The environment is a friend, an ally, or some would say, an enemy. As nature wreaks havoc to villages, its damaging winds cause the loss of many lives. Some would take it more as an enemy but in truth, natural disasters are part of the Earth’s equilibrium.
The Bicol Region has to survive the pits of gustily winds of typhoons, floods, and threats of volcanic activities.
It was not long until disaster risk management and extensive training for a stronghold of knowledge about the risks and damage brought about by these environmental effects were recognized.
This resulted to the creation of the Climate Change Academy and the rise of the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Training Institute (CCA-DRR), both the first of their kind in the Philippines.
In an article by Rhaydz Barcia on EnviroNews.ph, former Governor Joey Salceda said that CCA-DRR is an institute that aims to “go beyond disaster risk reduction training not only for disaster responders and public officials as it will train educators specifically farmers, fishermen including indigenous communities to laymanize science and the effects of climate change.”
It is an institution that will boost the province’s approach on disasters and minimize the harm by the development of strategies and counter measures for climate change.
The institution has provided series of trainings since 2011. CCA-DRR focused on disaster risk reduction management through research and development as well as trainings to defend the region from environmental hazards.
Bicol University has taken part in shedding light on climate change. BU is in partnership with University of the Philippines in Los Baños and is supported by agencies and organizations such as the League of Provinces of the Philippines, the Publishers’ Association of the Philippines, Inc., and the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists.
In an interview this September 2017 with Cerdic D. Daep, department head of Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (Apsemo), he said that the Academy was a trial to see if the national government would support the Academy. The national government did, but the problem remains with the budget and funding support since the CCA is not yet institutionalized and stipulated only by the Executive Order No. 2011-02, which means that it can be either abolished, renewed, or continued depending on the province’s decision.
Both the institute and the academy are avenues in enriching the people. The academy promises education while the institute will bring forth research and development. These two combined is a powerful instrument for a sustainable region in times of unstoppable effects brought by climate change.
But today, the academy is currently inactive and not the main priority of the present administration.
Climate change is a change in Earth’s climate. It can be observed in the change in temperature or the amount of rain or snow fall in the planet. Weather changes in just a few hours, but climate takes hundreds or even millions of years before it changes.
Aside from ravishing typhoons like Milenyo, Reming, Glenda, and Nina, climate change is similarly felt through the scorching heat. The crisp, unwavering heat, dry lands and drought of plains would be the obvious evidence. The carbon emissions emitted by automobiles and factories.
Our environment is our only home; it is not the enemy because the real enemy is imprudence. The least we can do is to keep learning and educating our communities about the effects of our daily choices.
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