SEARCA-ERGONS present bio-physical and vulnerability assessments on the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape

  • 6 February 2014, Thursday

From left; Mr.  Elmer Mercado, Ms. Jade Fernandez, Dr. Florencia Pulhin, Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco, Dr. Ma. Victoria Espaldon, Mr. Alex Lapiz, Dr. Nicanor Briones, and Dr. Esteban Godillano

MANILA, Philippines – SEARCA, in association with the ERGONS Project Marketing Consultants (EPMC), presented to the Climate Change Commission (CCC) the findings of the bio-physical impact and vulnerability assessments (VA) on the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) on 4 February 2014. The study is a component of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded technical assistance entitled, Climate Resilience and Green Growth in the UMRBPL: Demonstrating the Eco-town Framework. The project covers five local government units (LGUs) in the province of Rizal, namely: Antipolo City, Baras, Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Tanay.

Dr. Esteban Godillano, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist, presented the bio-physical impact assessment using available data from various national government agencies, LGUs, and the acquired satellite imagery integrated into GIS maps. The assessment shows a fast land use change from 2004 to 2012 indicating threats of deforestation and built up areas. The UMRBPL drains water to Lower Marikina down to Manila Bay.

Dr. Nicomedes Briones, Natural Resources Management Specialist, presented the VA of forest, agriculture, and water sectors in UMRBPL. On the other hand, Dr. Ma. Victoria Espaldon, Gender Mainstreaming and Capacity Building Specialist, presented the VA for the health sector. The VA computed the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the five LGUs in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Each LGU has different levels of vulnerability in terms of drought, landslide, flooding, and soil erosion or combinations of these.

CCC was represented by Ms. Joycelyn A. Goco, Assistant Secretary, and Mr. Alex Lapiz, Program Manager. Other members of the Project Team who were also present include Dr. Elmer Mercado, Team Leader and Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist, Dr. Florencia Pulhin, Climate Change Mitigation Specialist, and Mr. Jose Rey Alo, Multimedia Specialist. SEARCA was represented by Dr. Lope B. Santos III, Program Specialist and Officer-In-Charge of the Project Development and Management Department. From EPMC, key personnel present were Dr. Emman Lleva, Ms. Teresita Pascual, and Mr. Marvin Pascual. Mr. Allan Dela Cruz, Ms. Jade Fernandez, and Ms. Hilda Ronquillo provided the necessary technical support. (Jade Fernandez)