Tuesday, March 23, 2010

COMSTE, MO hold two-day conference on Country’s Resilience over Climate De-stabilization

Engineering covered the discussions on the two-day conference entitled “Engineering Resilience: Confronting Risk Beyond Adaptation” organized by the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) and the Manila Observatory (MO). This conference was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel last March 15 and 16, 2010.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, COMSTE Chair, attended the event and shared insights and actions that can remedy or stabilize the civilization while climate change is inevitable. He expounded on the the importance of raising the level of preparedness of the Philippines in the face of the rising challenges brought on by the devastation caused by natural calamities.

“Resilience is the ability of a nation to bounce back in the face of calamity. This is why it is important for the Philippines to understand and minimize the vulnerability of its cities, especially Metro Manila, which is mostly below sea level,” said Angara. This has been a realization in his part as he also shared the hitting of typhoon Ondoy in the country, especially in Metro Manila last September 2009 when the natural calamity devastated lives, destroyed livelihood and infrastructures, and wiped out the efforts in modernizing the country.

Senator Loren Legarda, the primary author of the Climate Change Act of 2009 and also, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change warned that, “A mere one meter rise in sea level would threaten the lives and homes of millions of Filipinos. This is a serious matter that cannot be ignored. That is why I am pleased to see representatives from all over the world present here, as part of the global community, willing to share their knowledge gained from experience to make the Philippines better prepared to handle the volatile whims of Mother Nature.”

The first day of the conference provided an overview of the country’s climate-change studies, risks, hazards and vulnerability assessments and policy directions (“What The Philippines Should Do About Climate Change”) as well as the lessons the country has learned from typhoon Ondoy (post-Ondoy analysis).

The second day concentrated to infrastructure development by Dr. Vinod Menon, from India, food and agriculture by Dr. Asanee Kawtrakul, from Thailand, marine and coastal- areas resource management by Filipino expert Dr. Laura David from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, energy security through expert analysis from the Manila Observatory, and public health by Dr. Eric Rasmussen of the US.

The said conference was supported by PLDT / SMART Business Solutions.

For more details, contact Manila Observatory at telephone numbers (632) 426-5921, 426-0837, 426-6495, email at manila@observatory.ph or visit the website http://comste.gov.ph/, or contact Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering at their front desk (632)551-7920 local 7140, telefax at (632)551-7920 local 7141, direct line at (632)446-8745 or visit the website http://comste.gov.ph/.


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