Sunday, March 8, 2009

Philippines among countries most at risk from climate change

Business Mirror (the Philippines): … In the new climate-change vulnerability map released on Friday by the International Development Research Centre’s Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), the Philippines was pinpointed as one of the areas most vulnerable to climate change in Southeast Asia.

The study revealed that the Philippines, unlike other countries in Southeast Asia, is not only exposed to tropical cyclones, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the country, but also to many other climate-related hazards—especially floods such as in Central Luzon and Southern Mindanao, landslides due to the terrain of the country, and drought.

Of the 530 cities and provinces assessed, Metro Manila was ranked seventh. Other climate hotspots identified in the Philippines which are susceptible to multiple climate hazards are Northern Samar, Benguet, Masbate, Batanes, Zamboanga del Norte, Ilocos Sur, Western Samar, Albay, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Rizal, Batangas and Mountain Province.

“Climate change is the most significant challenge facing public policy-makers today,” said Dr. Herminia Francisco, director of EEPSEA. “The map highlights areas in the region that have recently experienced climate-related risks such as tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts and sea-level rise. The map could be useful for climate-change policy.”

…Former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, who was at the launching of the vulnerability map, said today’s leaders have “a moral responsibility to future generations to take meaningful action. This is a moment of truth for us and for the government officials. Climate-change action is a local demand for our survival. We are good in planning and research, but when it comes to implementation we are very weak,” Shahani lamented….

The Philippines from space, NASA

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