Thursday, December 8, 2011

Climate change may starve cities

Paul M. Icamina in Malaya Business Insight: Climate change and runaway urbanization are changing food equations in Baguio. "We are seeing the pattern of diminishing food self-sufficiency and increasing dependence on outside sources," observes a new study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF) in partnership with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation.

The study attempts to look 30 years into the future, zeroing in on four major cities: Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo. The cities were selected based on the occurrence of storms, floods, drought and other extreme climate events in the past decade.

Using historical data from 1990 to 2010, scenarios for each city were linked to "action-oriented proposals for present-day decisions". Analyses gauged the level of vulnerability of each city: climate and environmental exposure, socio-economic sensitivity and how they adapt to climate-related changes.

To minimize the impact on local societies and businesses and maintain competitiveness, these cities have the chance to reinvent themselves and "steer new investments toward climate-appropriate technology, skills, infrastructure and systems that deliver on both current and future needs," the study says.

"Climate is altering many basic business assumptions, as well as creating a new menu of economic options available to each city," said WWF Philippines CEO Lorenzo Tan. For the nation to grow and prosper under the circumstances observed by the study, BPI President Aurelio Montinola III said, "companies must take advantage of business opportunities such as rethinking future investments and remodeling future infrastructures."...

A view of Baguio City, shot by Simon Burchell, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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