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:
- Why resilience matters?
- What are the key building blocks of resilience?
- How to build resilience together?
- How to coordinate, partner and finance for building resilience together?
- 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:
- What are the key building blocks for resilience building in the Philippines?
- Whose resilience of the most vulnerable and those furthest behind be addressed.
- What are the main challenges and opportunities for UN to operationalize resilience in the Philippines?
- How to forge partnerships for resilience building in the Philippines? Provide examples and lessons learned as appropriate.
- On financing for resilience, please share specific challenges/opportunities you have encountered, and lessons learned.
- 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.
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.
Specifically, the technical group meeting focused on the following points:
- Review of the comments on the blue carbon workshop output;
- Preparations for the next activities of the Blue Carbon Technical Working Group; and
- 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.
Tuguegarao City – A final workshop was held last May 3, 2018 at the Cagayan State University (CSU) to conclude the Phase 1 of Project ReBUILD. The event was a joint undertaking by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), University of the Philippines’ Resilience Institute (UPRI), and Cagayan Valley Climate Change Consortium (CVCCC), which is composed of regional government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) within Region 2: Cagayan Valley.
Project ReBUILD’s goal was to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of the country’s most disaster-prone regions in order to improve the existing governance frameworks, and ensure that local communities and governments are aware of the relevant risks and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed appropriately.
Given the Cagayan Valley’s frequent exposure to natural hazards, it easily became a candidate for inclusion in the project. The ReBUILD team had partnered with the Municipality of Iguig and the City of Tuguegarao for technical capacity building, climate change vulnerability and disaster risk assessment (CCVA/DRA), and even for the mainstreaming of climate and disaster risk management in local land use and development planning. Results of the aforementioned gathering and consultations were displayed during the event-- including climate change and disaster risk profiles and climate-adjusted hazard maps. A demonstration of the web-based CCVA and DRA tool dubbed as ‘GANaP’ (Geospatial Analytics National Platform) was also performed.
In addition to the exhibit, a short presentation was made by the CCC and UPRI, where the importance of science-based risk and vulnerability assessments and climate change and disaster risk management was once again conveyed to the participants.
The affair ended with members of the CVCCC formally affirming their commitment and willingness to work towards a resilient and climate-smart Cagayan Valley through a signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that seeks to strengthen partnerships and boost sharing and exchange of resources for climate change and disaster risk-related initiatives.
Iloilo City – As Project ReBUILD (Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities and Natural Hazards) came into completion in its first phase, the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Provincial Government of Iloilo, and the University of the Philippines’ Resilience Institute (UPRI) held a culminating activity of the project last 24 April 2018 at Casa Real in Iloilo City.
Participants were representatives, officials, and officers of various local government units (LGUs) of Iloilo, line agencies, planning associations, higher education institutions (HEIs), and non-government organisations (NGOs). The event was not only for showcasing the successes of the project; it was also for forging new partnerships and strengthening the role of the Iloilo as a provincial hub for climate change adaptation (CCA).
During the event, UPRI showcased its Geospatial Analytics National Platform (GANaP), a web-based repository of exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity, vulnerability and risk level data of its partner communities in Iloilo– namely Dumangas, Passi, and Zarraga. The uploaded series of data serve as reference and may be utilized by the local partners to monitor their municipality’s risks and vulnerabilities. It is also relevant to their climate change vulnerability assessment (CCVAs) and disaster risk assessment (DRAs).
In the future, it is aspired that GANaP will be available to the rest of the Philippine cities and municipalities whose community leaders wish to conduct their climate and disaster risk assessments (CDRA), and participate in probabilistic analysis of relevant vulnerabilities and risks.
In addition, an exhibit was also put up to present the experiences of the local partners in Iloilo. The exhibit included posters and maps that were produced during the project.
The event concluded with new and renewed support as evident in the pledges that were signed by various stakeholders including Iloilo municipal mayors and representatives of Line Agencies (LAs), the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and non-government organisations (NGOs).
Researchers and scientists of UP Resilience Institute, under the office of the President, joined the 13th Special Course on Urban and Regional Planning: A Basic Course in Urban and Regional Planning (SCURP: ABC in URP) of the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) as lecturers last April 20, 2018 at the SURP Building in UP Diliman -- taking into full execution a part of UP RI's 15-point agenda of "Cascading of knowledge on climate change adaptation and disaster risk and vulnerability.."
In the event, Dr. Mahar Lagmay and Ms. Joy Santiago taught the students of SURP the foundations of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and the relationship between the two concepts.
In Dr. Lagmay's lecture on "Climate Change Adaptation: Concepts and Strategies", he clarified the difference between the existence of hazards and facing a disaster. He also emphasized the value of climate change adaptation and its impact in planning and how it affects the tools used in presenting and communicating impending disaster risks.
The second lecture, on the other hand, was about "Disaster Risk Reduction: Concepts and Strategies," Ms. Joy Santiago shared the history of DRR in the Philippines and the different laws that empowered it. Ms. Santiago also equipped the participants with knowledge on the various risk management options. She further explained what constitutes a disaster and the disaster management cycle.
Ms. Joy Santiago also spoke about the relationship between disaster risk reduction and the creation of land use plans, the four pillars of the mitigating plan. and even the role that the UP Resilience Institute and UP NOAH Center play in serving the LGUs in fostering a more resilient Philippines.
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).