Introduction of highlights on how government agencies can contribute to preventing, alleviation, and remediating the negative effects of climate-related extreme weather events on the economic, social, and cultural rights of the Filipino people.
The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute joined a round-table discussion facilitated by the Commission on Human Rights last October 18, 2019 at the CHR Head Office in Quezon City. The discussion, meant to examine how to best respond to the impact of climate change on the lives of Filipinos, was attended by various representatives from national science institutions and concerned organizations. It aimed to identify best practices on how government agencies, working in synergy, can address the adverse effects of extreme evets brought about by climate change.
Talking points during this discussion mainly revolved around the idea that climate change and its adverse effects significantly affect the human rights situation in the country. During the meeting, each organization was asked to present existing projects and programs related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Aside from that, constraints and limitations the organizations were facing in pursuing CCA-DRR related programs and projects were also asked.
Various representatives from different institutions and concerned organizations
UPRI shared its mandate to formulate various development plans and to empower local communities through multidisciplinary actions towards resilience. One of the limitations of the institute is the fact that it was only established last 2017. It is still in the early stages of bringing together people and organizations to pursue a common goal. Despite being in the early stages of operations, however, the UPRI strives to promote collaboration as a means to enhance the nation’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The 4th UPRI-NOAH TALK bore the theme "Developing Disaster Resilience through Advancing Space Science and Technology."
Where does space science fit in the conversations revolving around Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR)?
This question was explored during the most recent UPRI-NOAH TALK held at the National Institute of Geological Sciences on the 28th of October 2019. Staged in partnership with the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (AstroSoc), the 4th installment of the monthly event bore the theme “Developing Disaster Resiliency through Advancing Space Science and Technology,"
During the program, topics such as the Philippines’ capacity in terms of space technology were discussed. Consequently, concrete examples such as communicating via amateur radio through Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio (OSCAR) during disasters was mentioned. According to one of the lectures, using amateur radios, although limited by satellite orbit schedule, is a cheap and reliable way to communicate during incidences of calamities when cellular cites and electricity are unavailable. Another lecture revolved around how the newly established Philippine Space Agency can contribute to the countries CCA-DRR efforts. Some ways mentioned were using satellite images in creating land use maps and monitoring forest cover, among others.
Speakers of the 4th UPRI-NOAH TALK with event participants, hosts and Dr. Luna from UPRI
Such applications of space technology to CCA-DRR efforts, although still largely unimplemented in a national scale, will significantly improve how the country deals with natural hazard and disasters. Events like the monthly UPRI-NOAH TALK that bring people with various expertise and interests together to explore ideas are good starting points when forging collaboration efforts among different disciplines.
Last August 28, 2019, the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UP RI) attended the “Securing Prosperity: Addressing the Threat of Terrorism to Business and Development” Forum organized by the Coalition for Security Towards Peace (CSTP) with UP Board of Regent Frederick Mikhail “Spocky” I. Farolan as the Lead Convener. It is the CSTP’s strategy to educate and mobilize the non-security sector stakeholders like entrepreneurs, business establishments, public utility operators, service providers and tourism industry players to push for security reform towards peace.
The esteemed speakers and key personalities who attended the event were Hon. Jericho Jonas “Koko” B. Nograles, Representative of PBA Party List, Representative of Hon. Jocelyn P. Tulfo, Representative of ACT-CIS Party List, Atty. Florentino “Jun” Manalastas, Jr.,Executive Director of Anti-Terrorism Council, Atty. Marwil N. Llasos, OIC of Office of Legal Aid, University of the Philippines College of Law, Mr. Perfecto Marquez, President of Metro Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Martin Aguda, Jr., the Author of the book, “Security, Safety, Emergency Management Professional.”
UP RI attended the event to gather information on strategic security preparedness and emergency response for Disaster preparedness and response efforts. One of the concepts discussed was Consequence Management, which was defined in the forum as a measure to protect public health and safety, restore essential government services, and provide emergency relief to governments, businesses, and individuals affected by the consequences of emergencies/terrorism. The concepts of Consequence Management include unified command, control, coordination, communication, community connection and disaster scenario building. These concepts can be adapted and further studied by the UP RI for emergency preparedness and response efforts in times of emergencies.
At the end of the forum, participants including Mr. Jude Agapito of UP RI were asked to pledge in support of CSTPs Statement of Solidarity for Enhancing Security Towards Peace. CSTP will organize similar forums around the country to spread awareness on the topic of security and to gain support. The pledge board, which was signed by the participants will be circulated to all concerned around the country.
Poster of the “Laudato Si”: Mangrove Tree Planting Event in 2019.
The UPRI participated in the “Laudato Si” Mangrove Tree Planting event last 13 October 2019 in Katunggan Ecopark, Leganes, Iloilo organized by the Religious of Mary Immaculate in Jaro, Iloilo. In celebration of the “Year of the Youth”, the mangrove tree planting activity was held to empower the youth to raise awareness about our environmental issues in particular climate change and disasters.
RMI Facilities: Caregiving Room, Classroom, Computer Room and Dress Making Room
The Religious of Mary Immaculate (RMI) in Jaro, Iloilo has a Youth Center and dormitory. The Center offers Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) as well as vocational courses such as dress making, caregiving and basic computer skills. These are offered to students 16-30 years of age who were formerly out-of-school youth and worked as house helpers (Kasambahay) or pedicab drivers among others. The RMI engages students and residents (RMI Youth) in many activities, one of which is the “Laudato Si” Mangrove Tree Planting which they have been doing for several years.
Mr. Jude Agapito (UP RI) introducing the GINA App to the RMI Youth and Community.
The UP Resilience Institute introduced the GINA App to the RMI and Our Lady of Candles Parish Youth and the RMI Community. GINA stands for Growing INdigenous Trees in your Area. It is a mobile application that connects people who want to plant indigenous trees with organizations/ institutions that cultivate and offer such seedlings. The app also provides suggestions of places where a GINA App user can plant and grow a tree. GINA App users can also offer their own suggestions of places where to plant. Furthermore, GINA also shows a list of tree planting events in the country where users can participate. Lastly, the app was gamified where users can compete for the number of earned points while conserving and protecting the environment.
Mr. Jude Agapito (UP RI) and Sister Nina (RMI) explaining the relevance of tree planting.
After almost half a day of planting at the Katunggan Ecopark, 950 Bungalon and 100 Bakhaw Mangrove trees were sown by almost 100 RMI Youth/participants with Our Lady of Candles Parish Youth including UP RI researchers. The Katunggan Ecopark in Leganes used to be fishponds and are now thickly covered with mangroves from the collective efforts of the Iloilo community, government agencies and international organizations. The restoration of the abandoned fishpond to a mangrove habitat was led by Mr. Wilson Batislaon, a 2016 Walt Disney Conservation Hero Awardee for his work in Katunggan Ecopark. Many local housewives who were previously dependent on their husbands’ income now contribute to their family’s livelihood by selling mangrove seedlings and managing the ecopark. Seventy five percent (75%) of the coastline of Leganes, Iloilo, is now covered by mangroves. The community aims for one hundred percent (100%) coverage.
The RMI Community with the RMI Regional Superior Sr. Geralyn Fenis, Our Lady of Candles Youth, UPRI Researchers, Mr. Jude Agapito and Mr. Nab Silva and Katunggan Ecopark Lead Forester Mr. Wilson Batislaon after the Mangrove Tree Planting.
The GINA Map showing the location of mangrove trees planted during the event.
The UP RI used the GINA app to document the mangrove tree planting event. Locations and details of all the trees planted are shown thru the map module. Pictures of the trees can be updated annually so that their growth and development can be seen by all users of GINA.
The GINA App showing Sister Lerma's (RMI) planted tree
Joy Lavilla of RMI Youth shows with pride her planted tree.
Representatives of UP RI and the City of Balanga LGU during the LDRRMP workshop held last Oct. 9-11, 2019
Representatives from the UP Resilience Institute visited the City of Balanga, Bataan to conduct a three-day workshop in order to assist the City in updating their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, or LDRRMP. The LDRRMP, a mandatory plan for cities and municipalities, serves as the basis for policies, plans, and programs that deal with disasters.
The event was attended by various stakeholders who are members of the Local DRRM Council. These include representatives from the CDRRMO, Dep Ed, Sangguniang Panglungsod, MISO, CAO, City Planning and Development Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, CPSO, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, CTO, CBO, PGO, PNP, and PENELCO.
Participants of the LDRRMP workshop held at Balanga City participating in the activities.
The workshop focused on four thematic areas, namely: disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and relief and recovery. Each thematic area was represented by members who belong to the groups and offices that are in charge of correspondig actions and activities. This system enables participants to provide more insight on their respective areas of concern. Comments and inputs from the rest of the group were welcomed as well.
At the end of the workshop, the participants were able to formulate their own strategies, and based on these, set their own goals, objectives, and outcomes.
The collaboration between the Laguna Climate Change Office (LCCAO) and the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) started with a common desire to empower local government units (LGUs) towards self-reliance and resilience. This common goal, after a series of consultations and planning sessions, culminated in the Cascading Climate And Disaster Risk Assessment Related Skills And Competencies To Future Trainers workshop– a joint activity between LCCAO and UPRI meant equip state universities and colleges (SUCs) and LGUs with tools and skills necessary to the conduct of a Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA). This event successfully trained representatives from four SUCs and three LGUs about the basics of the study of vulnerabilities and risks brought about by natural hazards and climate-related stimuli or the CDRA and how basic Geographic Information System (GIS) can be utilized in the conduct of this study.
Three months post event, with the intention of checking up on some of the participants of the first workshop, the LCCAO and the UPRI conducted field visits in the Municipality of Famy and Mabitac. These follow up meetings were meant to gauge how much the first workshop has helped LGUs as well as to determine gaps which succeeding workshops shall be based upon. Based on feedback, notwithstanding limitations on manpower and equipment on the part of LGUs, the workshop last July has helped progress the CDRA of Famy and Mabitac in various ways. Both LGUs, however, stressed that further trainings about advance GIS and OpenStreetMap would be helpful in the completion of their CRDA. These results, along with the common goal shared by LCCAO and UPRI, shall be the basis of future training collaborations between the two organizations.