Sharing of Experiences Between China and Philippines on Geohazard Early Warning System (EWS) and Mitigation

From 24 May 1 June 2007, three scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing, China, conducted a field mission to the regions of Bicol and Infanta, Quezon, the Philippines to explore the possibility of technology transfer between China and the Philippines in environmental monitoring for geohazards at the local community level. UNDP-Philippines, in partnership with Oxfam Great Britain and the Provincial Government of Albay supported this successful mile-stone visit. Specific outputs of the CAS team visit were:

(a) On-site sharing of Chinese experiences with Local Governmental (LGU) officials regarding Early Warning System (EWS) and mitigation of geologic hazards;

(b) Briefings by the Chinese scientists on their findings and recommendations to all concerned stakeholders, both at the local and national levels;

(c) Preparation of a report on field observations based on the areas visited, with appropriate recommendations in the context of the Philippines setting.

Specific recommendations were made to local communities around the volcanoes Mt. Bulusan and Mayon (Alban), and landslide-prone areas in Infanta, and Quezon. Environmental observation by survivors of previous landslides were shared and documented. Additional recommendations for local communities interested in developing and integrating environmental monitoring into their geohazard mitigation program were made:

(1) Encourage/organize/empower the survivors at the holding centers and resettlement villages to canvass/interview each other, so that environmental signals observed prior to the November 30, 2006, lahar flow and floods are documented. The schoolchildren there could help to put these phenomena into visual/picture form. Such documentation would recover/discover valuable disaster-related information that would otherwise be lost to humanity. For those indicators that the survivors feel were observed by many people, sharing these indicators with others may actually make difference for future victims of geohazards.

(2) The well-developed Chinese geohazards education program provides interested and concerned local people with the knowledge and techniques to monitor for geohazards. A timely visit to China is important to learn and experience what has proved very successful for local communities there in geohazard risk reduction.

 

The spirit of volunterism was evident throughout this mission. On Chinas part, the expertise provided by the CAS geohazards team during this ten-day mission could not have come about without the generous support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. The real goal of this mission is to generate south-south CMDRR projects in the near future that may result in a reduction in loss of life from geohazards this year in the Philippines.

 

Get the full mission report (.pdf) here