ASEAN countries cite need for urban resilience plans

Member-countries from the ASEAN have expressed commitment to adopt “green growth” policies in urban areas that are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases causing global warming.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB) Director Henry Adornado said a resolution from the “Urban Resilience and Disaster Risk Management” forum will enhance information and technology transfer and exchange between countries on disaster risk management.

These disaster risk management plans are urgently needed, he pointed out.

“With the high vulnerability of Southeast Asian cities to the effects of climate change resulting in higher frequencies of tropical storms, unprecedented flooding, drought, heat waves, and sea level rise, this forum serves as an important reminder that urban resiliency is an urgent agenda that we have to work with,” DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.

More than 150 participants from the ASEAN member-states, particularly Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, and the Philippines joined the forum.

There were also representatives from development partner-countries, namely: China, India, and Japan.

The forum was held in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, a province known to be often visited by dry weather or drought.

“The pursuit of urban resilience and green growth in major cities sets a new norm to sustainable development and survival of more than half of the world’s population living in the metropolis. This is a timely response as it is projected that by 2050, 66 percent of the global population will be residing in urban areas,” said forum coordinator Dr. Simplicia Pasicolan.

Adornado said a continuous collaboration and information exchange on studies in disaster risk management will ensure concrete plans and actions will be implemented in the ASEAN region.

It is estimated that the current rate of man’s global greenhouse gas emission may be contributing to a temperature rise exceeding 2 degrees Centigrade which are the upper limits set in order to avoid risk-full global warming by 2036.

Urban areas are considered drivers of global warming that leads to climate change.

In 2011, World Bank reported that 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are originating from city residents.

“The end in view is to come up with a list of experiences, information and strategies among ASEANs in their struggle to attain urban resilience to climate change and highlighting the various coping mechanisms and adaptive capacities of each participating member,” Adornado said.



Share this page Share on FacebookShare on Linkedin


Join our network