BONTOC, Mountain Province -- As part of the International Forum on Innovations for Indigenous Peoples’ Empowerment and Social Transformation, UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) and the UP Resilience Institute's Assistant Professor Kristoffer Berse challenged the participants' thinking of common conceptions related to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Held last 4-7 2018 at Teng-ab Pastoral Complex in Bontoc, Mountain Province, the event was attended by over 200 local and international participants. As one of the keynote speakers, Professor Berse talked about Rethinking Disaster Resilience in Changing Climate.
Prof. Berse encouraged the participants to continue investing in building capacity, strengthen and scale up their good practices, and to continually innovate and build on their strengths. All of which reflects for his other point:
"DRR/CCA is a way of life. It is NOT a program or project by the government or any NGO. An effective DRR/CCA requires changes in “habits of the mind”-- how we consume, how we produce, how we trade, how we live, and even how we die."
He also pointed out that DRR/CCA is not enough so we all need to push for resilience, adding that we need to accept that we will fail at some point and so we need to be able to recover fast and build back better right after.
He ended his presentation, by sharing three things that would help in strengthening resilience. He called them "3Ps". They are:
1. Plan to fail. (we should never be afraid of failure, rather we should have a better foresight with the aid of the academia).
2. Plan to sell (meaning your plan should be able to garner public support).
3. Plan as one (emphasizing on the value of collaboration and openness).
"It is one thing to resist, absorb, accommodate, and minimize damage (i.e. reduce risk), but it is another to get back on one’s feet. That, my friends, is the essence of resilience, and that’s what we should be aiming for. As the Japanese would say, 'The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists,'" he finished.
The International Forum on Innovations for Indigenous Peoples’ Empowerment and Social Transformation was organized by the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Mountain Province and Yayasan Global Banjar Internasional (Bali, Indonesia).
Sendai, JAPAN -- UP Baguio Vice-Chancellor for Administration Dr. Jessica Cariño and UP Resilience Institute researchers Lia Anne Gonzalo and Francesca Llanes attended the 2nd APRU-IRIDeS Campus Safety Workshop last 3-4 April, 2018 at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) in Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
Addressing the theme “Workshop on Building Disaster Resistant Universities: Is your University ready for the next Natural Disaster?,” the participants immersed in series of lectures and field visit to three sites affected by the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
The workshop was attended by nine (9) participating institutions and universities within the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Representatives from Tohoku University, University of Indonesia, Technologico de Monterrey, Sichuan University, National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction in Taiwan, and The University of Sydney presented their respective universities’ disaster risk and reduction management programmes.
Dr. Jessica Cariño presented the case for UP Baguio, with the establishment of a Knowledge and Training Resource Center for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (KTRC). Lia Anne Gonzalo and Francesca Llanes presented the ongoing Resilient Campuses project of the UPRI, as well as sample hazard maps of some of the UP campuses.
The participants were divided into groups to discuss each of the following points:
- What worked and didn’t work on the response experiences of each university;
- Major issues and challenges in strengthening preparedness capacity; and
- The development of a minimum checklist for campus safety.
Plenary discussions followed the group presentations to come up with a synthesis of the ideas that were brought up and discussed. Deliberations on what to include in the minimum checklist for campus safety concluded with a preamble that answers what, when, where, when, why, and how this checklist will be done.
The main points discussed by each group were collated by APRU-IRIDeS and will be grouped according to the following 6 areas: Policy/governance, risk management, infrastructure readiness/preparedness, awareness training/education, physical/psychological aid, and lessons learnt. A preliminary checklist will then be sent to the participants for them to share and use for their respective institutions and universities.
The workshop will substantially help UPRI in strengthening strategies and policies in the implementation of UP Resilient Campuses Project.
"How can digital government contribute to 'Sustainable Development Goals' implementation?", was the question that the participants addressed in the Executive Development Course on Digital Government for Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies - the Singapore Experience last April 2-6, 2018.
Held at the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service office, the event covered a wide range of themes and topics related to planning and implementing digital government as an enabler for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the second day of the event, Edmond John Pangilinan, one of the scientists of UP Resilience Institute, was given the privilege to talk about "Natural Hazards in the Philippines: Processes, Events, Mitigation, and Polices in relation to the Disaster Mitigation through ICT session.
In his talk, Mr. Pangilinan talked about the value of using the right science when it comes to disaster risk reduction and mitigation. He shared that if we plan our communities well using the right science and if we get the people to embrace science, then we can reduce disaster risk. He also emphasized the importance of open data and of using probabilistic hazard maps.
"Probabilistic is just a word, but it means life and death, it means everything for Philippine Development."
The Singapore Executive Development Course is co-organized by UNDESA/DPADM/UNPOG, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) of Singapore, and UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE).
The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, as part of the Technical Working Group of the Blue Carbon Initiative in the Philippines, attended the 3-day workshop conducted by the Climate Change Commission, which aims to convene the members of the steering committee (SC) and technical working group (TWG) to develop the national blue carbon initiative road map.
Ms. Agnes Balota, Senior Advisor of GIZ, giving an introduction about the workshop
According to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Blue Carbon is the carbon captured by the ocean and coastal ecosystem. Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and sea grasses sequester carbon, most of which are stored below ground, at a much faster rates that forests (NOAA, 2017). The coastal blue carbon ecosystems are natural mitigation tools for climate change with the ability to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. In addition to its mitigation potential, the blue carbon ecosystems also provide multiple adaptation services such as protection from storm surges and sea level rise, prevention of erosion along shorelines, regulation of coastal water quality and food security, among others (Climate Change Commission, 2018).
The Blue Carbon Initiative Roadmap shall serve as a guide in developing climate change resilient coastal communities through the protection and conservation of coastal blue carbon ecosystems. The roadmap has five stages namely: preparation, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and policy formulation.
Roadmap to a strategic coastal ecosystem sustainability through blue carbon research and development in the Philippines
Specifically, the workshop aimed to:
- Develop a comprehensive Blue Carbon Roadmap detailing the plans, programs, policies and other activities for the National Blue Carbon Initiative;
- Create a work plan of the activities on Blue Carbon for 2018 onwards; and
- Identify the core members and other members of the TWG and assign focal and alternate for each institution.
The 3-day workshop is composed of 12 sessions including an introduction to the blue carbon initiative, presentation of existing projects related to blue carbon ecosystems in the Philippines, five stages of the road map, pre-finalization of the roadmap, steering committee and technical working group operationalization, and other concerns.
In addition, the participants also discussed key problems and impacts in the development of framewok/lens, institutional arrangement, national-local interface, awareness and capacities, tools and methodologies, and relationship of policy and science in relation to Blue Carbon Ecosystem.
Group discussion in the problem-tree analysis of institutional arrangement in relation to Blue Carbon Ecosystem. (Photo from https://www.facebook.com/PHBlueCarbonInitiative/)
CCC Commissioner Noel Gaerlan answering inquiries from the participants during the Open Forum
Participants of the creation of the national blue carbon initiative roadmap workshop
(Photo from https://www.facebook.com/PHBlueCarbonInitiative/)
NOAA. What is Blue Carbon, National Ocean Service Website, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/bluecarbon.html, 10/10/17.
Climate Change Commission. Background Information on Workshop on the Creation of the National Blue Carbon Initiative Roadmap. 19-21 March 2018. Quezon City.
Earlier this week, representatives from the local government units of Munoz, Nueva Ecija; Taysan and Padre Garcia, Batangas; and LCCAD of Bicol, attended a workshop conducted by the UP Resilience Institute. The workshop took place from 13-15 March 2018 and it focused on familiarizing the participants with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The participants with Dr. Mahar Lagmay and UPRI lecturers and facilitators.
Recognizing that geographic information and analysis can significantly help the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the conduct of climate vulnerability and disaster risk assessment, and even comprehensive land use and development plans; UPRI conducted the lectures and hands-on workshops in order to assist the members of the LGUs in the development of their knowledge and skills in GIS.
More specifically the aworkshop aimed to equip the participants to be able to:
- Understand the basic concepts, principles, and applications of GIS
- Identify different types of spatial data and thematic maps
- Develop basic skills in using GIS tools and software
- Develop skills in primary data gathering, use of GPS, and basic data management; and
- Extract exposure data from existing land use maps
The 18 participants learned about different concepts of GIS with the help of UPRI researchers and scientists.
Jullienne Espina on the difference between traditional maps and modern maps on her lecture: GIS Preparation and Mapping.
Chisa Ching giving her lecture on Map Projections.
Clara Alburo giving a lecture on types of Spatial Data.
Feye Andal giving an illustration about OpenStreetMap as seen in Waze.
Marga Mahor sharing the objectives of her lecture: Introduction to GIS.
Arge talking about the legal basis of CDRA.
The participants were also immersed in some hands-on workshop activities prepared by the lecturers and aided by facilitators from UP NOAH. The hands-on workshop included: map lay-outing, data capture using GPS, digitizing of land use maps, operating softwares (OpenStreetMap, ArcMap, Google Earth), among others.
UPRI and NOAH Center Executive Director Dr. Mahar Lagmay also expressed his gratitude to the participants and reminded them the bigger goal of the workshop: the dream of seeing a more resilient Philippines through the empowerment of local communities.
This vision is in line with the goal of the UP Resilience Institute, under the UP Office of the President, as stated in the 2018 GAA Special Provision, to "empower LGUs with science-based information and technologies for development planning, such as Climate Vulnerability and Disaster Risk Assessment (CVDRA) and multi-scenario, probabilistic hazard maps."
Scientists and researchers of the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI) under the UP Office of the President, together with the campus engineers, administrative officials, and building administrators of University of the Philippines Baguio, worked hand in hand in finishing the field surveys for the campus last 28-29 February.
The Resilient Campuses Project of UPRI aims to help create a comprehensive disaster management contingency plan to address UP campuses’ vulnerability to natural hazards. This project intends to take off from previous and existing plans and improve them by using the latest technology and the best methodologies; thus enacting the all-inclusive data gathering of UPRI researchers and scientists one campus at a time.
The team, guided by Campus Engineer Mar Gonzales and the staff of UPB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, had split into two groups – for mapping building footprints, and for hazards assessment around the campus.
For mapping the building footprints of every infrastructure built in UP Baguio, the team members interviewed the building administrators about the materials used in each building, their efforts in long term maintenance planning, and their implementation of maintenance works, among others. Meanwhile, the hazards assessment team went around the campus for soil samples and field validations.
The team also met with UPB Chancellor Dr. Raymundo D. Rovillos who expressed his gratitude for the organization’s efforts.
The UP Resilience Campuses project aims 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.