Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management News

Compilation of latest research news on climate change adaptation/management and disaster risk management

UP Visayas and UP RI Collaborate for the Resilient Campuses Project

Miag-ao, Iloilo --- Officials from the University of the Philippines Miag-ao, Iloilo campus who are involved with the resilience efforts of their campus invited representatives of the UP Resilience Institute, under the office of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, to be a part of the technical working group of UP Visayas for DRR and CCA. During the meeting last Wednesday, February 21, the participants discussed further collaboration regarding the initiative stated in the 2018 GAA Special Provision as well as the UP Resilient Campuses project.

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Two UP RI researchers and scientists personally went to the UP Visayas Miag-ao, Iloilo campus while Executive Director Dr. Mahar Lagmay attended the meeting remotely. During the meeting, they presented the goals and existing efforts of the UP RI. They also established a network for a more feasible flow of data gathering should UP RI need to conduct field surveys related to the project. This would be the second discussion with UP campus officials conducted in relation to the project after the UP Los Baños visit last January 16 to 19, 2018.


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The meeting, held las 21 February 2018 at the Faculty Center of UP Visayas Miag-ao, Iloilo, was attended by UP RI Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, UP RI and NOAH Center Chief SRS Kenneth Suarez, UP RI and NOAH Center Senior SRS Paul Luzon, UP RI and NOAH Center SRS 1 Ian Abiera, Gay Defiesta – UPV Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Wilfredo Palete Jr. – Data and Information System Program (DISP), Rhodella Ibabao – Office of Continuing Education and Pahinungod (OCEP)/UPV – College of Management, Cheryl Joy Fernandez – UPV, College of Management, Rhea Subong – UPV, College of Management, Nicanor Babiera – UPV, College of Management, Liberty Espectato – Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development (IFPDS), College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), Hanny John Mendiola – UPV, Division of Social Sciences, Juhn Chris Espia – UPV, Division of Social Sciences, and Jorge Ebay – Director, Center for West Visayan Studies (CWVS).

A year after NOAH’s homecoming in UP

University of the Philippines — This day last year, the University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents approved the “Establishment of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center” for climate actions and disaster risk reduction management through the initiative and effort of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion.

Today, the whole workforce of UP NOAH went to Quezon Hall to personally extend their gratitude to the UP System embodied in the ideals and leadership of UP President Concepcion and other University officials.

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It has been a year and the NOAH Center, since its adoption by the UP System, continues to proactively provide lifesaving solutions for Filipinos in times of disaster.

Now, the UP NOAH Center being the core component of the UP Resilience Institute under the Office of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, reaffirms its commitment to genuinely “Serve the People” by empowering communities through open data and probabilistic models, among others.

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Para sa Bayan!

House of Representatives Committees Hold Meeting on DRR Bills

House of Representatives — UP Resilience Institute and NOAH Center Executive Director Mahar Lagmay presented the importance of Probabilistic Models and Open Data to the members of the Technical Working Group on Disaster Preparedness Bills chaired by 2nd District Albay Representative Joey Sarte Salceda earlier today.

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The Committee on Government Reorganization, jointly with the Committee on National Defense and Security, continues with its discussion on disaster preparedness bills (House Bills numbered 108, 344, 596, 2638, 3093, 4203, 4648 and 6075) of which Dr. Lagmay is one of the resource persons. The primary focus of the meeting was on the creation of the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, defining its mandate, powers, and functions, and appropriating funds therefor.
Representatives from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM)Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), and Climate Change Commission (CCC) were also present in the meeting.
House of Representatives — UP Resilience Institute and NOAH Center Executive Director Mahar Lagmay presented the importance of Probabilistic Models and Open Data to the members of the Technical Working Group on Disaster Preparedness Bills chaired by 2nd District Albay Representative Joey Sarte Salceda earlier today.


UP RI and NOAH Center at the 2018 AOGS-EGU Joint Int'l Conference

Tagaytay City, Philippines – The four-day New Dimensions for Natural Hazards in Asia: An AOGS-EGU Joint Conference took place this week from February 4 to 8, 2018. It was attended by over 200 geological hazards experts from all over the world.


The conference was a joint Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) / European Geosciences Union (EGU) venture dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of natural hazards. It was held at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay.

With the goal of the international conference in mind, it indeed brought together students, early career and established scientists from all areas of the globe. The aim was to discuss current advances in knowledge and new perspectives relevant to natural hazards in the Asian region.


Immersive field trips were also offered including a field visit to the Taal Volcano crater.

Fifteen UP Resilience Institute and NOAH Center researchers and scientists presented their scientific studies in the conference in the two-day simultaneous sessions. More information about the studies and abstracts can be found here.


The conference themes included:

  1. Natural hazards in the megacity
  2. Transient and long-term effects of catastrophic perturbations
  3. Hazard development under a changing climate
  4. Multi-hazard interactions (cascades)
  5. Black swans and grey swan events
  6. Natural hazard communications, warning systems and monitoring programmes
  7. Single Hazard Case Studies
  8. General Contributions

On the third day of the conference, UP RI and NOAH Center Executive Director Mahar Lagmay was also given a 60-minute plenary talk on "Natural Hazards in the Philippines: Processes, Events, Mitigations and Policies". He was also a part of two separate panel discussions in the sessions entitled "Towards achieving synergies between stochastic, deterministic, and heuristic approaches to natural hazards research and response" and "Civil Defense and Geological Disasters: The Philippines Perspective," respectively.


The UP Resilience Institute and NOAH Center would like to thank the conference organizers from the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) and European Geosciences Union (EGU), the local volunteers from UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and the Department of Tourism through the Tourism Promotions Board - formerly PCVC. We also extend our appreciation to the participants from all over the globe.

CCC Conducts Project ReBUILD Meeting with UP NOAH and Other Partners

Ortigas, Quezon City - A board meeting was held last Tuesday, January 30, by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to implement the Exit Strategy and Sustainability Plan (ESSP) for the ReBUILD Project.

The Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Phase 1 Project is administered by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funding from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP). The project was also made possible through the contribution of key agencies including DOST - PAGASA, OCD, DILG, DENR-RCBO, NEDA, HLURB, DPWH, PCW as well as the other partner CSOs and NGOs.

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One of the main objectives of the project is to improve the capacity of local communities and stakeholders to address potential disaster risks from natural hazards and impacts of climate change by using science-based vulnerability and risk assessment in the formulation and implementation of their plans and actions. The beneficiaries of the project include the five pilot municipalities from Cagayan River Basin in Region II and Jalaur River Basin in Region VI. These consist of the City of Tuguegarao and the Municipality of Iguig in the province of Cagayan; and the City of Passi and Municipalities of Zarraga and Dumangas in the province of Iloilo.

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For its part, the UP NOAH Center, core component of the UP Resilience Institute, helped the CCC develop the Geospatial Analytics National Platform (GANaP) which serves as a repository for the exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity, vulnerability and risk level data for the partner communities. The platform is embedded as a feature in the UP NOAH website so that Local Government Units (LGUs) can utilize the vulnerability and risk assessment features that will be produced through Project ReBUILD.

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Exposure unit map of the Municipality of Zarraga, Iloilo displayed at the UP NOAH Center website under the ReBUILD feature.

UP RI and NOAH Researchers Visit the UP Los Baños Campus for the Resilient Campuses Project

As part of the UP Resilience Institute and UP NOAH Center's efforts under the UP Resilient Campuses Project, researchers visited the University of the Philippines Los Baños Campus last week, from January 16 to 19, 2018.

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Some of the objectives for the event include the validation of OpenStreetMap data in the campus, capacity assessment of the different units through interviews, and collection of existing reference material from the university records. Examples of the baseline data gathered by the team are the campus' Land Use Map, occupational health and safety standards committee reports from 2013 to 2017, Engineering Geological and Geohazards Assessment Report (EGGAR) on the proposed expansion project in the lower and upper campuses of the university, and the campus' environmental performance report and management plan.

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The team also held a meeting with campus officials to discuss further collaboration with the UP Resilience Institute with its efforts for the Resilient Campuses Project and other initiatives. This includes the endeavor to help the Climate Change Commission in training Local Government Units (LGUs) with science-based information and technologies for development planning by using multi-scenario, probabilistic hazard models. This directive is stated under the Special Provision of the General Appropriations Act of 2018 (GAA 2018) which was signed into law last December 19, 2017.

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UP Los Baños College of Arts and Sciences Dean, Felino P. Lansigan (far left), along with representatives of the different Vice Chancellor's Offices were present at the meeting with the UP Resilience Institute.

Geologists from the UP RI and NOAH Center also trekked the slopes of Mount Makiling to gather rock samples and validate the previously completed landslide hazard maps that can be viewed and downloaded on the NOAH website.

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A UP NOAH researcher investigates a lava flow deposit site in Mount Makiling.

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A geologist of the UP NOAH Center examines the aftermath of an October 2017 landslide along the slopes of Mount Makiling.

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51 buildings in the campus were surveyed for additional information to be included in the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform.

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32 building administrators were interviewed to gather information about the campus' facilities as well as existing plans and efforts to build resilience against climate change and adverse natural hazard impacts.