic Buoy Casting at the Philippine Rise.

UP RI attends Philippines Country Consultation on the UN Resilience Framework

The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute attended the Philippine Country Consultation on the United Nations Resilience Framework last 18 May 2018 at the Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Mandaluyong City. The consultation workshop is a part of the development of a comprehensive global UN framework on resilience that aims to cover a broader spectrum of resilience dimensions in support to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The workshop was composed of plenary and group activity, and the plenary discussion was centered on understanding the resilience building in the Philippines.


The activities particularly focused on key building blocks of resilience and how it should be built, as well as coordination, partnership, and financing resilience. It aimed to gather practical feedback and inputs on the Philippine’s experience on resilience building.

The participants shared their views and experiences guided by the following questions:

  1. Why resilience matters?
  2. What are the key building blocks of resilience?
  3. How to build resilience together?
  4. How to coordinate, partner and finance for building resilience together?
  5. How to learn and adapt together?

The discussion called for the consideration of the existing local and international frameworks, laws, and guidelines in the development of the resilience framework, such as the Sendai Framework of Actions and the goals and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals. It was also highlighted that building resilience should not only focus on natural hazards but should also count human-induced conflicts.


It was also recognized that there is a need for a platform that would integrate all efforts on resilience which will ensure complementarity of functions of various stakeholders to avoid redundancy and duplication of capacity-building efforts. The platform should also bring out the best of each stakeholder involved that will further guarantee the framework’s success and sustainability.


The plenary discussion was followed by group discussion where the participants were divided into six (6) groups. This allowed each participant to share their thoughts on working together for building resilience. Each group were asked to answer one question related to resilience. After the discussion, the group moved to the next question and continued to build up the answer of the previous team. Group discussion questions were as follows:

  1. What are the key building blocks for resilience building in the Philippines?
  2. Whose resilience of the most vulnerable and those furthest behind be addressed.
  3. What are the main challenges and opportunities for UN to operationalize resilience in the Philippines?
  4. How to forge partnerships for resilience building in the Philippines? Provide examples and lessons learned as appropriate.
  5. On financing for resilience, please share specific challenges/opportunities you have encountered, and lessons learned.
  6. What approaches can you share on how to measure the results and impacts of resilience building efforts?


At the last part of the workshop, the participants shared their expectations from the UN Resilience Framework. One of the participants noted that resilience is part of development and that achieving development goals will significantly lead towards resilience. The discussion also emphasized the need to define the boundaries of resilience in the framework to ensure smoother implementation that is not only limited to, but also is related to the guidelines.


UPRI joins 3rd Core TWG for the Philippine Blue Carbon Initiative

The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UP RI) together with other scientists around the country, recently conducted its 3rdBlue Carbon Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting last 31 May 2018 at the GIZ Conference Room, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, Quezon City. Headed by the Climate Change Commission, the three-hour meeting revolved on the emerging issues and challenges that the Philippine Blue Carbon Initiative would face in the future.

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Specifically, the technical group meeting focused on the following points:

  1. Review of the comments on the blue carbon workshop output;
  2. Preparations for the next activities of the Blue Carbon Technical Working Group; and
  3. Preparation for the finalization of the National Blue Carbon Initiative Roadmap.

Led by Climate Change Commission representative Mr. Alex Lapiz, the meeting started with the improvement of the roadmap based from the comments of the technical working group. According to Lapiz, there is a need to repackage and create a detailed framework capturing the basic activities on the previously created roadmap. A representative from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also suggested that there is a need to create an outline first that translates to the concept of the established roadmap. Setting realistic and long-term goals were also discussed, including the determination of pilot sites for the project.

Accordingly, the reformulation of the Blue Carbon Initiative roadmap should complement with the Coral Triangle Initiative which promotes the Blue Carbon Agenda. The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is a multilateral agenda which comprise of six countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and the Philippines, which focuses on sustaining the marine and coastal environment through addressing critical issues with regards to climate change, marine diversity, and food security (CTI-CFF, 2018).


The technical working group also talked about the creation of framework of action with regards to the institutionalization of the Philippine Blue Carbon Initiative in the Philippines. Thus, there is a need to establish a body that can identify a system of protection in contribution to the local economy. Since the main problem is resources, the technical working group also considered the possible partnership with private sectors that have the same goal as the National Blue Carbon Initiative.

Other matters with regards to the 3rd core technical group meeting include the preparation for the next Philippine Blue Carbon Workshop, and establishment of future strategies and policies for the future work.