‘DRR research for whom?’; conference participants urged to reach out to communities, go beyond academic sphere

Speakers and guests of the recently concluded 2nd National Conference of the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI) and the Philippine Academic Society for Climate and Disaster Resilience (PASCDR) emphasized the importance of undertaking research and the need for them to be anchored on resilience-building in communities. With the theme, “From Discourses to Actions: Mobilizing the Academe for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation” the conference was held at the Atencio-Libunao Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City on October 25 to 27, 2023.

 

The participants of the 2nd National Conference of PASCDR and the UPRI

Following the first conference in November 2019 and after the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference sought to gather DRR practitioners from all over the country to discuss the current national context and scenarios of climate change and disasters and to build collaborations that will pave the way for the transformation of discourses into concrete and achievable actions. For Commission on Higher Education Chairperson J. Prospero De Vera III, participating in the conference entails staying true to a shared commitment to help communities.

Commission on Higher Education Chairperson J. Prospero De Vera III gave an inspirational message to the participants.

“As we play the pivotal role in addressing our issues on disaster management and climate change, the responsibilities of academic institutions, whether they are dealing with research, teaching or public service, are fundamental to ensuring that our academic institutions participate as part of the bayanihan spirit. This is not just academic exercise, but these are crucial actions on the ground,” De Vera said.

 

There were a total of 22 parallel sessions held throughout the three-day conference at the Atencio-Libunao Hall and the National Engineering Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Nearly 300 disaster risk reduction (DRR) practitioners from various academic institutions, non-government organizations, and local government units (LGUs) across the country attended the said conference. Meanwhile, a total of 87 research studies from 10 different regions across the county, the UK and Germany were submitted for presentation. These studies tackled different themes concerning hazards, vulnerabilities, climate and disaster risks, innovations, advances and creative works for climate and disaster resilience. Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna, President of PASCDR, noted this milestone as a display of resilience as these studies were undertaken despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Dr. Emmanuel Luna, President of PASCDR, delivered an introduction to PASCDR and the different themes of the research papers to be presented.

Sec. Robert E. A. Borje, Executive Director of the Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) also graced the event and addressed the participants. He enjoined the participants to strengthen partnerships and to make sure to engage everyone every step of the way. “Actions without sound scientific basis will not help the country. For these innovations to happen, there must be a link to the community and there must be a government agency,” he said.

Sec. Robert E.A. Borje, Executive Director of the Philippine Climate Change Commission, delivered his keynote address. The Secretary also highlighted the need for Greenhouse Gas Inventory to support science-based mitigation policy and action development, planning, implementation, and monitoring.

Representatives from the Office of Civil Defense, the Department of Health, and various LGUs and premier academic institutions also gave their plenary talks. Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, UP President Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez, UP Diliman Chancellor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan were also among the distinguished plenary speakers of the conference.

 

“The academe has always taken the lead in forging new paths of innovation, research and education. But more than that, our undertakings have always been done in the service of the people,” said UP President Angelo Jimenez in his speech. “In the midst of this climate crisis, with the intensifying hazards and resulting disasters, it is time that we come together to take our work beyond discourse to step out and take action.”

Atty. Angelo Jimenez, UP President, gave an inspirational message to the participants.

In concluding the conference, Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay, Executive Director of the UPRI and PASCDR’s board adviser, urged the participants to continue their research undertakings as DRR efforts need to be backed by evidence. He also enjoined the participants to persevere in their commitment to excellence, contributing to the collective goal of building a stronger and more resilient Philippines.

Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay, executive director of the UP Resilience Institute and PASCDR’s board adviser, closed the program by emphasizing the need to continue research as DRR efforts need to be backed by evidence.

 

 

Posted by UP Resilience Institute Education on November 30, 2023