The OML Center joined other organizations and agencies in discussing the mechanism and opportunities to integrate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate adaptation actions into sustainable development for the ongoing recovery efforts after typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Program Manager, Ms. Perlyn Pulhin shared the OML Center’s programs, projects and activities on DRR, climate change adaptation (CCA), and recovery of Yolanda-affected communities at the Convergence Workshop held on 6 March 2014 in Quezon City. The Workshop was organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Technology Bureau in partnership with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
DSWD Assistant Secretary Teodulo Romo Jr. started the opening session through a brief welcome remarks and message. This was followed by a keynote speech from Commissioner Nadarev Saño of CCC then self-introduction from the participants. CSIRO representative Mr. Stephen Cook explained the objectives of the workshop: 1) to share agency-level and national assessments, analysis, gaps and recommendations on DRR/CCA activities in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda; and 2) to identify specific areas of collaboration and operational convergence on DRR/CCA particularly in relation to prevention, preparedness, response (early recovery) and full recovery in Yolanda-hit areas.
As an initial platform for operational convergence among interested stakeholders, DSWD’s Project Adaptation to Climate Change through Enhanced Social Services (ACCESS) was introduced by Mr. Melvin Dayrit. Following sessions ensued: 1) overview of DSWD’s Project Adaptation to Climate Change through Enhanced Social Services (ACCESS); 2) discussion of CSIRO’s Research and Development (R&D) capability as relevant to Project ACCESS; 3) Open Forum; 4) Presentations by DILG, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other stakeholders; 5) workshop and outcomes reporting facilitated by Mr. Dennis dela Torre of CCC; and 6) wrap up and conclusion by CSIRO representative Dr. Xiaoming Wang.
The organizers of the workshop stressed that the havoc and massive devastation to lives, livelihood and property brought by Yolanda have highlighted the need for policy reform in DRR and early recovery, and harmonization of national frameworks and operational plans with internationally accepted evidence-based standards on CCA and DRR. The policy imperative for both the national and local governments of the Philippines is to address these gaps on disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation and response planning.