Climate change academy for Leyte?
Is this possible? With the very tragic experiences of the Ormoc and Burauen floods and the Guinsaugon killer landslide, it is about time that Leytenos are awakened to the realities of the time! No more to taking natural hazards for granted. The LGU has to admit its unpreparedness amidst the onslaught of natural calamities, e.g. flooding and landslides during the disasters mentioned.
The Department of Science ad Technology (DOST) has not been remissed with presenting to the national government proactive plans on DISASTER MITIGATION and RISK MANAGEMENT in its National Science and Technology Plan 2003-2008. The same portion of the plan, among others, was incorporated and recently validated in the National R & D Priorities for 2010-2016 submitted by the Presidential Coordinating Council for Research and Development (PCCRD) approval by the President of the Republic. I take pride for having actively participated (including the banished PAGASA administrator from Leyte, Dr. Prisco ‘Boy’ Nilo), during the crafting of the DOST-NSTP (among Heads of Sectoral Councils and Attached Agencies). Being a marine biologist, mine was limited to strategies on protecting the country’s aquatic ecosystem and its resources, e.g. fish, seaweeds.
What then is Climate Change Academy? This is a regional/provincial version of the national Commission on Climate Change (CCC) – the first CCA having been established in Albay Province recently. The CCA serves as a “center for education and knowledge sharing on climate adaptation”. Secretary Heherson Alvarez said “the move is to ensure that aggressive adaptation measures will be applied in all levels of governance to vulnerable communities. Adaptation, through risk reduction and disaster management is vital as the foundation stone to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations.”
The MOU on Climate Change Academy was signed by the CCC with the provincial government of Albay and the United Nations in the Philippines represented by the UN Development Program (UNDP). The CCA is envisioned to be replicated in all provinces, especially those classified as vulnerable communities. The CCA “exemplifies the effectiveness of local governance for addressing adaptation and disaster risk reduction needs brought on by natural hazards …” Heherson added.
Region 8 heads of LGUs should pool their resources and minds by considering the significance of having CCA established in Eastern Visayas, especially in provinces facing the Pacific Ocean. A properly managed and manned CCA could very well be the region’s key to make it climate-resilient, capable of managing vulnerable communities to reduce their risk to climate disasters, protecting the region’s vulnerable ecosystems and food production systems through climate change adaptation.
Man, through his limitations against nature-instigated calamities, is left with no other shield to the wrath of climate change, e.g. global-warming, but to craft regional adaptation measures on climate change. At this point, we take exception with the group headed by Dr. Paciencia Milan, former president of Visayas State University, whose retirement from public service, has not deterred her from leading a group of environment-conscious Leyteños embark in REFORESTATION undertakings in Leyte province. Her group is tasked to help moderate the effect of climate change (global-warming) by planting indigenous species of trees in heavily “slashed and burned” patches of land and mountains. This group could easily form the nucleus of Region 8’s climate change academy – tapping qualified people to run the business.
Dr. Milan and this writer are founding members/officers of the Philippine National Committee on International Long-Term Ecological Research (ITLER) and DIVERSITAS (Biodiversity). She (Milan) and Dr. Cordero are the PNCs focal persons/experts on ILTER and DIVERSITAS for the Visayas, respectively. The committee, composed of practicing biology and ecology researchers/scientists, is available to share its members technical expertise on climate change. Dr. Cordero has been into biodiversity studies in Eastern Visayas, Biliran province specially, his latest being a project for implementation in 2011 on the “Biodiversity and Potential of Marine Algae/Seaweeds of Northeastern Leyte Island” – considered an initial study to document the marine resources and ecology of Leyte!
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By: Dr.Paciente Cordero, Jr.
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