By: Perlyn M. Pulhin
The OML Center gave an update about the Philippine Climate Change Assessment (PhilCCA), a joint project with the Climate Change Commission, at the Round Table Discussion on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Working Group (WG) 2 held on 8 May 2014 at National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office VI, Iloilo City. The objective of the Conference was to acquaint the participants – from national and local government units, civil society, academe, and the private sector – on their vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change (extreme weather events and slow onset), enhance the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts on Super Typhoon Haiyan, and advance climate change adaptation strategies. About 40 participants attended the Conference and lectures were delivered by invited experts and guests including OML Center Program Manager, Ms. Perlyn Pulhin.
Organized by Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, the Conference also aimed at: a) enhancing the understanding of the IPCC AR5 WG2 Report by the participants; b) presenting the loss and damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan to the Visayas; and 3) updating and drawing lessons from the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. IPCC AR5 WG2 Lead Author and PhilCCA WG1 and 2 Author, Ms. Lourdes Tibig was included in the invited resource persons. Representatives of the following organizations were also invited to give presentations: Northern Iloilo Alliance for Coastal Development (NIACDEV), Green Forum-Western Visayas, Inc. Christian Aid, Jaro Archdiocesan Parish, and NEDA.
Divided into three main sessions, the first session of the Conference focused on the losses and damages due to extreme weather event. Presentations on the impact of Super Yolanda (Haiyan) at the coastal and upland communities of the affected areas in Region VI were discussed. The second session tackled updates on IPCC and PhilCCA including explanation on the science of climate change and how people can address the impacts through adaptation and mitigation. Lessons and way forward on the Yolanda rehabilitation initiatives were discussed at the third and last session before synthesis and closing.
The organizers and participants agreed that similar Conference should be conducted regularly to increase awareness on climate change and share best adaptation practices. Opportunities like this also gather lessons and recommendations on rebuilding of communities affected by extreme events such as Typhoon Yolanda.