University of the Philippines Los Baños
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 14:44

UPLB, NAST, CCC conference calls for climate change policies

Milenyo. Ondoy. Yolanda.

 

These are the recent typhoons that wreaked havoc in the country. If one would agree with phenomenon scientists, these are proof that climate change has indeed arrived and has intensified life-threatening calamities.

As part of its continuous efforts to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, the UPLB Climate and Disaster Risks Studies Center (CDRSC), in partnership with the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC), co-organized the 2nd International Conference on Climate Change Research and Development and the 6th National Climate Research Conference on Sept. 27-28 at the CAS Auditorium.

With the theme “Linking science and policies to climate and disaster risks management,” the Conference served as a platform for various stakeholders from academe, private institutions, and local government units (LGUs) to discuss climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management, and relevant climate policies. The 268 participants  included researchers, academicians, climate scientists, and representatives from LGUs around the Philippines.

In his keynote speech entitled “Convergence towards resilience,” Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman talked about the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation programs and policies. He emphasized their value for the Philippines, a country known to be highly vulnerable and at risk to climate change events.

Sec. de Guzman also underscored the critical role of academe, particularly in providing science-based solutions to the phenomenon. He stressed that everyone is responsible in making communities safer and the future more secure amid the threats of climate change.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his welcome remarks, stated that climate change was “a challenge that can never be taken lightly.” He also expressed high hopes for the Conference’s results and enjoined all attendees to participate actively.

Dr. William Padolina, president and Academician of NAST, made clear points on the negative impacts of climate change and called for a need to “repair the planet”; while Dr. Renato Solidum Jr., undersecretary for disaster risk reduction and climate change of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), stressed the importance of proper preparation in the face of worsening climate disasters.

The Conference had sub-themes for its two-day run. On the UPLB-facilitated first day, the plenary and parallel sessions had over 20 papers focusing on “Managing climate and disaster risks for resilient communities.The NAST-led second day, on the other hand, centered on “Assessing the science, policies and realities of climate change: Philippine context, which featured four commissioned papers and open forum in a town hall format.

The Conference concluded with the formulation, refinement, and validation of a set of resolutions, which were presented to the CCC and are hoped to be converted into actionable policies. Dr. Rafael Guerrero III, Academician of NAST, officially closed the event, and encouraged everyone to “meet the challenge of climate change head on, with adaptation and mitigation.”

The event was sponsored by the School of Environmental Science and Management, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development, Philippine Rice Research Institute, SEAMEO-SEARCA, and Oscar M. Lopez Center. (Albert Geoffred B. Peralta)