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Climate change a creeping disaster – DOST

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to prepare for the “creeping” disastrous effects of climate change.

Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo warned that while massive damage wrought by natural disasters are being monitored, there are small and unnoticed but steadily destructive changes in ecology and weather that affect the livelihood especially of farmers and fishermen.

“It’s sort of a creeping disaster. We have to be prepared for this kind of disaster,” Montejo said.

He noted that preparedness for this kind of disaster entailed the study of how the changes in the climate – especially how the rainy season that seems to be getting shorter but brings heavier rainfall and the summer season that is becoming hotter – are affecting the behavioral patterns of all organisms.

The DOST has started this month the “Iba na Ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities“ nationwide regional tour where high-resolution multi-hazard maps drawn by region and by province are distributed to help local government units (LGUs) improve their disaster preparedness plans.

The multi-hazard maps were drawn from latest weather information gathered from DOST’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and DREAM (Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation) programs.

The campaign will also bring Project NOAH and DREAM officials around the country to help the LGUs map out their disaster preparedness plans in intensive workshops. Local executives and disaster response and reduction officers are urged to work closely with the scientists of the DOST.

“To increase the understanding of the community on the local risks and vulnerabilities of their area, we are launching new hazard maps, such as high-resolution maps which are good for understanding inundation, floods and storm surges down to the municipal and even up to the community level in barangays,” Montejo said.

Using the new multi-hazard maps, LGU executives should conduct “disaster imagination” sessions after which they could map out disaster preparedness plans.

“We hope these new information will spur the right disaster imagination to guide you in your respective community plans,” Montejo added.

The DOST launched the campaign on March 3 in Central Luzon, the first regional stop. The campaign’s first two-day regional workshop was held at the Oxford Hotel in the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga.

This week, the DOST brings the campaign to Western Visayas.

Montejo stressed the need to improve disaster preparedness as stronger storms and monsoon rains are becoming the “new normal” being experienced by the country.

 

ANG PANAHON ANGELES CITY CENTRAL LUZON CLARK SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DISASTER DISASTER RISK AND EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT MONTEJO NATIONWIDE OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF HAZARDS OXFORD HOTEL
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