By Joy Santiago
The Climate Change Commission celebrated the Climate Change Consciousness Week last November 20-24 and highlighted the efforts in putting forward solutions for tackling the challenges of climate change shared by the key stakeholders of the country including, but not limited to, the government, the private sector, and the academe. The activities sought to promote and gather support in taking actions to build resilience in pursuit of sustainable development goals.
One of the main activities was the “Local Climate Change Action Planning: Approaches and Good Practices”, a forum which underlined the significance of community engagement to innovative climate actions and for climate change resilience building. The forum was attended by the Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Phase 1 (Project ReBUILD).
Project ReBUILD is currently being implemented by the Climate Change Commission – Climate Change Office (CCC-CCO), in collaboration with the University of the Philippines (UP) through the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding assistance from the Government of New Zealand/New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP). The project aims to improve competencies of local key actors to address disaster risks from natural hazards and impacts of climate change by using science-based vulnerability and risk assessment in the formulation and implementation of measures. One of the outputs of the project is the Geospatial Analytics National Platform which serves as a repository for the exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability and risk level data of the its pilot Local Government Units (LGUs) namely Tuguegarao City and Municipality of Iguig in Cagayan Province and Passi City and Municipalities of Zarraga and Dumangas in Iloilo Province.
GANaP is an online service where geospatial data such as maps and locations are overlain or displayed on different user preferred base maps. It enables users who do not have access to traditional GIS software to view the said geospatial data. For the purpose of the project, the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center website was used as the repository and platform for the abovementioned functionalities. In this way, the LGUs will be able to take advantage of the UP NOAH Center website’s feature while utilizing the vulnerability and risk assessment features that will be produced through Project ReBUILD. Hence, the simulated climate change-adjusted hazard maps will also be displayed on the UP NOAH Center website. For vulnerability and risk assessment (VRA), the GANaP will feature a worksheet where the LGUs can input and display the data needed to complete the exposure database that will be used for conducting VRA. Through this platform, LGUs can input, edit, and save their work. Upon saving, the LGUs will be able to visualize the output of the VRA through vulnerability and risk matrices. The LGU can download the matrices which can be used as input in their Comprehensive Land Use Plans and Local Climate Change Action Plans.
In line with these, the LGUs’ representatives will have log-in credentials which will allow them to generate the matrices. In preparation for developing the platform to Decision Support System for LGUs and other stakeholders, the backend of the platform will be arranged in such a way that it can accommodate the conversion of the vulnerability and risk matrices to vulnerability and risk level maps at the city/municipal level.