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Path to Excellence: Philippine Disaster and Climate Information Services

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) sets its sights on making the Philippines the gold standard in Disaster and Climate Information Services (DCIS). Under the leadership of Secretary Renato U Solidum Jr, the DOST shared its multi-faceted approach on the global stage, emphasising the practical applications of two collaborative initiatives—the Impact-Based Forecasting and Early Warning System and GeoRiskPhilippines Initiative.

Image credits: dost.gov.ph

Secretary Renato, acknowledging the complex nature of disasters as wicked problems, outlined his dream for the Philippines to lead the way in DCIS. He emphasised that tackling such challenges requires a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to build and maintain a resilient information system. This approach aligns with the country’s Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction and Management policies and programmes.

The DOST’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Research and Development agenda encompass eight Key Result Areas, reflecting the priorities outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and six Dimensions of Resilience, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The agenda encourages research partners to contribute to the global dialogue on climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development.

At the forefront of these efforts is GeoRisk Philippines, a comprehensive platform comprising HazardHunterPH, GeoAnalyticsPH, GeoMapperPH, Map and Feature Services, 3D Earth Risk, and Plan SmartPH. This integrated platform aims to be the central source of information, providing accurate and efficient hazard and risk assessments to enhance the nation’s resilience to natural hazards.

A pivotal development in the Philippines’ disaster preparedness landscape is the Multi-Hazard Impact-Based Forecasting and Early Warning System project, launched earlier this year by the DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Secretary Solidum sees this as an embodiment of “Filipinnovation,” highlighting the Filipino spirit of not just surviving disasters but innovatively creating solutions to confront them.

The DOST recognises its transformative role in revolutionising DCIS In the field of digitalisation. Digital platforms ensure the rapid dissemination of real-time updates, facilitating swift responses to disasters and climate events.

Advanced data analysis tools enable a deeper understanding of climate patterns, contributing to the development of accurate prediction models. Geospatial mapping, remote sensing, and satellite monitoring enhance risk assessment and preparedness strategies.

Likewise, digital technologies foster collaboration among stakeholders involved in disaster response. Information sharing through digital platforms enables seamless communication, leading to a more effective and coordinated approach to managing and mitigating the impact of disasters. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enhances forecasting accuracy, providing valuable insights for anticipating extreme weather events.

The DOST’s vision positions the Philippines as a trailblazer in DCIS, leveraging digitalisation, research agendas, and collaborative initiatives. Secretary Renato’s dream of the Philippines becoming the gold standard reflects a commitment to innovation, resilience, and proactive measures in addressing the challenges posed by disasters and climate change.

In embracing Filipinnovation, the Philippines exhibits resilience and ingenuity, transcending mere survival to thrive amid adversity. This cultural ethos embodies a proactive approach, inspiring innovative solutions to challenges.

The DOST believes that by fostering a spirit of creativity, adaptability, and resourcefulness, Filipinnovation becomes a driving force propelling the nation forward, ensuring not only the endurance but also the flourishing of communities in the dynamic landscape of unforeseen circumstances and adversities. This collective mindset empowers individuals and communities to turn challenges into opportunities, contributing to the nation’s growth and progress in the face of uncertainties.

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