NRC presents resilience work at LCF CSR Expo

Last July 4, National Resilience Council (NRC) Executive Director Marilou Erni showcased NRC’s work in a session on Disaster Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience during the 18th League of Corporate Foundations’ (LCF) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Expo at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. With the theme “Toward Collective Impact: Collaborations that Work!”, the two-day LCF CSR Expo gathered different sectors to discuss opportunities for impactful collaborations, learn from each other about best CSR practices and to promote a common framework for addressing pressing national issues and for achieving sustainable development.

Ms. Erni began her presentation with the latest World Risk Index. The Index reported that the Philippines remained third most at risk in the world—after Vanuatu and Tonga—and that the country was rated very high in terms of vulnerability, and high on exposure, susceptibility and lack of coping capacities. While showing a 2019 Global Assessment Report (GAR) infographic, she added that there is a need for a shift from disaster response to risk prevention through risk-informed systems-based approaches and decision making.

Ms. Marilou Erni represented NRC at the 18th LCF CSR Expo in Pasay City.

NRC has always emphasized that the complex and dynamic nature of risk, and the Philippines’ unique patterns of development, required trans-disciplinary approaches that needed the active participation of different sectors and communities themselves. Through a whole-of-society effort, this would bridge the critical gaps between science, policy and practice. Thus, ARISE Philippines and the NRC are working together to advance science and technology-based public-private partnerships in the attainment of the shared goals of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.

Ms. Erni went on to discuss NRC’s Resilient LGU Program, a three-year pathway that uniquely integrates leadership and governance and science and technology, and builds the internal capacities of local government units for them to develop and manage their own resilience initiatives. With the help of other sectors and by anchoring on international and national frameworks, NRC also developed its Resilient Local Government Systems Scorecard, a guide with over 90 indicators organized according to five cross-cutting pillars: Leadership and Governance, Human Development, Local Economy, Infrastructure and Environment.

Ms. Erni also talked about the ADOPT-A-CITY Program, NRC’s latest innovation which aimed to strengthen public-private partnerships and encourage direct private sector investment in local disaster risk reduction and long-term resilience efforts. The city-specific partnership model was launched last June 17 through a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SM Prime and Cagayan de Oro City. Addressing the participants, she encouraged the members of LCF to join the call for resilience work, highlighting SM Prime Executive Committee Chair and NRC Co-Chair for Private Sector Mr. Hans Sy’s message that “Disaster Risk Reduction makes good business sense.”

Speakers were given recognition after the session on Disaster Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience.

“We have to transform our frame of mind, our thinking, and our development model, to make us less exposed and vulnerable to climate change and disasters,” shared Ms. Erni, quoting NRC Convenor Amb. Roberto Romulo. “While resilience is our goal, transformation in terms of evidence-informed leadership, knowledge, competencies and skills is critical to achieving it. This type of transformative leadership must be achieved through multi-stakeholder partnerships at both national and local levels.”

Photos by NRC.

NRC showcases resilience work at GP2019

The National Resilience Council (NRC) attended the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNDRR) 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019), where NRC had several opportunities to share its resilience work with representatives of member states, parliamentarians, local governments, UN bodies, intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholder groups.

Held from May 13 to 17 in Geneva, Switzerland, GP2019 was the last global session before achieving Target E of the Sendai Framework: Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020. UNDRR organizes the Global Platform every two years as a chance to evaluate programs and initiatives, share knowledge on and discuss the progress and trends in disaster risk reduction (DRR).

High Level Dialogue session during GP2019. Photo by UNDRR.

Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) International Board Member, SM Prime Executive Committee Chairman and NRC Co-Chair for Private Sector, Mr. Hans Sy, was a panelist in the May 14 session on “Building the resilience of MSMEs to climate and disaster risk” during Private Sector Day. It tackled the needs of MSMEs in relation to climate and disaster resilience building, as well as addressed the bigger picture of MSMEs supporting and investing in disaster resilience.

SM Prime Executive Committee Chaiman and NRC Co-Chair Hans Sy during the session entitled “Building the resilience of MSMEs to climate and disaster risk” during Private Sector Day.

Mr. Sy also spoke in the May 16 High Level Dialogue session on “Risk-Informed Public and Private Investments”. It was an opportunity to share best practices and explore approaches to coming up with good risk-informed and multi-dividend investments. During the session, Mr. Sy highlighted SM Prime’s investments to resilience and the work of NRC in reducing security risk by addressing informal settlement issues in Metro Manila.

Mr. Sy as a panelist at the High Level Dialogue session on risk-informed public and private investments. Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada
Mr Sy during the High Level Dialogue. Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada

NRC President Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, meanwhile, spoke in a session on “Contextualizing the Science and Technology Roadmap” at the Science and Policy Forum. The session aimed to encourage participants in adopting and contributing to the revised “Science and Technology Roadmap to support the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030”, a roadmap developed during the January 2016 Science and Technology Conference in Geneva.

NRC President Antonia Yulo Loyzaga served as a panelist for a session on “Contextualizing the Science and Technology Roadmap” at the Science and Policy Forum. Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada

On the same day, Ms. Loyzaga participated as a panelist at an interactive discussion on “Mechanisms for Impact: Identifying Modalities towards Successful SEM” at the Stakeholder Forum. The session allowed participants to share and learn good practices from initiatives around the world with a multi-sectoral approach to disaster risk reduction and resilience. SEM, or the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism, is a UNDRR initiative that aims to foster closer engagement among stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework, while also linking itself to other processes with similar mechanisms.

UNDRR’s first Synthesis and Analysis Report of the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments featuring NRC’s Resilient Local Government Systems Program.

On May 16, UNDRR unveiled its first Synthesis and Analysis Report of the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC), a report which included NRC’s voluntary commitment (VC) entitled “Building Resilient Local Government Systems in the Philippines”. Prior to GP2019, UNDRR approved and published NRC’s Resilient Local Government Systems Program in the SFVC online platform, an initiative launched on December 2018 that aims to encourage all-of-society and multi-stakeholder engagement in implementing the Sendai Framework.

The report cited NRC as a good example for gathering organizations with varying expertise, resources and capacities—such as Ateneo de Manila University, Manila Observatory and Zuellig Family Foundation as implementing partners and Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, San Miguel Corporation and SM Prime as funding partners—to strengthen and implement its programs and initiatives.

For resilience: NRC partners attend first phase of climate and disaster risk assessment course

From 8-12 October 2018, the National Resilience Council’s (NRC) eight partner local government units (LGUs) and six partner academic institutions participated in the 1st phase of the Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) Certificate Course for the NRC Resilient LGU Program.

Held at the Manila Observatory (MO) in Quezon City, the 5-day event aimed to guide LGUs in establishing baselines and targets through resilience scorecards, while allowing stakeholders to create resilience road maps from prepare, adapt and transform stages. With risk governance in mind, these stages encompass identified pillars and sub-pillars of human development, local economy, infrastructure, environmental sustainability and human security.

NRC LGU and academic partners with members of the National Resilience Council and Manila Observatory, including: NRC Executive Director Ms. Malu Erni; MO Executive Director Dr. Gemma Narisma; Geomatics for Environment and Development Laboratory Head and overall CDRA Training Coordinator Dr. May Celine Vicente; Christian Aid Climate Change Advisor for Asia and the Middle East Ms. Jessica Bercilla; NRC Program Manager Ms. Marilou Suplido; SM Supermalls Corporate Compliance Manager Ms. Simonette Lat; and Ateneo de Manila University lecturer and Coastal Cities at Risk (CCAR) in the Philippines: Trans-Disciplinal Action Research Project Manager Dr. Noralene Uy. (Not in photo: CCAR in the Philippines: Trans-Disciplinal Action Research Project Leader and MO Senior Research Fellow Dr. Emma Porio; MO Senior Research Fellow Dr. Rosa Perez; MO Regional Climate Systems Laboratory Head Dr. Faye Cruz; and ADMU Environmental Science Department Lecturer Mr. Raymond Rodolfo)

It was also designed to build among the NRC partners an understanding of the tools used towards disaster resilience, to capacitate them in conducting comprehensive assessments that cut across several factors of climate and disaster risks and integrate the physical and social variables in analyzing hazards, exposures, vulnerabilities and risk indexing (HEVRI). This capacity is essential in enabling their LGUs to accomplish their Scorecard for Resilient Local Government Systems.

There were two types of participants from NRC’s LGU and academic partners. From the LGUs, these were the Focal Person, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Officer, the Pillar Champions and the designated technical staff. Focal Persons for Leadership and Governance and Science & Technology, on the other hand,represented the academic partners.

The 1st phase of the certificate course started with a 2-day orientation introducing CDRA as a comprehensive analysis that integrates complex and dynamic data—which makes use of space-based methods such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (RS-GIS)—with social variables for a holistic approach to risk assessments. The orientation, attended by all of the participants, consisted of introductory lectures on CDRA, the different tools for analysis and the importance of social dimensions to risk assessments.

CCAR in the Philippines: Trans-Disciplinal Action Research Project Leader and MO Senior Research Fellow Dr. Emma Porio discussing the social dimensions of risk and resilience.

This was followed by a 3-day workshop—which only involved the LGUs’ designated technical staff and the academic partners’ Science and Technology Focal Persons—on the application of CDRA where MO research staff guided the participants in using the GIS tools for integrated risk mapping.

By the end of the event, the participants produced their own risk maps and started their CDRA proposals. Overall, the participants found the training useful as the activities complemented and helped them improve their knowledge and skills.To complete the certificate course on CDRA, participants would also undergo two more phases: coaching and mentoring; and production of their own integrated risk maps.

MO Research Staff John Edward Perez assisting NRC partners in using QGIS.

The CDRA training for the certificate course is an initiative of NRC, a science and technology-based evidence-informed public-private partnership capacitating the local government in disaster resilience, in partnership with MO, a Jesuit scientific institution focused on advancing its mission in environmental and pre-disaster science, and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), a private Jesuit research university.

LGUs in attendance were Bataan Province, Cagayan de Oro City, Iloilo City, Iriga City, Naga City, Ormoc City and Zamboanga City. Meanwhile, the academic institutions were: Ateneo de Naga University; Ateneo de Zamboanga University; Bataan Peninsula State University; University of the Philippines Visayas; Visayas State University; and Xavier University.

Photos courtesy of the Manila Observatory.

Highlighting resiliency: Zamboanga City a case study at 2018 Singapore conference

Talking about disasters, risks and resilience have become urgent in recent years. Different sectors are now compelled to take on their respective roles in preparing for and preventing disasters that may lie ahead anywhere in the world. At the recent Asia Risk and Resilience Conference that took place in Singapore from 29-31 August, Zamboanga City Administrator and concurrent Local Economic Investment Promotions Officer, Ms. Marie Angelique Go, shared Zamboanga City’s ongoing journey towards resilient local government systems in local economy.

This event organized by the Business Continuity Planning Asia Pte Ltd(BCP Asia), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and Risk and Insurance Management Association of Singapore (RIMAS) served as a platform for discussions on disaster risk and corporate governance.

Ms. Marie Angelique Go presenting on Zamboanga City’s disaster resilience efforts.

In a session on building resilience in the private sector, Go presented the experience of Zamboanga City as a case study for the local government. With its ongoing partnership with the National Resilience Council (NRC), a science and technology-based evidence-informed public-private partnership (PPP) promoting disaster resilience, the city is building the resilience of its local government systems through the NRC Resilience Scorecard. This move is critical after the city experienced a humanitarian crisis in 2013. It is likewise an important input and reference for the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R).

Go then emphasized how it was imperative for the government to work on their resilience of its economic activities by linking small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to large businesses. She explained that Local Economy is oneof the critical pillars of the NRC Scorecard for resilient local government systems. The NRC Scorecard therefore serves as a guide for the City on how to assess and monitor its DRRM programs and overall disaster resilience in relation to its business sector.

ARRC participants gather for a group photo.

Zamboanga City is one of eight LGUs participating in NRC’s three-year Resilient LGU program. Other partners include Bataan Province, Cagayan de Oro City, Iloilo City, Iriga City, Naga City, Ormoc City and Valenzuela City. NRC is guiding these LGUs in accomplishing their comprehensive and localized Resilience Scorecard in order to be considered prepared, adapted and transformed in the context of disaster resilience.

Photos courtesy of iPrepare Business Facility at Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).