Dr. Yusof A. Sucol, University Researcher II, led the SESAM-UPLB researchers in conducting Eco-DRR training at N Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, March 6, 2018.
The Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) tapped research personnel from the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) as resource persons for the Ecosystems-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) seminar conducted last March 6-8, 2019 at the N Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.
The workshop, entitled “National Planning Workshop on Ecosystems-Based Adaptation (EBA) and Eco-DRR Mainstreaming cum Orientation-Seminar on Communication Planning for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction” is part of the capacity development of EBA mainstreaming of the EMB Climate Change Division in cooperation with the EMB Regional Offices.
The basis for this seminar was the DENR Memorandum No. 2016-55 in February 1, 2016 by Usec. Jonas Leones, Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, which stated the inclusion of Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) concept that will address ecosystems resilience and ecological integrity as one of the contributions of the DENR in its intended nationally determined contributions in accordance with our country’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.
In the three-day seminar, participants were expected to learn and understand the links between ecosystems, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and sustainable livelihoods; increase awareness on the multiple benefits provided by ecosystems for risk reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development; develop knowledge and skills on how to integrate eco-DRR into the development planning processes; facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration between environmental management, DRR, climate change and development actors; develop an action agenda that integrates EBA/Eco-DRR into development plans and programs; learn and understand the basic concepts of communication planning and its relevance to climate change; learn how to develop a strategic communication plan on climate change; and formulate initial communication plan for climate change for their respective regions.
Among the resource speakers from SESAM-UPLB during the workshop were Dr. Yusof A. Sucol, University Researcher II; Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, University Extension Specialist II; and For. Sofia A. Alaira, University Researcher I. Ms. Lorizel Montealegre, of the EMB-Environmental Education and Information Division (EEID), provided the lecture and group activities in communication planning.
Dr. Sucol lectured on the introduction to Eco-DRR, including its concepts, elements, its link to climate change adaptation and its benefits. “The practice of Eco-DRR is essential to the mandate of EMB, as you are in forefront of protecting the environment”, Dr. Sucol stressed. Meanwhile, For. Alaira gave an overview of the global and national data on risk, disasters and ecosystems. She highlighted the disaster experiences of the Philippines and the worst effects in the environment, people and economy. For his part, Dr. Lawas presented the relevant national policies regarding Eco-DRR and an example of a strategic communication plan implemented by SESAM for the disaster resilience of the Municipality of Mabitac, Laguna. Lastly, Ms. Montealegre conducted a communication planning group activity for the participants to enhance the participants’ capability in the development of future communication plans of their respective regional offices.
More than 50 representatives from different EMB-DENR regional offices attended the workshop. These representatives will be leading in the development of a communication plan that would provide direction and guidance for awareness and understanding of climate change and DRR in their regions.