Mainstreaming Climate Resilience in the Academic Community
By Secretary Emmanuel G. de Guzman
Vice Chair and Executive Director
Climate Change Commission
The Paris Climate Agreement underscores the unprecedented crisis that the world confronts. How individual citizens and nations respond to this crisis will determine not only our ability to sustain societies but the common destiny of humankind.
It is therefore imperative that our institutions of learning reorient academic programs to be relevant to the challenges of climate change. Higher education has an obligation to lead in creating the broadest possible understanding of the environmental perils that we face in the 21st Century and what we must do to sustain our planet’s ecosystems and diversity of life for future generations.
RESILIENCE is a special project by the University of the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services.
Essentially, this project recognizes the need to improve climate literacy and broaden public understanding of climate science and disaster risk reduction (DRR). There is, in fact, an urgent need for research on effective methods of DRR and climate change education and communication in our country.
Through this portal, we also hope to create an important collaboration among institutions of learning and NGOs to work together to encourage, help and support each other in the goals of mitigating emissions and disaster risks.
We are confident that greater knowledge, information and service-learning activities for students will ultimately assist local communities, NGOs and the business sector toward these goals.
The University of the Philippines unveils UP-RESILIENCE, an online hub featuring UP's expertise and resources on climate change and disaster risk management, at the 1st Cebu Summit and Learning Event on Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and DRR Info Fair Exhibition 2016, which runs from May 20 to 24, 2016 at SM Seaside Cebu. Short for Resources for Science-Informed Literacy and Engagement towards Building Community Resilience, this initiative is a flagship project of the UP Office of the Vice-President for Public Affairs under Dr. J. Prospero de Vera III, in support of the Memorandum of Agreement signed between UP and the Climate Change Commission in June 2013.
The UP-RESILIENCE booth features a demonstration of the RESILIENCE website for visitors to freely navigate. The booth also has a side online competition where participants can upload photos with a climate change-related "hugot" to win prizes from UP and its partners. Visitors will likewise get the chance to play and bring home Resilience: Survive and Thrive, a tabletop card game developed by the UP-Marine Science Institute to raise awareness on the intersecting nexus of environment, disasters and development.
The DRR Info Fair Exhibition puts emphasis on inclusive DRR by highlighting accessibility for PWDs, women, and children, with participants from various civic society organizations, local government units, and academic institutions. The event is co-organized by the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and A2D Project—Research Group for Alternatives to Development Inc. with funding support from Arbeiter-Samariter- Bund (ASB) and Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH).
If you are in the area, drop by the Cube Wing of SM Seaside Cebu to check out the UP-RESILIENCE booth. For more information, you may also check the UP-RESILIENCE website at at http://resilience.up.edu.ph.
Five student organizations based in the University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) now work hand in hand with Project NOAH in mapping the country. The members of these organizations committed their time and effort to help achieve the common goal of achieving a disaster- resilient Philippines.
After being one of the five finalists, Project NOAH takes home the Harnessing Data for Resilience Recognition Award from the Harnessing the Data Revolution for Resilience Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Project NOAH’s risk mapping efforts has been on mapping for the Philippines since the start of its Integrated Scenario-based Assessments of Impacts and Hazards (ISAIAH) component. Another important activity is the utilization of crowdsourced and collaborative mapping through the benefits of using OpenStreetMap data.
The University of the Philippines (UP) has launched a website that will serve as an online knowledge hub featuring resources on disaster risk reduction and management as well as topics on climate change adaptation.