Among 4 major urban areas, Davao is least vulnerable to climate change

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/1 Dec) – This city is least vulnerable to climate change compared to three urban areas in the country, namely, Baguio, Ilo-ilo and Cebu, a recent study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines and the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation revealed.

The study entitled “Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts,” which began in August last year, stated that the city gained a score of 5.68 percent compared to other three urban areas that ranked higher on being vulnerable to climate change.

The four cities were selected based on the occurrence of floods, storms, drought and other extreme climate events in 1990 to 2010.

The WWF-Philippines, in the study released last Tuesday, observed that Davao City has still more room for sustainable and integrated area development amid its population of 1.5 million. The urban area does not also experience any typhoons, the group added.

“In this assessment, it emerged as the least vulnerable city. Its opportunity is to do things the right way,” the study cited.

The group, however, stated that while Davao could be typhoon-free, it will still likely have to deal with climate impacts such as sea level rise, increased sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.

The WWF-Philippines recommended that the city should come up with climate smart zoning and efficient land or sea access infrastructure to prepare on mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Roberto P. Alabado III, officer-in-charge of the City Planning and Development Office, told MindaNews that they are currently revising the land use plan to adapt to climate change, especially to protect settlements against flooding and storm surges.

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan will be the basis in amending the 1996 Zoning Ordinance, he said.

“We will propose (in the land use plan) to limit the development of residential zones with high susceptibility to flooding and landslide as identified by geohazard study of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau,” Alabado added.

The regional office of MGB earlier identified barangays Marilog and Magsaysay in Marilog District as landslide-prone areas. The agency also bared that there are 404 flood-prone areas in the city, including Sitio Uyanguren and Jade Valley in Brgy. Tigatto.

Alabado said the city also has to prepare for the eventuality of higher sea levels “as this will likely deluge low lying areas.” (MindaNews)