Scientist urges people to plan mitigation vs. climate change

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

August 3, 2023, 7:55 pm

<p>(<em>Screenshot from PTV's Facebook page</em>) </p>

(Screenshot from PTV's Facebook page

MANILA – A Balik Scientist on Thursday urged communities, especially those in coastal areas, to think of efforts that could mitigate the effects of climate change.

In a public briefing, Balik Scientist Hernando Bacosa, said communities must prepare for dry season, drought, flooding.

"Often, the tropical cyclones are strong, making the communities more vulnerable. People near the rivers, estero, or the squatters shouldn't be there since water surge is possible," he said.

"We have to think of mitigation (measures), especially for the informal settlers, because they are at risk of problems caused by climate change or global warming," Bacosa continued.

The Philippines being an archipelagic country is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, including the rising sea level, he said.

Bacosa also pointed out that the Philippines is among the biggest polluters of plastics. "Plastics coming our rivers are also connected with climate change... There's also coral bleaching that damages the corals, affecting the fishes."

He also mentioned that the warm weather can be felt more now compared to 10 or 20 years ago.

"Aside from flooding, tropical cyclones, extreme drought, the climate change also disrupted the climate pattern," he said.

Bacosa said he thinks the government will intensify efforts in creating resilient communities, mitigating climate change risks, and investing in clean energy and reforestation to minimize carbon dioxide emissions.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), he said, has developed technologies and innovations related to these efforts.

During the Luzon leg of the Handa Pilipinas event last July 27, DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. said the country needs to acknowledge that the cities are at risk.

"We are faced with the challenges posed by decades of rapid urbanization and unregulated growth. Our cities and municipalities are at risk also because of climate and disaster risks brought by our exposure, vulnerability, and lack of coping and adaptive capacities," Solidum said.

Handa Pilipinas seeks to increase public awareness of preventable and solvable problems. It aims to introduce Filipino-made technologies that are ready for adoption and transfer, ready to be maximized for disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness and response.

The event, Solidum said, is a call to action to empower citizens, and all stakeholders in taking an active role to achieve resiliency. (PNA)