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Aquino inaugurates Climate Change Academy of Albay

11/26/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]

LEGAZPI CITY — President Aquino inaugurated yesterday the Climate Change Academy of Albay as part of the government thrust to combat climate change and its ill-effects, particularly on the economy.

“Maituturing din po natin na makasaysayan ang araw na ito nang mapasinayaan natin ang kauna-unahang paraalan sa bansa na nakatutok sa climate change — ang Climate Change Academy of Albay,” the President said in his speech after the inauguration.

“Sa pagkakaroon ng programang nakatuon sa climate change adaptation at disaster risk reduction and management, tiwala ako na ang gusaling ito ay hindi lamang magiging pugad ng karunungan ngunit magsisilbi ring silungan ng ating mga kababayan sa oras ng kalamidad.”

The Climate Change Academy, built inside the campus of the Bicol University in Legazpi City, is aimed at contributing to the national effort to fast-track the development of climate adaptation capabilities of the country, particularly local government units (LGUs).

The academy empowers and trains LGUs for disaster risk management, evaluation of climate risk hazards and adaptive capabilities, planning, and programming.

It is also expected to provide guidelines on experimental learning in the implementation of “disaster proofing” of local stakeholders.

The academy’s strategic approach includes raising awareness on disaster risks, progressive training on scenario building, climate and disaster risk assessment and management, and technical assistance for local management and planning.

Recently, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda underscored the importance of institutionalizing the fight against climate change through the academy as well as raising public awareness with the help of media.

“Ang Climate Change Academy is first of its kind in the world, wala pa pong ganyan sa buong mundo. It’s essentially a knowledge management institution,” Salceda said.

Given the vulnerability of the Philippines, being the third most vulnerable country in the world, Salceda said battling or reducing the impacts of climate change is a paramount concern of the government.

Countries that sent students to the Climate Change Academy of Albay include Laos, Myanmar, Kenya, Nepal and many others, Salceda said.

The provincial government of Albay worked with other government agencies and international organizations in putting up the Climate Change Academy.

Its partners include the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations System in collaboration with the Philippine government, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR);

Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of National Defense (DND), Bicol University, University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), International Center for Agroforestry (ICRAF), and University of Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
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