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PIA Press Release

Zambo climate change summit draws thousands

Zamboanga City (8 February) -- Multi-sectoral groups on Friday manifested their commitment to the continuing advocacy to mitigate the effects of climate change, as they trooped to the city coliseum to attend a summit initiated by the city government and the Office of Civil Defense.

Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council came down to Zamboanga to grace the summit dubbed "Multi-stakeholder Forum on Climate Change Adaptation".

Sec. Gonzales commended Mayor Celso Lobregat for spearheading the activity and for supporting the campaign to mitigate the effects of climate change, the resultant effect of global warming.

"We congratulate Mayor Celso Lobregat and the city government for coming up with this activity. Climate Change is everybody's concern and everybody should share in the effort to mitigate its effects", the Secretary said in his message during the program held at the City Coliseum in Tetuan yesterday afternoon.

The 3-hour long summit included lectures and presentations by the Philippine Volcanology agency and the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA). The presentations focused on situations in Zamboanga City and the vulnerabilities of the city to the different events resulting from climate change.

Mayor Celso Lobregat presented the city's experiences, coping mechanisms and gaps to adapt to climate change while Congresspersons Beng Climaco of District I and Cong. Erbie Fabian also expressed their individual commitment to the advocacy.

Scientists predict that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and droughts. It is widely recognized that climate change is real and a major threat to socio-economic, environmental and human development. It is also likely that it will lead to other changes such as ecosystem degradation, reduced availability of water and food and changes to livelihoods, that will increase the vulnerability of communities to natural hazards.

The city government, it is recalled, has created Task Force Contra Avenida through an executive order issued by Mayor Lobregat setting the stage for the implementation of a comprehensive and long term flood control and drainage program in flood prone areas of the city.

The Summit on Disaster Preparedness for Global Warming and Food Security, initiated by the city last May 27, 2008, that involved different stakeholders from the national and local levels brought the concern of climate change in the public's consciousness and provided information on doable safety measures.

Other personalities present during the summit yesterday were Undersecretary Antonio Santos, Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina, Undersecretary Alberto Valenzuela, Gen. Glen Rabonza and Director Adriano Fuego, administrative officer and Region-9 director of the Office of Civil Defense, Police.

Regional Director Gen. Angel Sunglao and DIPO director Gen. Serapio, Councilors Cesar Iturralde, Luis Biel III and many others. (City Information Office/PIA ZC) [top]

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