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Symposium-Climate Change Adaptation

FCF holds symposium to plan community climate change adaptation

By: Jan Mikhael Pating


Due to adverse impacts being experienced in some parts of the community of Barangay Runruno such as flooding, landslides and erosion every time an extreme weather condition like typhoon passes by the province, a one-day Symposium on Community Resilience and Adaptability towards Climate Change was organized by the Community and Social Development Department (CSDD) and was spearheaded by its Information, Communications and Education (ICE) section in Barangay Runruno Multi-purpose Hall last December 3, 2015.

The activity which aims to sustain FCF Minerals Corporation’s advocacy in interfacing development through responsible mining and environmental protection through raising community awareness and involvement to climate change mitigation and adaptation is also a way to show an all-out support to the 21st yearly session of the Conference of Parties (COP 21) for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris from November 30-December 11, 2015 whose objective is to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate from all nations of the world.

With the theme “Pagbabago ng Klima ating Agapan, Ikaw at Ako ating Umpisahan,” it became an avenue to prepare Barangay Runruno to adapt to extreme changes in weather conditions and to become resilient through measures that will be instituted following a “community-based adaptation” (CBA) approach.

The plan was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Runruno, Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) of Quezon through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), Department of Education (DepEd) and Runruno National High School (RNHS).

First part of the symposium is a series of lectures about climate change; causes and effects, general impacts and local scenarios.

Mr. Gilbert Migano, Teacher I of RNHS, talked about the causes and effects of global warming and climate change while For. Teresita Jasmin of the DENR presented the local, national and global impacts of climate change through a video produced by the National Geographic Society with the support of the United Nations Foundation.

Dr. Elmer Castañeto, director of the Center for Environmental Resources and Management and Sustainable Development (CERMSD) of NVSU presented the Geo-hazard facts and figures of the province of Nueva Vizcaya.

According to Dr. Castañeto, the province is no. 9 among the 10 provinces that are at risk to earthquake and landslide disaster as thislandlocked province is traversed by the active Digdig fault line.

 He added that about 56,645 hectares of Nueva Vizcaya’s land area is prone to landslides and although typhoons don’t easily get in due to the mountainous terrain that serve as buffer, it is prone to flashfloods especially those towns lying near the Magat River in Nueva Vizcaya.

“Thank you to this activity because aside sa information na sine-share, may workshop aspect pa,” he said explaining the significance of organizing symposium with tangible output like a re-entry plan for the participants.

Second part of the symposium concentrated on lectures about climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Ms. Licel Balico from the DepEd talked about climate change policies and actions and shared their new programs on National Tree Planting and Waste Management Act.

Ms. Balico further explained that the first program requires students and employees to plant at least three (3) seedlings while the latter is about training the students on proper waste segregation.

“These are our ways of helping lessen the carbon dioxide emission in the Philippines,” she said.

Engr. Jonathan Nuestro, director of Nueva Vizcaya Department of Science and Technology (NVDOST), discussed about Project NOAH which stands for Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. It is a technology aimed at creating an early warning system for the people to be informed about a typhoon ahead of time.

DOST explains that Project Noah was launched in response to President Aquino’s instructions to put in place a responsive program for disaster prevention and mitigation, specifically for the country’s warning agencies to be able to provide a 6 hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods and to use advanced technology to enhance current geo-hazard vulnerability maps.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Program (MDRRMP) of Quezon was presented by Engr. Alyson Padua, MDRR Officer of the town.

After which, he spearheaded the workshop on community-based adaptation plan to climate change and emergency response to natural disasters in the community.

The workshop aims to strengthen the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (BDRRMC) to plan appropriate crisis intervention during an emergency and the recovery plan in the aftermath of any disaster and calamity.

The participants were given the opportunity to express themselves and speak about things which concern them during the open forum.

Simultaneous with the symposium is the conduct of Slogan Making Contest which was joined by the students of RNHS.

First place was given to the student with the slogan: “Pagkakaisa para sa Kalikasan Bagsik ng Panahon Hawak Kamay na Labanan Nagbabadyang Pagkasira Labanan.”

Cash prize and consolation prizes were given to winners and participants.

As a collective and urgent call to the leaders and the local people to do the right thing in saving the fate of humanity, the participants affixed their signatures on the signing board which stated: We the people of Barangay Runruno, join hands to support the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference and give our full commitment in saving our Mother Earth. My signature is an expression of concern, love and respect to the environment; that together we can be resilient to the impacts of Climate Change, as we believe that you and I can make this world a better place to live in.”

While signing, the participants were given advocacy shirts and joined in the singing of the community song “Heal the World” which was popularized by the late singer Michael Jackson.

During an interview conducted by ICE for the post-evaluation of the recently conducted symposium, Mr. Manuel Babli-ing, a local resident, is very grateful on the symposium

According to him, the symposium is a big help since it educates the community on the reality that climate change is really happening not only in Barangay Runruno but also in the whole world.

He also added that he is willing to extend his help to this advocacy.

Ms. Judy Ann Romero, ICE staff who conceptualized the symposium said that she agree with the comment of Mr. Migano of RNHS that there should be more activities of this kind in the community.

She explained that there is a need for more awareness campaigns and pro-active climate change adaptation and disaster risk management involving the community and to mainstream this program to the local policy of the barangay to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of the plan.

“The time to act is now. Together, we will take steps to prepare for the changes we know are coming,” she said.

About 150 individuals who consisted of the Barangay Council, community and religious leaders, community-based organizations, students and teachers of RNHS, FCF employees and residents of Barangay Runruno participated in the symposium.

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