05.02.2016 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Sustainability Science getting momentum in Davao City as a UNESCO Pilot Project to deliver SDGs 6 and 11 of UN Development Agenda 2030

In collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and HELP (Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy) Davao Network, UNESCO Office, Jakarta conducted a “Stakeholder Consultation Meeting” in Davao City, from 3 to 4 February 2016.

Officiated by the Chairperson of HELP Davao Network, Ms. Marissa Salvador-Abella and the Director of UNESCO Office, Jakarta, Mr. Shahbaz Khan, the consultation aims to gather community leaders to discuss and analyse stakeholders’ perspectives on sustainability issues and solutions for a new Urban Vision and Commitment towards a Resilient City.

In his opening notes, Mr Khan introduced the history of HELP Davao Network and highlights why Davao City in Mindanao has been selected as a Demonstration Site on Enhancing Resilience to Disaster of Urban Water Systems of Mindanao. This opening remarks were follows by the introduction of the “Sustainability Framework for Setting Urban Sustainability Standards to Deliver Agenda 2030” given by Mr Khan.

In Mindanao, Davao City is being considered as the socio-economic developments hub. There is a rapid increase in the economic activities that bring about increasing pressures in water resource use and management. Such pressures include the increased migration and population, rapid urban and domestic expansion to support the increasing agricultural, industrial, domestic and requirements, increased threats to water quality as a result of the increased socio-economic developmental activities, and the increased demand for water quality. On top of these, there are the looming risks from hydro-hazards as both affected by climate change and effects of man-made activities.

Key moments of the Consultation Meeting includes the formal signing ceremony of the project contract and the signing of the IWRM Resolution.

The consultation meeting brought together around 94 stakeholders and partners from different institutions such as HELP Davao Network, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA), Davao City Water District (DCWD), Office of the Civil Defence (OCD) and Davao Central 911, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), University of the Philippines Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, Southern Philippines Agri-business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), University of Immaculate Conception (UIC), Davao River Initiative (DRI), People Collaborating for Environment and Economic Management (PCEEM), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) with the activities Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) & Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM), non-government organizations and many other key stakeholders (especially from the Local Government Unit), who will be involves in working towards the establishment of the Sustainability Science Demonstration Site on Enhancing Resilience to Disasters of Urban Water Systems of Mindanao.

One of the key output of this stakeholder’s consultation meeting is the identification of 35 barangays, as flood-prone areas in Davao City. These barangays have been selected because of their local knowledgeable and because they are the first to be affected by flooding. The project will be achieved by adopting a three-pronged approach strategy that considers vulnerability and community resilience in the context of climate change. The adoption of the strategic approach which will help (1) assessing the state of the urban water systems in Davao City through mapping and data gathering spearheaded by the University of Philippines – Mindanao (UPM-Min); (2) strengthening integrated planning and coordination to enhance resilience in the management of the water systems with the Ateneo de Davao University taking the lead; and, (3) raising awareness on climate change adaptation among stakeholders by demonstrating resilience.

The main beneficiaries of the project will be the residents along the Talom-Lipadas River, Lasang River, Davao River, Matina Crossing and the overall Davao City and Mindanao region.

The comprehensive baseline assessment will include, but not limited to land, water and environmental linkages as well as sound natural resources management practices. There will also be identification and demonstration of best practices, early monitoring/early warning systems, and other technologies that enhance or help build community resiliency against urban hydro hazards. Series of activities to raise awareness on climate change adaptation and build capacity among stakeholders in enhancing resilience to disasters of urban water in Davao City will also be done.

On the second day of the consultation meeting, a field trip was conducted in small villages (locally called Barangays) situated along rivers in Davao City. The site visited was Matina Pangi River, where stakeholders planted a number of Malibango trees for flood prevention at the riverbank of Barangay Matina Pangi which was severely hit by flash floods in 2011.

After this, the stakeholders visited the flood and water learning centre alongside Davao River in Maa. The learning centre is managed by a local community constituted of 300 families under an initiative call "Protect the Davao River Movement". This group of volunteers have organized themselves to remove waste and plastics from the river, protection of the river banks from erosion and also provides training to young and student about water protection. Another important initiative of the communities is the flood monitoring and early warning system put in place by the Movement with an evacuation boat. This very active local community presented to the visitors, trees planted in 2005 by HELP Davao Network for flood protection of the villages.

The stakeholder’s consultation was announced and reported in national and local media such as:

The consultation was also covered by local media such as

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