By: Danica Marie Supnet
Last weekend, I and my colleagues Golda Hilario and Glinly Alvero visited the “City of Golden Friendship”, Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental. It is the first joint outreach work of the climate policy and RE-Charge Pilipinas teams in Northern Mindanao, where werepresented ICSC in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Xavier University—Ateneo de Cagayan and future collaboration with the CDO’s City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC).
Our partnership with XU is not new, as both institutions recognize the importance of research and development in the fight against climate change. Yet we aim to break new ground on our shared advocacies of fair climate policy and low carbon development.
Based on the findings from the Climate Compatible Development workshops we co-organized with XU last year, CDO’s existing adaptation measures are geared toward post-disaster rehabilitation, which is a common practice. However, this limits the capacity of the community to become proactive in disaster risk reduction, much less climate action.
Through their urban resiliency initiative, XU’s College of Arts and Sciences with ICSC aims to bridge the gap between policy and science through research on avoiding the irrevocable impacts of slow-onset climate change, particularly in urban areas like Cagayan de Oro. The College of Engineering, on the other hand, is a key player in the city’s disaster plan, particularly in the upscaling of flood management systems due to the recent massive floods. Their research can aid concrete climate- and disaster-related policy-making in CDO and other local government units in Misamis Oriental.
And last but not the least, ICSC together with XU’s Engineering Resource Center will be exploring the energy assessment needs for the city’s emergency command center and other renewable energy-related initiatives.
It was great to hear from Col. Mario Monsanto, chair of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, that they also recognized renewable energy as the missing link in disaster response. The members of the CDRRMC were also excited to see Glinly and Golda showcase our TekPak, or portable solar-powered disaster response kit, as well as our energy home system installations.
Because climate change is a development issue, ICSC believes that policy work should be multisectoral and multifaceted. We believe that academic and local government institutions such as XU and CDRRMO could take part in this advocacy.