Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lifeboats and lifelines in the Philippines

Jose Ma and Lorenzo Tan in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: …In the Philippines, we must cement down the rules on resource use and stop re-classification. These are finite resources. We must eliminate overlaps through integrated area planning, as opposed to the traditional silo approach. The “one-town-one product” program was only Phase 1. Development of strategic regional plans, founded on likely climate scenarios, will be Phase 2.

• We know that the environment is the social security system for a vast number of poor. Although jobs may be created, they cannot be sustained in a vacuum that does not include solid social, economic and environmental foundations. More than that, we must rationalize agriculture/ aquaculture, introducing and promoting “climate smart” formulas. With global population expected to grow from 6 billion to 9 billion, we know that natural systems will no longer suffice. Simply because we do not have a “Planet B,” it is imperative that we develop a “Plan B” for all crucial life-sustaining services.

• More than just “lifeboats,” we know that we must strengthen climate “lifelines”—the ways by which people, messages, information and goods are moved. These include transport, infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, banking and insurance. We know that unless these crucial lifelines are made climate ready, our economy faces serious marginalization.

…Cognizant of the non-linear nature of climate change, adaptation must be designed now through a bottom-up process. Adaptation is the management of risk. This can start now, locally. In contrast, the best-laid mitigation efforts (carbon reduction) will take 50 years or more to stabilize climate—while hunger happens daily. Local actions should define national programs. And, as a planet, we must learn how to work together. There are many solutions, but we only have one future, and one planet…

No comments: