START International, Inc. recently featured OML Center Executive Director Dr. Rodel Lasco and his adaptation research work in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia. START is a non-profit organization providing opportunities for training, research, and networking to strengthen scientific skills and leadership.
Dr. Lasco worked with START in 2011 coordinating the Assessment of Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change (AIACC) project. He recalled how the project provided an opportunity to learn from our regional neighbors. The AIACC focused on the impacts of climate change on regional watersheds and adaptation strategies. It supported teams from 46 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Small Island States to produce sub-regional climate change assessments.
“With AIACC, we pioneered adaptation research in this country,” Dr. Lasco shared. He said the project translated into career advancement and opportunities for all involved: “I believe that the experience and knowledge I gained around climate change adaptation, as well as the publications that I authored under the AIACC program, were some of the reason why I was selected to become the Philippines Coordinator of the World Agroforestry Center, and why I became involved with the Oscar M. Lopez Center.”
As for the lasting impacts of the pioneer research work, Dr. Lasco noted citations of AIACC and succeeding studies, as well as the increasing number of young students taking interest in climate change research. He also sees continuous efforts over the years to raise awareness about climate change and adaptation at all levels, among these, the formation of the national panel on climate change that advises the government on climate processes and programs, and the production of films and documentaries.