The province of Leyte is extreme from the impacts of typhoons and flooding. Due to climate change, this is expected to rise dramatically. Leyte has been the most vulnerable part of the Philippines to the water-related disaster which has attributed to population exposure, poverty, deforestation, lack of disaster preparedness, and gender inequality. To address these issues, this project will take a holistic approach to Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) through an Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) approach that has been selected by DENR and other stakeholders involved in this project.
DENR will be the lead executing entity on this project with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Construction Technology (KICT), The Province of Leyte, and the NGO Alliance of Safe, Sustainable, and Resilient Environment (ASSURE) and Chuncheon Global Water Forum as Co-EE. It is being proposed as a co-financed project between Green Climate Fund (GCF), KOICA, and DENR. DENR-River Basin Control Office (RBCO) is the designated focal office for this project.
This project seeks to build the capacity within communities as well as the local and regional governments in addressing the vulnerabilities through planning and collective action with tangible efforts in ecosystem restoration to kickstart local efforts to adapt to climate change. Target areas will be the Cluster 5 River Basins, defined by DENR to be the Palo, Binahaan, Daguitan-Marabong, and five minor river basins which are Calbasag, Gibuga, Guinarona, Magon-Buan-Balire, and Rizal as well as the Sab-a Peatland which overlaps with the Cluster 5 River Basins.
It is made up of four resilience-building components: (1) Capacity Building and Knowledge Management for Nature-Based Disaster Resilience that will support the technical training of policymakers, engineers, and civil servants in the design, implementation, and supporting policy needed for integrating NBS into regional flood management plans (2) Community-Managed Watershed Ecosystem Restoration through Nature-Based Solutions that involves restoration and protection of an estimated 1,030 hectares of degraded peatland in upriver areas of Sab-a Peatland (3) AI-based flood forecasting and early warning systems that will enhance the regional mobilization of information resources and (4) Gender-Responsive Capacity Building in DRR Management through baseline vulnerability assessment of barangays in this project and the organization and training of Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (BDRRMCs).
Last April 7-8, 2022, a team composed of Mr. Michael Bak, Mr. Kehyun Lee, and Ms. Yolanda Gomez of JHSustain together with Ms. Czahaine Tolentino of RBCO and Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) Ms. Eda Soriano and Ms. Alyssa Micah Macasieb conducted a field visit in Leyte to introduce the Climate Resilient Flood Management project proposal to the LGU-stakeholders. A courtesy call with the Region VIII Executive Director Arturo E. Fadriquela, PENRO Alejandro K. Bautista, CENRO Crisostomo E. Badeo Jr., and Gov. Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla was undertaken. (Czahaine A. Tolentino)