Development planners of Batanes are now better equipped to chart the province’s economic development in the face of climate change with the aid of resource maps produced by the Climate Change Commission with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The maps, which were generated using the General Information System (GIS) technology, contained important information on the soil, land-use, land cover, elevation and slope, including existing natural resource found in the municipalities of Basco, Mahatao, Ivana, Uyugan, Sabtang, and Itbayat. The maps are the result of the partnership between the Commission and USAID under the project dubbed “Climate Change and Clean Energy Project (CEnergy)”.
Through the project, USAID supports the Philippine government’s progressive response to address climate change impacts, and the government’s integrated strategy to climate and energy policy that aims to curb the rapid progress of climate change. Batanes is one of the pilot sites identified by CCC for the economically resilient and ecologically stable towns (Ecotown).
In simple ceremonies held at the Provincial Capitol recently, the maps were turned over to the respective LGUs by Sec. Lucille Sering of the Commission. She was assisted by USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele. It was made before the presence of Batanes Governor Vicente Gato, Congresswoman Henedina Abad of the Lone District of Batanes, and other officials of the Commission, USAID, and the local government units.
Sering said the information contained in the maps can be used as basis for local planning and programming with strong emphasis on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“The days are gone when we used to do our local planning with the ‘business-as-usual’ attitude,” Sering said. “With these maps, LGUs can now make science-based decisions,” she added.
Sering said the maps are part of the government’s efforts under the Ecotown Framework demonstration which aims to make our communities resilient to the adverse effects of climate change. The ecotown is one of the Commission’s initiatives which essentially localizes the implementation of the National Climate Change action Plan (NCCAP).
Sering further said that the Commission will extend technical assistance to the Batanes LGUs in preparing project proposals to enable them to access climate funds under the People’s Survival Fund (PSF).
photo credit: Climate Change Commission / Department of Tourism