Komunidad gathers LGU leaders, climate experts in Adapt Asia 2022

Adapt Asia Forum

Local government unit leaders and climate experts gathered at the Adapt Asia 2022, a venue created by Komunidad to explore actions in advancing climate adaptation and resilience through innovative solutions.

Adapt Asia 2022 was a two-day event held at The Fifth, Rockwell in Makati City on November 10 to 11, led by Komunidad and other organizations that have pledged support in creating more climate resilient communities.

The event was timely as it was held weeks after the Philippines was pounded by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) that left billions worth of destruction in agriculture and infrastructure, and more than 100 casualties.

As Komunidad CEO Felix Ayque stressed in his opening statement, the Adapt Asia 2022 forum is not about policymaking, but “about the real situation out there.”

Government officials led by Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Gonzaga, Defense Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer and DOST-PAGASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Esperanza O. Cayanan were among the speakers at the discussion that aims to empower business and community leaders with data and tools to prepare for and respond to risks brought by climate change.

LGU leaders such as Makati Mayor Abby Binay, Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office’s Peachy de Leon and Manila DRRMO Director Arnel Angeles also shared their cities’ programs and policies to take action onclimate change impacts and disaster preparedness. They are joined by Asian Development Bank Country Director Kelly Bird, who emphasized the organization’s efforts in prioritizing climate and disaster resilience in Asia.

Meanwhile, innovation leaders IBM, represented by Senior Meteorologist Michael Wang, and Everbridge’s Associate Director Yasser Hossain, also spoke at the event to share their digital transformation solutions towards creating smart cities.

Shift in strategy

The Philippines weathers an average of 20 storms yearly, and at least five of these are destructive. ButMakati Mayor Abby Binay pointed out that they have also observed “extreme heat and rainfall events” in the last three decades.

Quezon City LGU’s de Leon, during Day 1 of the event called “Taking Action,” echoed Binay’s observation and said that “what was once merely called climate change now accounts for stronger typhoons and a concerning rise in the sea level close to Manila.”

Acknowledging these changes, LGUs have stressed that there is a need to shift strategy in its disaster risk reduction and management practices.

Mayor Binay said that the Makati disaster office is looking at upgrading its infrastructure and putting up an early warning system —  which Komunidad has offered to LGUs across the country, even to coastal communities at-risk during storms — especially in hard-to-reach and vulnerable areas in the city.

Manila DRRMO director Angeles meanwhile said the Philippine capital is working on strengthening cleanup drives along Manila Bay and modernizing materials recovery facilities.

Participants, composed mostly of DRRM officers, were also able to discover latest developments on weather forecasting and early warning systems that will strengthen community disaster preparedness plans on Day 2 of the forum, titled “Technology and Innovation.”

An interactive workshop led by Komunidad Philippines Country Manager and Head of Meteorology & Data Science John Christian Lequiron was also prepared, urging participants to create their climate resilient tools and early warning alerts through Komunidad’s intelligent solutions.

Through the Adapt Asia 2022 forum, attendees were also able to learn, through collaborative sharing, the best practices to address emerging climate change challenges and discover innovative tools to build climate resilient communities and businesses.

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