The Climate Change Commission, in partnership with Rare Philippines, conducted a National Technical Exchange Conference on Coastal, Marine and Oceans last October 22, 2019. The goal of the conference was to gather experts on different fields related to climate change, as well as coastal and marine ecosystem. The conference was also meant to be a venue to present existing scientific tools, methodologies and works that assess coastal and marine impacts as well as to determine gaps, and based on this, develop research and development programs to support the establishment of a climate risk profile. Also, part of the objectives of the event was to integrate all the tools presented to come up with a unified platform for developing a coastal and marine climate profile.
Dr. Mahar Lagmay and Dr. Genaro Cuaresma of the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) were among the experts who participated in the event. In his presentation, Dr. Lagmay talked about the Geophysical National Analytics Platform (GANAP) called the REBUILD and the Growing Indigenous Trees in your Area (GINA) app. REBUILD is an online analytics platform and data repository for the Local Climate Change Action Plan and other development plans. According to Dr. Lagmay, the GANAP technology is ready to be used by local government units (LGU). Data stored in REBUILD is open to the public but only LGUs can input and edit their respective information.
The GINA App, on the other hand, is a tree planting mobile application currently being developed by the UP RI. The app connects people who want to plant indigenous trees with organizations/institutions that cultivate and offer such seedlings. Coastal trees like bungalon mangroves are among the tree species available in the GINA App. These trees are necessary to fight climate change in coastal areas. Dr. Lagmay emphasized that the trees are the most efficient and effective “machines” to harness carbon emissions.
Dr. Cuaresma acted as moderator for the Open Forum and Synthesis during the event. In his synthesis, he spoke about the need to tap all sectors, specially, the academe in all efforts for the climate change adaptation and conservation of coasts and oceans. He also emphasized the need to have a repository of data that can be accessed by all stakeholders. If data is available for everyone, especially scientists, better outputs can be generated. This outputs can then be used as basis for making informed decisions.
Dr. Rhodora Azanza, President of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), was affirmative about these necessities and even offered the assistance of NAST researchers.
In the end, the participants agreed that everyone should act and that a committee must be formed to battle the implications of climate change projections as well as to preserve the coasts and oceans.