‘Tech-driven solutions key to sustainable recovery’

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The use of technology-driven solutions and stronger multi-stakeholder collaboration would hasten the country’s shift to a green and sustainable way of living, environmental experts said.

During the recent Pilipinas Conference 2021: Sustaining Cooperation for a Green and Sustainable Recovery forum  hosted by Stratbase ADR Institute, Rene “Butch” Meily, president of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), said they are relying on technology to build disaster resilience – partnering, for instance, with an Israeli company for at least four early earthquake warning devices in Batangas province, and with the USAID for its Climate Resilient Cities Project.

Mahar Lagmay, director of the University of the Philippines–Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP-NOAH) Center, in his presentation said disasters are just manifestations of unresolved problems of development.

“We need to be smart. We must incorporate scientific knowledge and the use of technology to be able to visualize these scenarios and mainstream them into the planning process of communities.”

He also said that to be able to adapt to climate change, we must be able to change our life – specifically, to find alternatives to the traditional way of making engines run.

In his keynote speech. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno underscored the need for banks to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of environmental and social risks and their impact on their operation and business viability before they can heed the call for action on the environment.

“As part of our effort to go green, the BSP remains committed to the following: guide the financial system and promote a conducive backdrop for sustainable finance to flourish; raise awareness and build capacity; enable a regulatory environment through policy issuances; engage all stakeholders as we recognize that the environmental and social risks are not just business risks, but risks that affect everyone and the future generations to come; and lastly, navigate the path towards a post-COVID-19 economy and Philippine financial system that is more stable, resilient, and inclusive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said climate change should drive us to pump prime the economy.

“If we are to face dire risks squarely, we must upgrade everything, not just the power sector, but upgrade urban services to logistics, food supply, and supply chains, including transport infrastructure that should be designed to move people instead of cars,” he said.

He warned that Filipinos cannot afford to tackle climate change with a narrow approach, and that any emissions reduction strategy must be part of a larger transition strategy focused on achieving sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic development.

Environment Undersecretary Analiza Teh identified green growth opportunities in clean energy transition, circular economy models, sustainable urban development and transport models, productive and regenerative agriculture, and healthy and productive oceans.

“We propose that we adopt nature-based solutions which can actually provide 37 percent of the emission reduction needed by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under two degrees Celsius,” she said.


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