LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA) – With the majority of young Filipinos go to school, they are now the new target for propagating awareness to enable them to directly participate in the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction (CCA/DRVR) efforts toward building resilient communities.
Through school curricula, the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) shall conduct a series of live-in Technical Write shops on K to 12 Mainstreaming CCA/DRVR Learning Materials for Philippine Schools, the first of which will be on February 19-21, 2016 at the Casablanca Convention Hall, this city.
Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, who joined Pres. Aquino in Naga on Friday last week, said in an interview that these new series of training-workshops will focus on a nationwide campaign to be piloted in Bicol region.
Dubbed as “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in K to 12 Education and Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction: Learning Materials for Philippine Schools Integrating of Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Sendai Framework for DRR 2030 and Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals” the project supported by the Special Committee on Climate Change of the House of Representatives, chairman Rodel M. Batocabe AKB Partylist, the Office of Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando V. Gonzalez, the local government of Legazpi City, headed by City Mayor Noel E. Rosal, the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) and DepEd.
“The K to 12 mainstreaming CCA/DRVR learning materials can very well be categorized as a sequel to the earlier project initiated and being continuously implemented in the whole province of Albay, the cities of Ligao, Tabaco and Legazpi, in collaboration with the DepEd Albay Division, United Nations Millenium Development Goals Fund-1656 (UNMDGF-1656), the UNDP, Government of the Philippines (GOP) through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Government of Spain through the Agencia Espanolla de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), the University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB) and the LCCAD. This means that the climate change integration to the school curricula which was pioneered, demonstrated and implemented in Albay is now being replicated across Bicol region and other parts of the country,” Secretary de Guzman said.
The project called “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation integration into curriculum in the Philippines” was designed to bring climate issues, impacts and responses into the consciousness of the present and the next generation of Filipinos, by integrating such topics in the academic curriculum of primary and secondary levels, that were pilot tested in a Training of Trainers Teaching Demo for 8,000 selected teachers in some 713 public schools in the province of Albay, from July 2011 onwards.
The upcoming event is set to gather hundreds of writer-teachers from all over Bicol region in a tough 3-day technical write shops that will be replicated in other parts of the country in the following months.
Jointly spearheaded by the LCCAD and the office of Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando V. Gonzalez, the move has tied up with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Education (DepEd).
This roll out of such events aims to develop explicit K to 12 learning materials and teaching curricula/modules in the primary and secondary levels.
Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede said the participation of the teachers in the write shops is “buoyed up by the experience during the first workshop in year 2008 for us to come up with the first-of-its-kind convergence on CCA/DRVR learning materials for Filipino students as a sequel to the lesson exemplars for teachers developed and produced earlier by the same group now consisting LCCA and CCC.
This interlocking among advocates mostly based in Bicol is envisioned to develop a pool of educators/trainer among private and public educational institutions and widen the resource base needed for national capacity building and development.
The convergence will increase and enhance the capacities of critical local partners such as local academic institutions, civil society organizations and multiple stakeholders to consistently support local risk management action.
The campaign also aims to develop information, education and communication materials for other sectors such as the students, educators, executives, the legislators and other decision makers at various levels and to conduct a process documentation of these climate change adaptation disaster risk and vulnerability reduction initiatives.
“The adverse impacts of climate change are never ending, in fact they are escalating. This reality requires everybody to join, work and act together for a better life now up to the 7th generation,” said climate change adaptation Guru, Manuel ‘Nong’ Rangasa, LCCAD Executive Director, adding that although cultures may be diverse and environments different across the Philippine archipelago, it is certain that benefits will be enjoyed by men who breathe the same air on even one planet and face the same risk and sunlight.
All who face the threats must develop capabilities for innovation and integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacements related to adverse impacts of climate change.
“As a brainchild of Gonzalez,” Rangasa said “the project concept is anchored securely on the commonly accepted fact that measures to address climate change and disaster impacts start at home where families and individuals are the basic elements of the day-to-day decision-making process.”
According to Gonzalez, educating the youth is a significant element of a new strategy to embed climate change adaptation in the country’s educational system. “Our schools can provide the venue for the adoption and implementation of the integrated global goals for resilience among vulnerable peoples, multiple stakeholders and communities by preparing the populace, both socially and culturally, to meet the unequivocal challenges of climate change and natural disasters,” he stressed.
At the infancy of CCA/DRVR, the Albay Education Division trained more than 8,000 school teachers eight years ago to pioneer on the integration of climate change ‘languages’ into their respective curriculum across all learning areas from mathematics, to science, to music, physical education, English, and Filipino among others.
The above events will form part of a synergy of the empowering advocacy to knit all CCA/DRVR enabled sectors such as the local government units that are now equipped with their respective Local Climate Change Action Plans for municipalities, cities and provinces, as well as the Barangay Contingency and Recovery Plans for the frontliners.
Created about four years ago, the LCCAD, which is based in Legazpi is the national CCA and DRVR training institution and service provider duly recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that provides theoretical moorings to national, local government units and multiple stakeholders.
The current education project is governed by a memorandum of agreement (MOA) recently entered into between the LCCAD and CCC which officially assigns the former in the development of the K to 12 conceptual framework and the rollouts of its implementation under the guidance of the latter.
In the MOA signing, Rangasa said CCC Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman took note of the LCCAD’s K-12 conceptual framework that call for the integration of information from three international agreements related to disasters crafted in 2015 that reflect the growing awareness about the need for more resilient communities and economies.
Rangasa said De Guzman was referring to the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-21), the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Year 2016, according to De Guzman, is a critical and exciting year as it marks the start of the implementation of these global agreements which are doubly significant for the Philippines as they address common and interlocking issues affecting the country’s aspirations for a prosperous, sustainable future.
These issues converge on the Philippines’ vulnerabilities, which stem from its geographical location, socio-economic features like rapidly growing population, and external factors like climate change which is outstripping the country’s natural coping mechanisms.
Rangasa noted that all these issues have to be factored in the preparation of the next Philippine Development Plan with resilience becoming a national priority, given that global warming leading to climate change turns into a local disaster when the root cause is not identified or the response is not appropriate to the threat.
“The Philippines has done a lot to combat and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change and the natural hazards and endeavoured to put its development on the path of sustainability. However, the country keeps incurring significant annual losses from disasters and seems unable to maximize opportunities for optimal development. The totality of all these efforts sum up to ARAS or being Applicable, Replicable, Attainable and Sustainable developments encompassing all walks of life,” Rangasa pointed out. (MAL/REN-LCCAD/PIA5/Albay)