A webinar entitled Adapting to Climate Change: Mapping of Safe Open Spaces for Earthquake Resiliency of Metro Manila was live-streamed via the online platforms Zoom and YouTube on 19 November 2020. The webinar was conducted in observance of the 2020 National Climate Change Consciousness (NCCC) Week. The attendees were from NAMRIA, DENR, and the academe.
The theme this year is, “Adapting for a Sustainable Future.” The NCCC Week was first celebrated in 2008 as provided for by Presidential Proclamation No. 1667, “Declaring 19 to 25 November, 2008, and every year thereafter as National Climate Change Consciousness Week.”
Geospatial Information System Management Branch (GISMB) Director John Santiago F. Fabic gave the opening remarks and enumerated the environmental changes we are experiencing such as stronger typhoons, floods and erosions brought about by soil saturation, and volcanic eruptions. With these changes, Director Fabic noted that all government agencies, particularly the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), local government units, and private sector entities should generate and share climate datasets and information to come up with better solutions.
Two NAMRIA experts on resource information served as lecturers in the webinar, namely: Engr. Rosalyn D. Sontillanosa, Information System Analyst III from the Geospatial Database Management Division (GDMD) of GISMB; and Forester Pinky T. De Chavez, Senior Remote Sensing Technologist from the Geospatial Integration Division (GID) of the Resource Data Analysis Branch (RDAB). Part of Engineer Sontillanosa’s lecture focused on causes and indicators of climate change, impact of climate change in the Philippines, and what we can do to help prevent climate change. Forester De Chavez provided a backgrounder on the Mapping of Safe Open Spaces for Earthquake Resiliency for the Greater Metro Manila Area, after which she referred to the maps and showed how these may be used. The maps basically identify the locations of safe open spaces in preparation for earthquakes and other related disasters in the Greater Metro Manila area. There are further plans to identify open spaces and critical lifeline facilities in the provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Rizal, Tarlac, and Zambales. After the lectures, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback about the information shared with them.
The webinar closed with a message from RDAB Director Rijaldia N. Santos PhD where she emphasized the challenges faced by the country as it responds to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, earthquakes, and climate-related disasters like typhoons, and massive floodings. The collective efforts of national government agencies; and information dissemination through webinars and the like will help prepare everyone for the effects of climate change. Director Santos also extended her appreciation to the organizers of the webinar, the resource speakers, and participants.
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