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).
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.