The Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation (OML Center) and partners (Climate Change Commission, Philippine Atmospheric And Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Department of Interior and Local Government, DOST UP-Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM), Housing and Land-UseRegulatory Board (HLURB), Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), and Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) organized a “Workshop on Translating Climate and Disaster Information for Effective Decision-Making”, held August 7, 2014 at Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig City.
A total of 67 speakers and participants from different sectors; weather, climate and hazard service providers; climate scientists; policy-makers; and the media was brought together to discuss communication approaches, scientific tools, and stakeholder needs for climate and disaster information in the country.
The workshop was graced by the rehab czar – Hon. Panfilo M Lacson, OPARR Secretary who delivered the keynote speech. NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama, OPARR Undersecretary Danilo Antonio, and Albay Governor Joey Salceda were among the speakers.
The workshop was divided into three sessions. The first session highlighted the current state of knowledge on climate and disasters in the Philippines more specifically climate change scenarios from global to local level; exposure and vulnerability of local communities; development of multi-hazard maps and other relevant information for disaster risk management at the community-level; updates on the country’s climate change programs and future plans; and the role of social media in addressing disaster situations and response.
The second session focused on the different perspectives from national government agencies and local governments. The speakers shared some of their experiences in applying climate and disaster information in decision-making. Most of the recommendations focused on the improvement of Comprehensive Land Use Planning for disaster-resilient communities; mainstreaming of the guidelines on integrating Climate Change Adapatation and Disaster Risk Reduction in the plans and programs of Local Government Units; and the harmonious integration of the different plans and programs (e.g. CLUP, City Development Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan).
In the afternoon, the participants were divided into parallel sessions on Stakeholder Perspectives: Needs, Priorities and Best Practices. The participants were divided into two groups: food security and ecosystems; and social services and infrastructure. Representatives from key sectors provided their perspectives on the needs and priorities to address current and future climate-related risks and vulnerabilities using climate data and information and improve disaster risk reduction processes in different levels and sectors of decision-making.
It is hoped that the workshop opened the door of opportunities for further collaboration among and between policy and science communities. Moving forward, the participants identified continuous dialogue between scientific community and users (Local Government Units, National Government Agencies, communities, private sector, among others) and capacity building for effective and strategic use/application of information as the two most important challenges that need to be addressed.
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