Climate and Environment

LGUs urged to implement proactive climate change adaptation measures

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
LGUs urged to implement proactive climate change adaptation measures
Residents salvage belongings from their destroyed houses at Talisay in Cebu province on December 17, 2021, a day after Super Typhoon Rai hit.
AFP/Alan Tangcawan

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units and communities must take proactive measures to help people cope with the impacts of climate change, an expert from the Climate Change Commission said as the world races to ensure a liveable future for humanity.

Dr. Doracie Zoleta-Nantes, chair of the CCC’s National Panel of Technical Experts, said the expert panel is tasked to come up with LGU-based climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction initiatives to reduce the vulnerabilities of local communities.

NPTE, composed of experts from across the archipelago, recommends best practices for the enhancement of the adaptive capacity of vulnerable population to climate impacts.

The role of LGUs is to incorporate these strategies in their development programs, Zoleta-Nantes stressed in a briefing Monday.

“We will find practical approaches and climate change adaptation strategies that can be undertaken by local government units and community members themselves. This highlights the fact that in the end, the people should be proactively undertaking climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction initiatives themselves,” the president of Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) said.

“It is now the most opportune time for the communities to be involved in helping themselves, preparing themselves,” she added.

Under the Climate Change Act of 2009, all local governments are tasked to formulate their local climate change action plans (LCCAPs). These action plans describe how LGUs plan to respond to the impacts of climate change and mainstream them into local development plans such as land use plans and investment programs.

There are currently 1,324 LCCAPs formulated by LGUs, according to CCC.

Masantol flooding

CCC developed a case study about the prolonged inundation of Masantol town in Pampanga, which aims to help the municipality address the problem. 

“We had several site visits and concluded that the problems experienced by communities are worsened by climate change,” Zoleta-Nantes said.

The NPTE chair said restoring mangrove forests in the area can protect communities from high tides and storm surges, reduce saltwater intrusion, and provide habitats for fish. SLSU will provide the mangrove seedlines and capacitate the community. 

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