The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), in partnership with the OML Center, Philippines held the Third National Climate Conference with the theme “Climate-Related Risks and Disasters” on September 25 at the Traders Hotel, Manila. The conference highlighted the importance of science in understanding and adapting to climate change, and to its impacts on people and ecosystems. It aimed to discuss, develop, and promote science-based and timely response to climate-related risks and disasters.
President of NAST PHL, Academician William G. Padolina, stated that support to climate conferences and research endeavors “can generate more knowledge on climate change and help bridge the science and policy action gap in the country”. He further emphasized that the conference’s goal is “not just to exchange information and ideas but also to influence policy at some point.”
Civil Defense Deputy Administrator of the Office of CivilDefense and Keynote Speaker, Dir. Romeo Fajardo,discussed his agency’s initiatives after Typhoon Glenda. He cited policies like the R.A.9729 or the Climate Change Act, as well as the R.A 10121 or thePhilippine Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Act and announced that the hazard maps will be finished this year.
Plenary Sessions featured experts in climate research. Acting Deputy Administrator for Research and Development of PAGASA, Dr. Flaviana Hilario, talked about climate trends and implications to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) / Operational Climatology. Atmospheric Scientist and Associate Director for Research of the Manila Observatory, Dr. Gemma Teresa Narisma, discussed the country’s increasing risk and exposure. Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur’s Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Cristina M. Camba and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Officer, Engr. Josephine Lapeciros presented her province’s best practices on disaster response.
Papers presented during oral presentations were: Climate Science, Disaster Risk Reduction, Community-based Assessment on Disaster Mitigation and Sectoral Approaches on Climate Change Studies. Further, there has been a growing interest and publication of papers in Climate Research, specifically on the most-researched themes including: 1) Social & Migration, 2) Food Security, 3) Climate Science, 4) Natural Ecosystem, and 5) Disaster Risk-Reduction Management.
While researchers from the academe have been the majority of participants since the first conference, a notable increase in the number of participants from other sectors, such as from local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs), has been noted according to Academician Rodel Lasco, Chair of the NAST Task force on Climate Change.
Among the posters exhibited during the conference, two winners were recognized. First place was awarded to “Production of Emergency Food Reserve (EFR): Government-Private Sector Cooperation (GPC) for Community Disaster Preparedness” by Lourdes Solidum-Montevirgen, Annabelle Flores, and Monica Manalo from Industrial Technology Development Institute, DOST while second place was awarded to “Influence of Different Tropical Cyclones on Runoff Behaviors of a Forest Watershed in the Philippines” by Nathaniel Bantayan, Edwin Combaciler, Jan Joseph Dida, and Aldin Alegre from the College of Forestry and Natural Resources, UPLB.
Academician Lasco concluded the conference by acknowledging the presence of many young researchers and further encouraging everyone to continue supporting climate research in the country.