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PIA Press Release
2009/06/02

LGU urged to address climate change issue now

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (2 June) -- Davao City Councilor and environment advocate Leo Avila has admitted slow movement on the part of the local government in addressing the issue of climate change.

Speaking before media practitioners during the Climate Change Forum sponsored by the Mindanao Times, Avila said that the city still needs an executive order before all sectors could convene and come up with a unified plan addressing climate change.

" The national government is already requiring all the agencies to do something about the issue but we need local governments to act on this as well," Avila said, while showing to the media a video simulation of possible areas that might be washed out with the rising water levels.

In a separate forum, WWF's Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan stressed that local government must review and firm up land use, water use, coastal use plans to account for climate risk.

In a study entitled "The Coral Triangle and Climate Change - Ecosystems, People, and Societies at Risk, it was shown that ocean acidification will make the aragonite saturation state "marginal" for coral reefs and marine life.

Tropical cyclones are also expected to become more intense while the sea surface temperatures will continue to increase and are likely to be between 1 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer on or before the end of this century.

The study also showed that rainfall and flooding will become more extreme and sea levels will likely rise from +4 to +6 meters due to the melting of the large land-based ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.

Avila explained that the biggest challenge lies on the government to come up mitigating measures before severe effects start to happen.

"With the rising of the sea level, people are most likely to transfer to higher areas," he said.

Avila added that with the sea level rise, all major highways, and seaports will require some form of re-engineering.

Tan, on the other hand, recommended that diversion roads must be planned and built in areas that are relatively insulated from coastal impacts. (PIA XI) [top]

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