The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) in coordination with the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) organized a ‘Trainers Training on Vulnerability Assessment of Watersheds to Climate Change’ held at the Dohera Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu last February 19-23, 2018. Eighteen (18) technical staff from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Regions 6, 7 and 8 participated in the activity, which comprised the DENR Regional Vulnerability Assessment (VA) team in the Visayas. The Luzon and Mindanao team also had a similar activity coordinated likewise by the ERDB and the assigned research centers.

The training was organized to equip the DENR Regional VA team with knowledge on the concepts and methodologies used in the conduct of VA included a hands-on activity on the data manipulation and analysis using the Manifold Software in map generation. Forester Paul J. Cuadra of the ERDB VA Technical Team said that the tool is deemed appropriate and indispensable considering its wider application to the climate change phenomena including a range of stakeholders. According to him, after the training the Regional VA teams will handle all the VA related activities of their region.

Resource speakers of the training event were ERDB and Forest and Management Bureau (FMB) representatives as well as Mr. Reynaldo L. Lanuza, Supervising Science Research Specialist of BCWERC, who shared their adept knowledge on the software and DMC 2008-05 guidelines. They actively coached colleagues during the hands-on activity.

BCWERC Center Head, Dr. Alicia L. Lustica provided full support and warmly welcomed the participants. In her message, she emphasized the holistic, ecosystem-based approach to achieve biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. She mentioned about the ridge-to-reef approach in managing our natural resources highlighting the land-sea connectivity. Dr. Lustica also stressed the need to strike a balance between human and ecological well-being through good governance for future generations. ‘With the advent of climate change, we need to have a science-based data in order to have a realistic information of the natural changes and calamities happening in our country, particularly in our area, the Visayas regions,’ said Dr. Lustica. She strongly believed on some positive outcomes from this activity where participants will develop and eventually coach coworkers as they are expected to pass on the knowledge they have gained. Ann F. Jumawan, BCWERC