Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into land use planning: Developing the competencies, tools, and a community of practice

Project Code

NP 2014-02


Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative






PHP 748,350

Names of Grantees

Fouad M. Bedimerand, PhD

Executive Summary

This project built upon the results of the“Building a Disaster Resilient Quezon City” project that EMI implemented with the Quezon City Government (QCG) in 2012, the main output of which was the Quezon City (QC) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Plan 2014-2020.

During the preparation of the QC DRRMP, the EMI Project Implementation Team (PIT) noted that the preparation (and subsequent implementation) of the QC DRRMP required significant technical capacity at the QCG level to enable the updating of current planning processes and effectively engage in disaster risk reduction (DRR). In addition, the project became more timely in light of the fact that the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) released the “Supplemental Guidelines on Mainstreaming CCA-DRR into the CLUP Process” in 2014 to help local government units (LGUs) comply with two landmark national laws, the Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729) and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121), which require the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies in all national and local development plans, including the comprehensive land use plan (CLUP).

In light of these developments, this project was structured and implemented to reinforce the learnings already acquired by the QCG staff (specifically, the members of the technical working group on DRRM (TWG-DRRM)) through the conduct of three training modules that focus specifically on the applications of hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessment (HVRA) to risk-sensitive land use planning (RSLUP). In particular, participants were trained on the practical aspects of:

1) Using hazard overlay maps to identify “hotspots” barangays where the material and socio-economic impacts from hazards such as floods or earthquakes would be the highest;

2) Produce impact chain matrices to relate to the mainstreaming techniques in land use planning; and

3) Formulate risk-sensitive zoning ordinances

These topics were identified from previous EMI experience and from the Training Needs assessment as being the most relevant road blocks and competency barriers to understanding and implementing the mainstreaming requirements for CCA and DRM in land use planning and other planning processes. The tools used included hands-on training on Geographical Information System (GIS), and step-by-step explanations on hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment (HVRA) concepts and parameters. Knowledge check sessions were also incorporated as additional opportunities for learning reinforcement, competency checks and identifying weaknesses that needed to be addressed.

In addition, a mentoring session with representatives from the HLURB and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and a dissemination forum with city planning officials from the other LGUs in Metro Manila were also conducted to share the learnings gained from the implementation of the project and establish a Community of Practice (CoP) on RSLUP in Metro Manila. It is hoped that this project will serve as the starting point for establishing a Community of Practice on Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning (RSLUP), starting in Metro Manila, and hopefully extending to other regions across the country. The concept of mainstreaming is relatively new and difficult to grasp for planners who are for most part, training to follow rigorous methods. It took organizations such as HLURB several years to develop the mainstreaming guidelines and it will probably take significant efforts of hands-on capacity building and training to reach a level where city planners and other technical professionals would have the skills and competencies effectively implement these guidelines. Achieving mainstreaming and developing a practice of Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning will require significant more investment and development of incentives for planners and policy makers to not only have the competencies but also be advocate for urban resilience and risk reduction. This project has piloted an approach, which can be further scaled up in the future.