Agencies work on reducing climate change effects
Quezon City (5 April) -- Government offices tasked to monitor climate change are studying ways to minimize the effects of global warming.
“We are developing now an integrated action framework plan that covers the different aspects of climate change,” said Director Anthony Quano, Officer-In-Charge of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau, “it has cross-cutting issues. It involves agriculture, energy, industry and in addition to that fishery and forestry.”
Global warming, Ouano said, is a complex problem that has a lot of things to consider. One example, Quano said, is flooded rice production that can cause strong global warming gas like methane—25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. “If you control your irrigation water properly, not flooded all the time, then you reduce methane gas emission and the same conserve water,” he said.
Ouano said adaptation measures, aimed at helping communities cope up with flooding and other forms of disaster, are now being evaluated.
Two months ago, Secretary Angelo Reyes reported that DENR has completed the geo hazard mapping of some 27 provinces including Samar and Bicol that are frequented by typhoons.
For its part, the National Disaster Coordination Council has encouraged their regional counterparts and local governments to regularly update their disaster preparedness plans.
Through an administrative order, President Arroyo created the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTFCC), chaired by the DENR secretary, whose functions include assessing the impact of climate change in the Philippines, ensuring compliance to standard air emissions as well as fight deforestation and environmental degradations and integrate climate risk management in creating policies, programs and plans.
Quano also allayed fears about the reported one meter sea level rise, projected by some environmental groups, which will inundate a large portion of the country as a result of climate change.
“These are all calculations. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is only talking about 0.3 meters at the end of the 21st century,” said Ouano, “as more information comes in, the projected rise is going down.” (PIA) [top]