UP RI NOAH Center, UPLB-INREM Foster Resilience-Building in a Multi-Stressed Watershed in the Province of Albay, Philippines

 

The UP Resilience Institute (UP RI), in collaboration with UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (UPLB-INREM), successfully conducted the project planning session for Quinali A watershed at the Office of the Mayor of Ligao City last September 5. The activity was attended by the stakeholders including the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Albay Provincial Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, and the representatives of the LGUs encompassed by the watershed.

Dr. Juan Pulhin (center), UPLB-INREM chair and project leader, together with the participants of the project planning session

The city mayor of Ligao City, Hon. Fernando Vallejo Gonzalez, opened the ceremony with his warm welcome and correspondingly underscored the importance of local collaboration to produce a well-coordinated approach to promoting resilience.

Hon. Gonzales providing welcome remarks to the attendees of the project planning session

UPLB faculty members presented their findings on the institutional capacity index, landscape fragmentation, participatory vulnerability assessment, and qualitative visualization of hazards and impacts. Researchers from the NOAH Center discussed the results of multi-hazard probabilistic risk assessment, multi-hazard mapping, and landcover-based hazard assessment.

Read more: UPLB-INREM, UPRI facilitate project proposal planning on resilience-building for Albay watershed

Focus on Communities

EnP. Arge Esquivel presented the results of the Participatory Risk Assessment (PRA) of the Quinali A Watershed local government units (LGUs). While the LGUs had very low to low risk from flood, the UPLB-INREM and UP RI team highlighted areas that the LGUs should prioritize to strengthen their institutional capacity for disaster risk reduction and management. EnP. Esquivel also presented how the LGUs can utilize the technical findings of the PRA in their respective Climate and Disaster Risk Assessments (CDRA), land use plans, and investment programs.

Landcover Change at the Lens of Satellite

Gifford Agudo, a junior researcher at UP NOAH Center, looked at satellite images and desktop computer programs to map the contemporary land cover of Quinali A Watershed and used such data to track changes that occurred between 2005 to 2020. While the mapping procedure has undergone a series of technical undertakings that are considered jargon to others, the final output was then simplified using intuitive maps. These efforts are made in support of advancing local knowledge of their changing environment and interactions with overlapping natural hazards.

 

UP NOAH Center Researcher Gifford Agudo presenting the results of his analyses
Land Cover Map of Quinali Watershed

Multi-Hazard Mapping Approaches as Toolkits to Advance Resilience

Maps that can accurately depict areas that may endanger the lives of people are integral cornerstones in minimizing the impacts of natural hazards. As such, landscapes where natural hazards overlap may require greater efforts that collectively considers the interaction of individual hazard and reveal their overall impacts. However, such style and method of mapping are seldom discussed in the Philippines.

Through this project, individual hazard maps (i.e., Flood, Rain-induced Landslide, Liquefaction, and Pyroclastic Flow) were aggregated to map and understand the existence of multi-hazard in Quinali A Watershed. This endeavor serves as a towering output important to developing probabilistic risk assessment that overall advances the resilience of Quinali A Watershed.

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