UN-Habitat equips PH agencies on enhanced climate risk tool

The most recent World Risk Index ranks the Philippines first among 193 nations worldwide that is most vulnerable to hurricanes/typhoons, floods (both coastal and riverine), drought, sea-level rise, tsunamis, earthquakes, and conflict.

In January 2023, heavy rains caused by a low-pressure area hit the Zamboanga peninsula for several days bringing floods and landslides to 50 barangays, affecting 16,000 families, the local government reported.

This is just one scenario that various government agencies seek to be ready for as UN-Habitat Philippines conducted a training on Local Climate Risk Diagnostics/Analytics for national and regional technical staff of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Climate Change Commission (CCC), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The three-day training held in December 2022 was jointly spearheaded by two projects implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines, the Provincial Climate Risk Diagnostics (PCRD) Project, which is a component of the Accelerating Climate Investment in the Philippines Project with the support from the World Bank, and the Building Climate Resiliency through Urban Plans and Designs (BCRUPD), supported by the German government’s International Climate Initiative.

Leaders and trainers from DHSUD, DENR, and CCC with the UN-Habitat team

Supporting provincial LGUs in climate action planning and in building sustainable and resilient communities, PCRD developed a tool to aid provincial risk-based planning and decision-making and climate risk and resilience tracking at the national level. Aligned with the PCRD tool, the BCRUPD project introduced an enhanced Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) tool that can be easily used by cities and municipalities for assessing climate and disaster risks, identifying priority decision areas, and identifying appropriate risk reduction and adaptation measures as inputs to development planning.

Designed to equip trainers, the event sought to capacitate participants with the use of the PCRD tool and the enhanced CDRA in planning for resilient communities, as well as discuss challenges and approaches to effective utilization of the tool by LGUs.

Topics included risk resiliency in planning; methodology for assessing risk, which discussed the climate impact drivers and indicators on hazard, exposure, and vulnerability; and convergence of the PCRD and CDRA tool for planning.

Through simulation and group exercises, 60 participants had the chance to immerse in using the tool that allowed them to create dynamic dashboards showing visual analysis for various risks like flooding, increasing temperature, rain-induced landslides, and typhoons, among others.

Capping off the event was an action planning session where agencies plotted their initial plans for implementation and roll-out the use of the tools with different stakeholders. UN-Habitat continues to support national government partners in the initial rollout, including structing and development of training materials for various end users of the tools.

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