OML Center Executive Director Dr. Rodel D. Lasco underscored that non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society can do more and play a crucial role in addressing the impacts of climate change, even with limited resources.
Dr. Lasco delivered this message during a presentation in a public forum hosted by the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) on September 18 in Quezon City in celebration of Social Development Week 2023.
In his presentation entitled, “Science-based Action Plans Highlighting the Roles of CSOs in Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management,” Dr. Lasco presented the Center’s flagship programs aimed at mainstreaming climate change and making climate science more actionable for the policymakers, private sector, youth, media, and the wider public.
“We realized that governments, especially in academia, are collecting mountains and mountains of data. These are raw data, but how do you transform this data into something useful for policymakers? That is what [the OML Center] is trying to do. We are straddling between the science communities and hopefully use our community who want to make sense of what all of this information is telling us,” said Dr. Lasco
One of the flagship programs of the Center highlighted in his presentation was the Philippine version of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports – the Philippine Climate Change Assessment (PhilCCA) – which covers the Physical science of climate change; impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation; and mitigation in the context of the Philippines.
The first cycle of the PhilCCA was launched in 2018, and Dr. Lasco shared that Cycle 2 will soon be released before the year ends and early next year.
Dr. Lasco also shared that the Center is collaborating with PAGASA to produce the State of the Philippine Climate that summarizes observations of the country’s climate and notable climate-related disasters. The report aims to aid policymakers and other stakeholders in making science-based climate change adaptation measures.
Towards a more inclusive society, the Center, through Project SIGND funded by the USAID through the Gerry Roxas Foundation, is developing 100 new signed languages related to climate change and disaster risk for our Deaf community.
Apart from Dr. Lasco, CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Naderev “Yeb” Saño, and UN-Habitat Philippines’ Country Program Manager Christopher Rollo were also present during the public forum.
Sec. Borje discussed the government’s programs and initiatives to promote climate resilience. Saño joined virtually and presented the challenges in mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience. Rollo shared the best practices highlighting resilience at the city level, particularly in Ormoc, post-Yolanda recovery in Region 6 and Tacloban, post-conflict rehabilitation in Marawi City, and the flood and barangay resilience initiatives of Cagayan de Oro.
Simultaneous learning sessions after the public forum tackled the impacts of climate change on food security, public health, and livelihood, and the impact of infrastructure projects on the environment and sustainable development.
Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) is one of the country’s largest CSO groups, comprising 12 national and regional networks representing 1,600 non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and cooperatives.
The recorded live stream of the Public Forum is available on the Facebook page of CODE-NGO: https://www.facebook.com/caucusofdevelopmentngonetworks/videos/849801283599831/