Laoag City, Ilocos Norte – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in cooperation with the National Organizing Council (NOC) concludes the week-long Forum on Urban Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Strategies. More than 150 participants coming from the countries of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines as well as Japan, India, and Bangladesh, convened together from December 4-7, 2017 to exchange information, experiences and strategies related to urban resiliency.

The event was spearheaded by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the DENR in response to the high vulnerability of the Southeast Asian cities to global climate change impacts as manifested by frequent recurrence of extreme weather events. The event was widely-participated by different stakeholders including the LGU of Ilocos who cordially hosted the event, the various government offices as well as DENR bureaus and offices who actively participated, and the academe and research institutions who were at the forefront in sharing valuable information on urban resilience.

In his congratulatory message, Ambasssador Marciano Paynor, Jr. of the NOC highlighted the importance of the event because of the unprecedented adverse effects of climate change that affect considerable number of people residing in urban areas. With the huge increase in demographic growth of ASEAN in the coming years, more than ever, it is crucial to enhance the capacities of these ASEAN countries to become more resilient to climate change, added Amb. Paynor.

Meanwhile, the DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu highlighted the need to better inform the public on issues surrounding the resiliency of urban cities to climate change and disaster risk management strategies. In his message, Sec. Cimatu expressed his high hopes that the wealth of scientific information that was shared during the event will be translated into something that is understandable to the general public and beneficial to the communities.

To sustain the objectives of the forum, the ASEAN member countries agreed on a resolution specifying their commitment to sustain the objectives that are engendered in the forum. Underlining the importance to move to a climate resilient and greener economy and that no entity or institution can do it alone, the representatives agreed to promote an unwavering advocacy of persuading government and non-government organizations to take part in technical cooperation on urban resilience. The participants also agreed to further enhance awareness and appreciation on strategies that promote urban resiliency and green economy.

Hence, Dr. Henry A. Adornado said that after the forum DENR-ERDB is hopeful that the organizers and the participants will still be able to maintain communication and scientific cooperation in the ASEAN, tracking and reporting of actions, strengthening of linkages and partnerships, and lastly, subscribing to the principles of One ASEAN, One Response.

Meanwhile, the government of Ilocos thru the leadership of Governor Imee Marcos hosted a beautiful dinner with cultural presentation in front of the majestic Paoay church on the third day of the event. On the last day, the participants had a whole-day tour to the famous tourist attractions in the area which include the Burgos and Bangui Windmills, Pasuquin Salt Refinery, Ilocos Museum, and the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.