Project NOAH prepares multi-hazard maps of the future

Improved resilience to future disasters means helping communities and ecosystems cope with changing climate conditions. In order to do this, efforts must be made to mainstream Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction and Management (CCA and DRVRM) into existing local development plans such as the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) at the micro scale at the city and municipal levels and the Provincial Development Physical Framework Plan and Investment Plan at the meso scale at the provincial and regional levels.  Mainstreaming, integration, and convergence needs to be done now, before it’s too late.

Disaster Risk Reduction Management in the context of Climate Change Adaptation is not limited to the current weather and their potential hazard impacts but rather to climate-related hazard scenarios that can affect vulnerable communities and areas, decades from today. As such, Project NOAH scientists and practitioners based in UP Diliman have prepared multi-hazard maps of the future for early warning, incorporating possible scenarios predicted as a consequence of climate change. It accelerates the triangle of survival: the Paris Climate Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 and the Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which requires science and risk-based approaches in their formulation and implementation.

Project NOAH multi-hazard maps are the outcome and products of multi- disciplinary and interrelated efforts and initiatives. Team members of NOAH include geologists, geophysicists, meteorologists, hydrologists, marine scientists, civil engineers, geodetic engineers, geographers, geomatics experts, and urban planners. Using their knowledge on the physics of the flow of water and stability of rock materials, they are able to simulate hazard scenarios using high-performance computers, and present them in vivid detail. They have generated hazard maps for river and urban floods, storm surge inundation, and rainfall-triggered landslides.

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Flood hazard map of part of Iligan City near Mandulog River where many died from floods spawned by heavy rains of Tropical Storm Sendong.

In contrast to the maps produced by Project NOAH, hazard maps generated from combined field interviews of individuals in communities and visual interpretation of aerial and satellite imagery, even with the aid of geological maps, will not suffice in achieving the goal of resilience against future disasters. It is for a very simple reason – interviewees will never know what the scenario of floods, 20, 50, or 100 years from now, and neither will the specialist who prepared the flood and landslide susceptibility maps from his or her expert opinion. To incorporate the climate change scenarios of floods, storm surges, and landslides, science and technology are imperative and this is what the multi-disciplinary team of Project NOAH scientists from UP Diliman bring to the forefront of battle against future disasters.

Using frontier science and cutting edge-technology, scientists from Project NOAH generate at least 1:10,000 scale hazard maps to empower communities in their efforts to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change as well as harness any of its beneficial aspects.  Project NOAH scientists understand and map natural hazards to meet their real objective, which is to identify suitable areas for the development of communities adapted to climate change and provide locations of the safest sites for evacuation and placement of critical facilities. They understand that knowing the hazards without identifying suitable areas to avoid disasters will not help communities adapt to climate change.

Project NOAH has generated scenario-based hazard maps at an unprecedented scale, having completed the landslide and storm surge hazard maps for the entire country.  Flood hazard maps for the Philippines, however, are still incomplete, but team members will fill the void at the soonest possible time. The completed flood hazard maps can be accessed through this website: https://lipad.dream.upd.edu.ph/. No other group in the Philippines has done this type of mapping work at this scale to improve climate resilience in the country!

Know more about Project NOAH by visiting http://www.noah.up.edu.ph.

One Comment:

  1. The plan of Project NOAH about preparation in multi-hazard maps in the Philippines for the future is very precisely explained for all communities to be alerted on the possible hazards in their places. However the problem is they don’t have enough funds to support the project. So for me I think this plan will work but it takes very long process and very patient time to successfully complete. That’s all.

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