Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management News

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

UP RI goes to Cebu landslide ground zero

Last Friday, September 21, 2018, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Mr. Jake Mendoza and Mr. Bojo Sta. Maria of the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) went to Naga City, Cebu to assist in search and rescue operations. The team collaborated with UP Cebu, Datos Project, Terai Alicaba and Enzo Campomanes, and used local knowledge, building footprints, Open Data Sat images, K9-Search and Rescue and detectors to locate the buried houses. The scientific information provided by the group contributed to the hastening of the search operations.

Below are images of recommendations and maps given by the UP RI to the Search and Rescue Operations:


Images of ground zero and the incident command post obtained by the team:



Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Mr. Bojo Sta. Maria and Mr. Jake Mendoza.


UP RI produces a map helpful for the rescue of landslide victims

Yesterday, a rain induced landslide hit Naga City, Cebu. So far, it has been reported that 21 people are dead with 74 missing. Because of this, Dr. Mahar Lagmay ordered some of the GIS experts of the UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) to map the building footprints that were buried by the landslide. Led by Ms. Feye Andal, UP RI used Open Street Map to plot out the households that were buried.

The map produced can be downloaded in this link:

Also, in his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Dr. Mahar Lagmay shared the additional information related to the landslide.




UP RI forges Partnerships at the UP College of Science

“As the Sendai Framework says, the disaster prevention and mitigation efforts as well as climate adaptation efforts of the country must be a whole of society approach.” – Mahar Lagmay Executive Director of the UP Resilience Institute

Representatives from the Public Safety Colleges (PPSC);GrupoKalinangan, Inc. (GKI); ABS-CBN Corporation; Map the Philippines; Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija; Municipalities of Padre Garcia, TaysanBatangas attended the ceremonial MOA/MOU signing held last September 12, 2018 at the UP Diliman, College of Science. 

Entitled “Providing Lifesaving Solutions for the Filipino People.” the ceremonial signings have the goal of strengthening existing collaborations and forging new partnerships between the UP Resilience Institute and various sectors in the society. The ceremonial signing also involved UP Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa, MD and UP Vice President for Legal Affairs Atty. Hector Danny Uy to represent the University of the Philippines.

This is in line with the with the Whole of Community Approach stipulated in the Sendai Framework as quoted by Dr. Mahar LagmayExectutive Director of the UP Resilience Institute during his keynote speech. Further in the event, the representatives from various sectors further solidified their commitment to work hand in hand with the UP RI by each giving statements of commitment pertaining to working together in order to create a culture of climate change and disaster resilience in the country.

A quote from Atty. Hector Danny Uy perfectly encapsulates the essence of the event:

Mahirappoditolahatangginagawa... mahirap din pomagreview ng mgakontrata… perohayaanniyo pong susugankoanginyongkomitmentbilangpangwakasMakaligtaslangpotayo ng isangbuhaysulitnapoangumagangito.”  - Atty. Hector Danny UY, UP VP for Legal Affairs.



UP RI YouthMappers Chapter launched.

“We don’t just build maps, we build mappers.” This statement echoed the empowering vision of the UP Resilience Institute (RI) YouthMappers, during its launch event last August 18, 2018, held at the National Institute of Geology’s Audio Visual Room, in UP Diliman.

The UP RI Youth Mappers chapter is the second chapter in the Philippines and its launching event was organized by UP RI, Map the Philippines (MapPH) and by the three Youth Mappers student leaders, namely: Joy Gonzalez, Paolo Pamintuan and King Louie Labadan.

The event was filled with informative talks, with Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of UP RI, discussing the mapping efforts of UP RI and the importance of youth volunteering. Celina Agaton, founder of MapPH and frequent partner of UP RI, presented about the collaborative efforts of MapPH, UPRI and OpenStreetMap (OSM) in helping build resilience in the Philippines in order to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, Eugene Villar, president of OSM Philippines, talked about how OSM has been used in the Philippines, its mapping parties and how it helped with the humanitarian efforts during Yolanda.

One of the UP RI Youth Mappers student leader, Iris Joy Gonzales, also took time to discuss the upcoming plans of the YouthMappers chapter. Also, Dr. Mahar Lagmay will serve as the adviser of the UP RI Youth Mappers chapter.

UP-YouthMappers-10.jpgDr. Mahar Lagmay talking about the role of maps in disaster risk reduction.

UP-YouthMappers-19.jpgMs. Celina Agaton of Map the Philippines.

UP-YouthMappers-25.jpgEugene Villar, President of OSM Philippines.

UP-YouthMappers-24.jpgIris Joy Gonzales discussing future plans.



YouthMappers, an “international university consortium on Mapping for Resilience”, organizes a global community of people in the academe to create and use open geographic data that address local development challenges worldwide[1].  

Sources: [1]

The UP Resilience Institute and APRU-Multi-Hazards Program's Core Group Meeting and 6th Summer School

Last July 28, 2018, Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna - a UP Resilient Institute (UP RI) fellow and College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) faculty, represented the UP RI in the Core Group Meeting of the Multi Hazards Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities -International Research Institute for Disaster Science (APRU-IRIDeS). The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is “a network of 45 leading research universities from 16 economies around the Pacific Rim with 140,000 faculty members and 2 million students.”

According to, the official website of the association, the founding presidents of the institution envisioned to “establish a premier alliance of research universities as an advisory body to international organizations, governments and business on the development of science and innovation as well as on the broader development of higher education.” APRU-MH, one of the Programs of APRU, aims to “build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships.” It works to harness the collective capabilities of APRU member universities for research, strategy sharing and for contributing to international policy making processes.

During the core group meeting, Prof. Osamu Murao, of Tohoku University was introduced as the new chairperson for the Multi-Hazards Core Group, while Dr. Takako Izumi of Tohoku University’s IRIDeS, Prof. John Rundle from the University of California, and Prof. Christina Schonleber gave a review of MH Program’s current and planned activities.

37930272_10217701172348062_3210717649826742272_n.jpg37938217_10217701171988053_6517144746014539776_n.jpgAPRU-MH Core Group Meeting.

Prior to attending the Core Group Meeting, Dr. Luna also participated in APRU-MH’s 6th Summer School last July 24-27, 2018. The workshop-training whose theme was: “Applying science, technology and innovation in disaster risk reduction”, was held at Tohoku University, Japan. It hosted 28 participants from 9 countries, namely Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore and Turkey. The workshop-training included a presentation of disaster risk reduction (DRR) researches and initiatives by APRU member universities, a discussion on the lessons-learnt from the Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami, a field trip to the affected site of the earthquake and tsunami and a discussion on the international framework for DRR.

38072251_10217701168587968_6432087741965533184_n.jpgParticipants of the 6th APRU Multi-Hazard Summer School.

37837617_10217687012154066_886096068637360128_n.jpg37904691_10217687021994312_8098177999297314816_n.jpgStory of two schools: one that is 4 kilometers away from the sea but near the river and hills had 76 pupils and 10 teachers died in the 2011 tsunami. On the other hand, a four storey school close to the sea but isolated by the tsunami flood had just one casualty. The difference: the children would have been saved if the teachers and students evacuated to the hills and did not stay in the flat ground of the first school; in the second school, there was an agressive command to evacuate to the fourth floor instead of staying in more spacious gymnasium that was eventually destroyed by tsunami. Lesson: know your risk in wherever you are and act appropriately when hazards occur.

UP RI Contributes to Short Course for Mass Casualty Identification

The Filipino people are very much familiar with natural disasters that result to massive damages. As residents of a country prone to natural calamities, seeing casualties of disasters has become part of our collective experiences as a people.

With the aim or addressing these challenges, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, of the UP Resilience Institute, under the Office of the UP President, conducted a lecture about “Mass Casualty Incident Resulting from Natural Disasters” and “Community Preparedness for Mass Casualty Incident” in a training-workshop sponsored by University of the Philippines Manila’s College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with the College of Medicine and College of Dentistry.




The training-workshop entitled: “Short course on Forensics for Mass Casualty Identification and Intervention.”, which was participated by representatives from LGUs, NGOs, POs, Teachers and Law Enforcers and held last July 25-27, 2018, was convened in order to educate the participants on the role and importance of forensics in mass casualty incidents.




Photos by: Ms. Marilen P. Balolong