Firms, gov't urged to implement climate adaptation efforts

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Nov 08 2012 03:10 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2012 11:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Businesses and government units should use environmental vulnerabilities to their advantage and help their communities adapt to the fast changing climate.

"With the proper mindset, what may be seen as a local vulnerability can be transformed into a development opportunity," Lory Tan, vice chair and chief executive officer of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, said on Thursday.

"The world is fast changing. It is crucial for our own national competitiveness and social viability that Filipino leaders, both from the public and private sectors, learn to look at climate adaptation as a unique selling proposition," Tan added.

WWF Philippines and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation on Thursday launched the results of their second multi-phase study on climate adaptation for Philippine cities.

The study, dubbed as Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts Phase II, was conducted from January to September this year and covered the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Laoag and Zamboanga.

Among the four cities, Dagupan city was found the most vulnerable to impacts brought by climate change, while Laoag was found the least vulnerable, Tan said.

Results of the study showed a 6.91 vulnerability score for Dagupan city, 6.68 points for Cagayan de Oro city, 6.32 for Zamboanga city and 5.8 for Laoag city.

Looking at each city's assessment, the study found the need for businesses and government units in Dagupan city, Cagayan de Oro city, and Laoag city to better develop their flood management systems.

Meanwhile, the study stressed the need for Zamboanga city to strengthen its watershed management and put in place a land use classification system to avoid downstream flooding.

"A climate-defined future will be a highly-variable future... Success can be achieved by capitalizing on development opportunities and mastering supply and demand," Tan said.

Last year, WWF-Philippines and BPI Foundation conducted the same study for the cities of Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo.

BPI President and CEO Aurelio "Gigi" Montinola III said his company is committed to conducting the same study next year covering another four cities in the country.