by Vera Horigue
The Marine Science Institute in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines held a climate change forum entitled – “Adapting Wisely to a Changing Philippine Coastal Environment” last 11th of January at UP MSI, Diliman, Quezon City.
The forum aimed to deepen the understanding of students, faculty and staff of the University of the Philippines, government agencies and non-governmental organizations on the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems as well as adaptation strategies and initiatives.
The forum opened with messages from the Director of UP MSI, Dr. Maria Lourdes San Diego – McGlone and the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, Ambassador Alistair MacDonald. Both Dr. McGlone and Amb. MacDonald talked about the importance of awareness on climate change impacts and the need to act now.
Mr. Matthieu Penot of the EU Delegation gave the first presentation on EU strategies to address climate change. He discussed EU’s mitigation and adaptation projects applied in developing countries, particularly the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
MSI presenters, Dr. Laura David, Dr. Fernando Siringan and Dr. Porfirio Aliño, presented initial results of the Integrated Coastal Enhancement: Coastal Resource Evaluation and Adaptive Management (ICE CREAM) Program for Climate Change. Dr. David talked about oceanographic and climatic changes in the Philippines, particularly changes in sea-surface temperatures, sea-level rise, storm frequency, intensity and pathways. Dr. Siringan focused on coastal erosion, caused by sea-level rise and human activities such as shoreline development and coral and sand extraction. Dr. Aliño gave the final talk and discussed adaptation strategies and the challenges of applying them here in the Philippines.
After the forum, the Coastal Climate Change Covenant (The 4Cs), which aimed to strengthen the partnerships among the academe, non-government and government institutions, was signed. Organizations that attended the forum were invited to make a pledge that would contribute to a Sea-change through Adaptation and Mitigation Measures. The organizations that participated in the forum were ADB, CI-Philippines, DOST-PCAMRD, FPE, Haribon Foundation, Manila Observatory, NAMRIA, UPLB, UP NIGS, and WWF-Philippines, All the organizations present will again meet the following year to share the results of their efforts to fight climate change.
The opening of the “Fighting Climate Change” photo exhibit by the Philippine Center for Photojournalism Inc., served as a closing activity for the day’s event. The exhibit showcased the results of PCP’s climate change photojournalism competition in 2008. The exhibit remained in UP MSI from the 11th to the 15th of January, 2010 at the poster viewing area.