Dr. Rodel Lasco, executive director of the OML Center, was the featured speaker at the SEA Institute’s “Saving our Coastal Ecosystems Saves Us” webinar on December 5, 2020. SEA Institute is a non-profit organization promoting science-based conservation in the Verde Island Passage.
Dr. Lasco shared highlights of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showing observed impacts of global warming on oceans over the years. Continuously warming oceans, Dr. Lasco explained, would result in a multitude of effects, among them, rising sea levels that threaten to inundate ecosystems and settlements and decline in catch potential which does not bode well for a fisheries-dependent country like the Philippines.
Sharing findings from the Philippine Climate Change Assessment (PhilCCA), a three-volume report synthesizing local scientific knowledge on the changing climate and its impacts in the country, Dr. Lasco highlighted that mangrove areas in the Philippines are among the most vulnerable sites to climate change. Aside from impacts to food security, Dr. Lasco explained that this could substantially reduce the protection they provide on coastal areas such as diminishing storm surges and averting billions-worth of damages to residential and industrial properties.
The PhilCCA was published by the Center in partnership with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) from 2016 to 2018.
Dr. Lasco also shared the ongoing collaborative research between the OML Center and the Earth Observatory Singapore on sea level rise and its impacts in the Philippines. (Read: “Addressing Sea Level Rise: Importance of historical data, projections and local adaptation highlighted by experts during online forum”)
Closing the webinar, Dr. Lasco underscored the need for a multi-stakeholder approach, encouraging everyone to participate in helping address the climate crisis. A recording of the webinar is available via the Facebook page of SEA Institute.
You may also want to check out highlights of the Sea Level Rise forum last year via our YouTube page.