Aaron Julius M. Lecciones represented the SCPW in the UNITAR CIFAL JEJU Developing Capacities on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Asia-Pacific Region Training at the Jeju International Training Center, Jeju, South Korea last 18-21 April 2016.  He joined representatives from allover Asia Pacific including two fellow Filipinos Jamella de Castro (DENR-ERDB) and Michelle Javier (Presidential Staff Officer).

His participation highlighted two out of ten essentials in the Making Cities Resilient Framework where the SCPW has worked towards. The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands has been conducting Ecological Camps of EcoCamps since 2003 as part of the CLEAR Network (Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resources) and has already covered 92 high schools around Laguna Lake. These Ecocamps initially taught the youth about the environment and the importance of man’s relationship with nature through undertaking wetland conservation activities and now have highlighted pressing issues such as ecosystems, climate change, and disasters.

Essential one: Organising and Coordination

Organising for disaster resilience calls on putting in place an organisational structure and identifying necessary processes to understand and act on reducing exposures, its impact and vulnerability to disasters. During EcoCamps, the youth from different high schools that participate are encouraged and given the skills to form their own school-based groups to address issues on the environment, climate change, and disasters. They are given the venue to act and create their own solutions and be part of the process of disaster risk reduction and management. The youth are guided by experts and the government, including civic sector organisations and become partners in the projects the youth themselves create and lead. In some cases, the youth in partnership with the local government legislate ordinances and regulations in support of ecosystem based adaptation to climate change and disasters. School-based groups of youth regularly attend CLEAR Youth Network Congresses where they expand their organisational network and build upon relationships towards a stronger commitment to greater disaster resiliency in their community.

Essential seven: Education and training programs on community-based disaster risk reduction

Understand and strengthen societal capacity for resilience talks about cultivating an environment for social connectedness which promotes a culture of mutual help through recognition of the role of cultural heritage and education in disaster risk reduction. The EcoCamps bring together high school students, their teachers, the local government, and their partners to talk about and experience together action learning on the environment, climate change, and disasters. Through games, activities, lectures, and disaster town watching, the youth are connected with their community, are able to apply what they learn on the field, and recognise the cultural nuances which makes their communities resilient or even vulnerable to disasters. The EcoCamp also provides seed funds for the realisation of projects the youth create to address climate change and disasters – this is another venue to disseminate information and public awareness of the issue through the locals and youths themselves. EcoCamp participants attend Youth Congresses which further cultivates social connectedness among the youth on issues of the environment, climate change, and disasters.

The training and workshop included topics from the following speakers:

Ousseynou Nakoulima, Director of Country Programming, Global Climate Fund (GCF)

  • Key elements of Paris climate agreement and implication for climate change adaptation in Asia-Pacific region

Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of UNISDR ONEA-GETI

  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 Introducing Current Tendencies in Urban Risk Reduction
  • Mainstreaming DRR and CCA into Development

Yuka Makino, Senior NRM & DRM Specialist, Disaster Risk Management Climate Change Unit, World Bank Group

  • Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Armen Rostomyan, Programme Officer of UNISDR ONEA-GETI

  • Introducing Making Cities Resilient (MCR) Global Campaign 10 Essentials and MCR Campaign Tools
  • Applying the MCR Tools for Assessment and Diagnosis using LGSAT Tool
  • Developing and Implementing Safe and Resilient City Action Plan
  • Setting Indicators for City Action Plan Monitoring, Evaluation and Follow Up

Kyungshin LEE, Program Director, Korea NGO Council for Overseas Cooperation (KCOC)

  • NGO collaboration for Disaster Reduction and Response

The participants visited a Smart Grid Demonstration and the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site Seongsan Ilchulbong, among other sites in Jeju Island.

Aaron is with Ms Sunny Bae of UNITAR CIFAL JEJU.
Aaron stands next to statues at the foot of Jeju’s UNESCO Heritage Sunrise Peak (Seongsan Ilchulbong)
Aaron at a waterfall nearby Seogwipo City
A demonstration of the Smart Grid at Jeju South Korea.
Aaron is at the UNESCO Heritage Seongsan Ilchulbong as part of the training’s appreciation of Jeju’s natural wonders.
Aaron is with Program Officer Lee Jinmin
Aaron poses with participants to the training with Mr Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of UNISDR ONEA-GETI.

SCPW was at the UNITAR CIFAL Training on Making Cities Resilient at Jeju, Korea
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by Aaron time to read: 3 min