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Sunday, February 25, 2024

PH top scientists, outstanding women hold Klima Conference in Tacloban

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Local government executives from all over the Visayas, private sector sustainability officers and scientists held a successful workshop seminar, “Klima,” organized by the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) and NAST (National Academy of Science and Technology) at the Summit Hotel in Tacloban.

Scientists, private sector speakers and local government executives from all over the Visayas tackle climate change solutions at the Summit Hotel in Tacloban.

“The first step toward solving a problem is to first acknowledge that there is in fact a problem. Climate change is well on its way and has a huge impact on us. It seems obvious to say this but unfortunately, some of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions are still debating if climate change is real and/or if they should do anything about it,” said Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, a TOWNS member who was named one of Asia’s best scientists this year.

Academician Rex Victor Cruz, who chairs the NAST Climate Change Committee, highlighted the significant exposure of watershed ecosystems and attendant services to climate variability, extreme rain and temperature, floods, droughts and erosion. 

Part of his presentation was on overlapping boundaries of watershed ecosystems across municipalities and provinces, which highlighted the need for more harmonized planning among local government units. 

Academicians Glenn Gregorio and Marie Antonette Juinio-Meñez, also a TOWNS member, illustrated the exposure of agricultural and fisheries systems to climate change. 

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Academician Rex Victor Cruz, chairman of the NAST Task Force on Climate Change, says watersheds transcend political boundaries as he called for concerted action among LGUs.

Rice, a Filipino staple, is threatened by salinization, drought and floods, they said. 

Aquaculture systems and capture fisheries, and more importantly the fishers themselves, are at risk due to a variety of climate change hazards from increased temperatures, sea level rise, stronger storms and ocean acidification. 

Cruz cited the watershed ecosystem-based approach to come up with Comprehensive Land Use Plans that would integrate responses to climate change and other threats. 

Juinio-Meñez pointed out the necessity for healthy coastal ecosystems to support sustainable capture fisheries and the health and security of coastal households. She also suggested looking into alternative aquaculture systems such as non-fed culture systems, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, and most especially community-based culture and resources management where coastal communities are capacitated, supported and secured.

Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the Oscar M. Lopez Center, presented a suite of tools that could be used for decision-support for climate change adaptation planning.

Katrina Francisco, Partner of SGV on Climate Change and Sustainability Services, noted the importance of incorporating strategies for climate change action into city budgeting, and the process of tagging so there’s transparency in potential climate funds. 

Yvonne Flores, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Head of the Gokongwei Group, cited the company’s climate resilience workshops while Ellainne Muhal, Quality Assurance and Quality Control Head of the Victorias Milling Corporation’s Distillery, shared how VMC is working toward the principle of circularity in their production and enhancing their mitigation measures. 

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