WWF and BPI Foundation reveal results to Climate Risk Assessment Study

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines), in partnership with the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation, Inc., has released the results on the welfare of four cities – Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao – in adapting to climate change. The paper, entitled Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts, began in August 2010, reveals city-specific socio-economic baseline data for the selected cities. The selection of the cities was based mainly on the occurrence of storms, floods, drought and other extreme climate events during the past decade.

“Knowing that our country is a shared gift and responsibility, BPI firmly believes that companies must take advantage of business opportunities such as rethinking future investments and remodeling future infrastructures for the nation to grow and prosper under the circumstances brought about by this study,” says BPI President Aurelio Montinola III.

To comprehensively grasp the trends drawn from existing climate studies and city-specific socio-economic information, the Climate Risk Assessment Study worked with scenario building exercises and linked their predictions for each city to an action-oriented proposal for present-day decisions. 

Moreover, the research used a three vector analysis to gauge the level of vulnerability of each city – climate/environmental exposure, socio-economic sensitivity and adaptive capacity – by using historical data for a 20-year period, from 1990 to 2010. 

The first factor juxtaposed local climate scenarios and city-specific weather information while socio-economic sensitivity examined variables such as population, agriculture, tourism, new and existing businesses and investment, health and educational enrollment. Lastly, adaptive capacity assessed variables such as labor/ work force, city revenue/ expenditures/ reserves, functional literacy – that reflects the city’s ability to implement adaptation strategies. 

From the research, the results indicate Baguio to be most vulnerable to climate change impacts such as landslides due to it having the highest rainfall and being the most densely populated city covered by the study. On the other hand, Davao was determined as the least vulnerable among the cities with room for sustainable, integrated area development.
Aside from its rapid urbanization and flood-prone nature, Iloilo has managed to keep population growth down at 1.53% to address the population density issue. Moreover, though Cebu remains prominent in manufacturing and trade industries, the Queen City of the South has an opportunity to reinvent itself with investments to ‘climate-proof’ infrastructure and technology to strengthen its current economic supply chains. 

“Each city faces its own set of advantages and disadvantages in adapting to a sustainable future. Now that we have the insights, from the potential of Cebu to grow by establishing its own airport to the threat of rising sea levels to Iloilo’s reclaimed lands, WWF and BPI Foundation invite institutions within these cities and the government in particular to initiate more eco-friendly solutions for the development of our country,” shares WWF-Philippines Vice-Chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan.

WWF is scheduled to tour the four cities from December 6 to 9 and educate the governing bodies on how to create an adaptive strategy to climate change. Four more cities are slated to be covered by the study in 2012. 

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