UP Resilience Institute to integrate Project NOAH as information hub (Rappler)

This article was originally published by Rappler on May 22, 2017.

Image courtesy of Rappler.com

The UP NOAH Center under the UP-RI will offer reports for cities and municipalities to help them manage their ecological vulnerabilities

MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UP-RI) will be relaunched on June 23, highlighting the integration of Project National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) as its core component.

Before being adopted by UP, Project NOAH started out as a government project that provided real-time satellite data to empower communities and help them prepare against extreme natural hazards such as floods. The Department of Science and Technology, however, had to scrap its flagship disaster management initiative in early 2017 due to lack of funds. (READ: Gov’t to stop Project NOAH due to ‘lack of funds’)

The UP NOAH Center under the UP-RI will offer reports for cities and municipalities based on the calamities they experience, helping them manage their ecological vulnerabilities.

Mahar Lagmay, Director of UP NOAH Center, vowed that scientific research with state-of-the-art technology from UP-RI will ensure accurate and understandable data that is free to the public at all times.

“Empowered communities, which constantly remained as the fundamental and uncompromised goal of NOAH, proved to be instrumental in averting more than 15 potentially fatal calamities since 2012,” said Lagmay, who is also the Executive Director of UP-RI for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

For the past 5 years, NOAH has trained science experts who produce comprehensive output to construct multi-scenario-based hazard maps.

The UP NOAH Center, under the UP RI, is expected to intensify its functions to provide reports necessary in aiding disaster preparedness and response from the country’s 144 cities and 1,490 municipalities.

According to the World Risk Report of 2016, the Philippines ranked third among the 171 countries with the highest levels of disaster risks.

Acknowledging the importance of the role of NOAH in disaster preparedness and response, the UP Board of Regents (BOR) established the UP RI on Juy 28, 2016. Consequently, NOAH was adopted by UP on February 23, 2017 and formally established it as a center on March 21, 2017.

Project NOAH was established in 2012 in response to former president Benigno Aquino III’s instructions to provide “a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas” throughout the country.

In August 2016, Project NOAH was named as the Top Smart City Initiative for Public Safety in the IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards. – with reports from Jc Marie Salas and Timothy Gerard Palugod/Rappler.com


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