Philippine media declares support to climate change adaptation

November 26, 2011 12:59 am 

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 25 – Various media organizations on Friday presented to President Benigno C. Aquino III the Philippine Media Declaration on Climate Change pledging their concerted action to catalyze public awareness and pursue a nationwide advocacy for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) read and subsequently turned over to the President the four-page media declaration.

Coloma said that an increased public understanding of the urgency of climate change is essential to mitigate its negative impacts and to avert human suffering.

The statement emphasized that access to relevant information on climate change is vital to sustain a living planet and for the survival of human beings.

Vital information concerning climate change would significantly acknowledge social, economic and environmental benefits in taking action to combat the effects of climate change.

He said media institutions recognize that the information provided by media plays a critical role in stimulating policy debate and in mobilizing knowledge to empower societies to make informed decisions on options for mitigation and adaptation.

The media declaration was signed by officials of the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC), Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI), Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), and the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalist (PNEJ).

The declaration is the major output of the three-day First National Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation held at the Bicol University Amphi-theater where hundreds of media representatives from across the country attended.

At the conference, print and broadcast journalist agreed to share and disseminate climate change information and hold training sessions on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for media.

Promotion of regional and international collaboration among all media organizations for the enrichment of climate change reporting and skills enhancement of media practitioners through training, exchange of knowledge, best practices.

They also asked the President to certify and put into action by incorporating media participation in the roll-out of the National Climate Change Action Plans (NCCAP) and providing funds for media campaigns and media trainings.

President Aquino flew in to this city to keynote the media conference sponsored by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, an international advocate on CCA.

The President, clad in yellow shirt and denim pants, also unveiled the marker which formally opened the First Climate Change Academy at the BU compound.

Salceda said Albay Climate Change Academy is the first educational institution in the country that offers to train local planners, decision and policy makers and other sectoral agencies skills and competencies on Disaster Risk Reduction and CCA mainstreaming.

The provincial government has spent P10 million to spruce up the two-storey building that would house the CC Academy at the BU compound.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, at the conference opening on Thursday, pledged to give P5 million to finance the initial operation of the CC Academy.

He also lauded the initiative of Salceda in establishing the first ever climate change academy in the country.

Dr. Flaviana Hilario of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA), said that based on local and international studies, it was observed that the warming of climate in the country is “unequivocal” in terms of intensity.

She noted effects of climate change and global warming are significantly increasing events by way of extreme temperature, rain falls, storm surges, tropical cyclones and sea level rise.

She said: ”There are more hot days and warm nights as compared with the frequency of cold days and cold nights.”

She said that of the 1,054 tropical cyclones that developed yearly worldwide, 70 percent or 738 pass through the Philippine area of responsibility. Of this figure, about 19 to 20 tropical cyclones hit the Philippines, she said.

LAP/LAM/LQ/MSA/cbd

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