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AK-CLIMA, et al.

By: Danica Supnet

It’s my first time to attend a capacity building organized by our network organization Aksyon Klima (AK).

AK aims to capacitate the specializations of their members and partners through the AK-CLIMA program: Aksyon Klima- Community Learning Initiative on Mitigation and Adaptation. The event was held last March 19 to 21, 2014 at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) Alumni Hostel at the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

Day 1, March 19, is more of a plenary discussion on AK members and partners’ advocacy on mainstreaming DRR-CCA in the localities. The plenary discussions were initiated by Shubert Ciencia of PRRM/AK-CLIMA Licab. The discussion highlighted the different aspects of AK-CLIMA implementation in Licab, Nueva Ecija. Licab was the pilot site for AK-CLIMA in 2012 in which its program was formally ended in 2013. This end program paved way to a beginning of AK-CLIMA Licab as Aksyon Klima’s living school for AK members and partners to learn and understand the issues, challenges and responses to climate change adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance in the Philippines by directly engaging with local governments units and communities affected by climate change—thus, the first capacity building was organized.

AK’s National Coordinator Voltaire Alferez and Teresa Briones of Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) presented the 2nd edition of Aksyon Klima’s toolkit that includes the methods and step-by-step guide of a vulnerability assessment that was used in Licab. The second edition was also in lieu with the addition of a discussion on RA 10174 People’s Survival Fund (PSF). The discussion revolved around AK’s advocacy on mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction

and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) using the toolkit as well as strengthening mitigation advocacy in the local level.

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Day 2, March 20, is a recreation and creative workshop day. The 3D mapping was initiated to give us participants a better understand on the terrain of a locality and develop possible hazard scenarios. Melvin Purzuelo, AK Convener, thought us how to make a 3D map of a specific barangay. Our group was assigned to map out Brgy. San Miguel, Cambayang, Bohol. Together with my team mates, Teresa Briones and Rosette Ferrer of South East Asia Rice (SEARice), we managed to finish the 3D map at least up to the molding stage (no colors and marks yet). Melvin Purzuelo frequently checks the progress and helps each group, but most of the time he does all the work we need to do. One whole day is not enough to do a finished product of a 3D map especially for us beginners, it demands for creative skills and precision, but I’m very lucky to have a “never say die” teammates. Day 2 was also the solidarity night: dinner, socials and karaoke night.

AK Members and Partners with PhilRice Dr. Ricardo Orge

AK Members and Partners with PhilRice Dr. Ricardo Orge

Day 3, March 21, is the last day of the workshop. It was allotted for a field visit to PhilRice in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Dr. Ricardo Orge, Program Leader on the Coping with Climate Change program of PhilRice, gave us an overview the goal of the program centered on promoting climate-resilient rice-based farming system focusing on technologies and strategies in farming. The latter part of the day was reserved for us to travel back to Manila with some goodies to bring home.

The workshop, however, was limited because it was centered on agricultural sectors/areas only, the content of the toolkit was all about a vulnerability study used for these areas, and the activities and field visit was focused on agriculture (especially that the representatives’ partners are mostly from agriculture sectors). With these, I have less to say or contribute to the group especially during discussions but still manage to comment, ask questions, and participate on the activities. Voltaire Alferez argued that there will be upcoming round of discussion for the next sets of toolkits (i.e. for fishing communities, forestry, urban, etc.) as well as capacity building.

Overall, the essence of the three day workshop, as discussed, centered on envisioning AK-CLIMA as means for (1) capacity building—community training building, a means for (2) research—participatory research and case study building, and as a means for (3) creating science-based policies. In my assessment there is still a need for rigorous work to achieve these visions for AK-CLIMA, and of course there are still things that can be improved.

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