The Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation, Inc. (The OML Center) First Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting was held at One Corporate Center, Ortigas, Pasig City on 9 November 2012. Representatives from the government, academe and research institutions, private group, and international and non-governmental organizations in the field of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management convened to inform the stakeholders about the Center, solicit priorities for research areas, discuss potential activities to be undertaken and supported by the Center, and to foster partnerships and networks. The meeting was hosted by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).
On behalf of the OML Center’s sponsor, the First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPHC), Senior Vice-President of EDC, Ms. Agnes de Jesus welcomed the attendees and shared that the Center stemmed from the twin advocacy of the Lopez family for environmental protection and public service. She emphasized the importance of the consultation to enable the Center deliver meaningful researches and interventions towards minimizing the impacts of natural hazards.
A presentation on the overview of the OML Center was given by Scientific Director, Dr. Rodel Lasco. He started with the background of how the Center was established then shared the Center’s guiding principle, vision, mission, goals, and organizational structure. Initial local and international partners were recognized: Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and World Agroforestry Centre. Dr. Lasco noted the main activities of the Center and elaborated on the mechanisms for the proposal submission and review process. He concluded with the explanation of the meeting’s objectives and workshop procedures.
Following a brief Open Forum which clarified some issues about the Center’s mechanisms on awarding grants, Dr. Lasco led the workshop drawing responses from the participants on the research gaps in climate change and natural hazard management. Relevant areas for research based on the emerging issues and the scientific trends were identified and grouped together. Discussion ensued to elaborate on the answers and to help the proponents prioritize and focus as they develop the project proposals for further consultation with and submission to the Center. Following are the main categories that were identified: downscaling climate scenarios; development of sensors and instruments for weather prediction; flood and water management; urban risks and development; food security and natural ecosystems; and capacity building and mainstreaming.
With the success of the workshop, First Gen Corporation Vice-President Al Santos thanked everyone and stressed the urgency to build and implement national adaptation and resilience strategies – a role that OML Center can do only with the support of all stakeholders. He reminded that while adaptation must be given priority, efforts on mitigation must also be continued.