#MUNIonThis: How resilient can the Philippines be to Climate Change by 2030?
Last September 21, 2013, Rappler together with Google, UNDPPH, and Plus Social Good hosted PH+SocialGood: The Manila Social Good Summit 2013 to “create solutions for the biggest problems facing our community using technology and social media.” In the Philippines, no other problem can wreak as much havoc as natural disasters.
“While a change for the better takes time, a change for the worse can take place in a matter of a second or a day.”
Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Philippines Country Director
Globally, the Philippines is the 3rd most vulnerable to climate change and disasters (according to World Disaster Report 2012). In 2011, 33 out of the 302 natural disasters that happened worldwide occurred in the Philippines. Every year, at least 20 typhoons hit our country. This year, we’ve had Labuyo, Maring, Nando, and now, Super Typhoon Odette.
“Climate change threatens our biodiversity. All our basic human needs – food, shelter, water, clean air – are made vulnerable with climate change.”
Loren Legarda, Senator and environmentalist
The threat of Climate Change tells us we must take action now. Climate Change Commission Secretary Lucille Sering provides two approaches: Adaptation and Mitigation because nature demands that we, as a whole, create concrete and doable actions to answer the challenge:
Google’s Andrew McGlinchey demonstrated how to use Google Map Maker and encouraged everyone to edit even just their neighborhood on the map.
By helping to organize information online, we are more able to help each other in finding information people need during times of disaster and get the resources in their respective communities ahead of time.
“If you have accurate information that’s hours old, you do not have accurate information.”
Patrick Meier, Digital Humanitarians
In the world of social media, a tweet can save a life. Social media has transformed how we communicate, organize, and extend our help from the virtual to the real world in real time.
Preparedness and Response
Right on cue, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda cracked the audience up as he shared how his community prepares for natural disasters and calamity.
Their strategy? Community-Based Early Warning and Household-Based Risk Mapping. By building the capacity to save within the community, they are able to secure zero casualties and reduce uncertainty, damages, and cost through better targeting.
During the summit, Sen. Legarda showed us the many PH environmental laws which raised a lot of eyebrows from the audience: If we have these many laws, why do we not feel the effects of their implementation? And if the government is having trouble doing it on their own, how can we help?
We volunteer. We make things happen. We figure out sustainable solutions by communicating with others, by collaborating with like-minded individuals with a passion to help.
Project Agos is an initiative that puts the Government, Private Sector, and Citizens on a common Disaster Information Platform. With a single tweet or a Facebook post, everyone can share what is happening in their respective locations during a disaster and #ProjectAgos will turn that into a flow of information that can help determine the needs of specific places. Learn more about #ProjectAgos here.
Call to Action
At the end of the summit, the audience simultaneously read and signed the Unity Statement, which called for everyone to realize themselves as “catalysts of change and heroes of tomorrow.”
Because honestly, in as much as the speakers talked about how disaster-prone our country was, or how technology can help build pathways for disaster risk reduction, the #2030NOW sentiment all boiled down to the people.
It’s always about people helping people. And so we ask: what have you done today to help?