Effect of Climate Change high in Basilan, experts say PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 April 2014 13:40

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – “The effect of climate change and global warming is high in the island province of Basilan,” said Bebet G. Gozum of the USAID during a one-day Climate Change seminar recently.

The island province of Basilan is dependent on rain for its freshwater supply for its people and land.

Gozum, the USAID Climate Resiliency Team Leader, told some 170 participants that the effect of global warming will likely decrease the frequency of rainfall in Basilan.

Data showed that among the top 20 provinces at risk to projected temperature increase, Basilan is only second to Sulu. A map also showed that Mindanao and Central Visayas are the areas most at risk to temperature increase during the projected 2080 climatology.

Another map also showed that the areas highly at risk to El Niño-induced drought are Central and West Mindanao. Again, Basilan is second only to Sulu among the top 20 provinces at risk to drought.

“Mitigation alone is not enough. Impacts of Climate Change a reality that’s affecting us and will continue to affect us. We need to adapt to this ‘new normal’ now,” Gozum stressed.

She challenged the participants to “go low CO2”, i.e. adapting the sustainable development framework of reducing greenhouse gases emissions and reducing risks by building stronger and typhoon-proof structures, efficient use and collection of rainwater, grow more trees, urban greening, and relocate high risk settlements, among others.

“We have no choice. We have to adapt to this more invasive environment to ensure our very survival,” she said, noting that water-related stresses will occur.

Along this line, the USAID with AECOM International Development introduced the Water Security Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project to be implemented in six areas of the Philippines, including Basilan. The project objectives is to improve water-related climate change security for economic growth and stability through strengthened resiliency to water-related climate change impacts and increased coverage and operational sustainability of domestic water supply and sanitation services.

Moreover, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Managament Officer Anwary Akalon shared the PDRRM Plan and its status. He said the plans have yet to be conferred by the Provincial Board.

The seminar hopes to raise awareness about and understanding of climate change and the urgency to take action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. —FPG/RVC/PIA-9 ZBST