I got an email from Nanette Salvador-Antequisa, Executive Director of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits  Inc. (ECOWEB) in IIligan City in the Philippines, last week about her plans for 10/10/10.  Her organization will be doing tree planting and growing events on that day, which is exciting.  But I’m writing today to tell you about another project her organization in implementing now called the Disaster Risk Reduction program (DRR) – check out what she has to say about it!

DRR is one of the Climate Change Adaptation strategies that our organization is propagating among our partners in development. With the Support of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), a UK-based Development Agency, we are currently implementing DRR in the local development and land use planning at the barangay (village level or the lowest unit of our government structure) and municipal (the next level after barangay local government unit) levels.

How does DRR work?  On a community level participants identify the hazards their communities are facing because of climate change and the hazard risk level.  Landslides, flashfloods, drought, fire, pest infestation and diseases brought about by changing climate, are among the hazards that have been identified by the communities around the Philippines, mostly uplands. In Mindanao, armed conflict is also another hazard (a human-made one) that the people have identified on top of the impact of the changing climate. Some of the mitigation and adaption strategies that have come out of the process and are being put into action are forest rehabilitation, tree planting along riverbanks and elevated areas, creek and river clean-ups, ecological waste management, promotion of ecological farming technologies, planting of drought-resistant crops and implementing indigenous farming practices. Conflict transformation and peace building as well as the inclusion of the issue in the early warning system and contingency planning are also part of the DRR strategies.

As of now, the DRR programs are being implemented in the municipality of Josefina, Zamboanga del Sur in partnership with the Catholic Church local social action program and the local government unit and ECOWEB has started innovating the program in other municipalities as well.

We are still on the process of implementing these projects and are interested in sharing our experience on this and to learn as well from others’ experience around the world.

DRR is just the type of process we will see more of as our climate changes across the globe.  It is important for us all to share the best practices and lessons learned from these type of adaption programs so we are learning from each other and finding the most effective solutions to our collective issues.  Thanks for sharing Nanette!