Baguio most vulnerable to climate change - study

Posted at 11/29/11 11:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Baguio is most vulnerable to climate change, according to a study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation.

WWF-Philippines studied the impact of climate change in four cities, Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao, which were chosen based on the occurence of storms, floods, and other extreme climate events in the last decade. The paper "Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts" revealed trends drawn from existing climate studies and city-specific socio-economic information.

The study's results show Baguio as "most vulnerable to climate change impacts such as landslides due to it having the highest rainfall and being the most densely populated city covered by the study."

Davao City was seen as the least vulnerable because of its sustainable, integrated area development.

Flood-prone Iloilo has been undergoing rapid urbanization, but it has kept population growth down at 1.53% to address the population density issue.

Cebu, a hub of manufacturing and trade in the south, should pursue investments to "climate-proof" infrastructure and technology to strengthen its current economic supply chains.

"Each city faces its own set of advantages and disadvantages in adapting to a sustainable future. Now that we have the insights, from the potential of Cebu to grow by establishing its own airport to the threat of rising sea levels to Iloilo’s reclaimed lands, WWF and BPI Foundation invite institutions within these cities and the government in particular to initiate more eco-friendly solutions for the development of our country,” WWF-Philippines Vice-Chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said, in a statement.

"Knowing that our country is a shared gift and responsibility, BPI firmly believes that companies must take advantage of business opportunities such as rethinking future investments and remodeling future infrastructures for the nation to grow and prosper under the circumstances brought about by this study," BPI President Aurelio Montinola III said.

The study gauged each city's level of vulnerability by analyzing its climate/ environmental exposure, socio-economic sensitivity and adaptive capacity, based on data from 1990 to 2010. It linked the predictions for each city to an action-oriented proposal for present-day decisions.

WWF will be touring 4 cities from December 6 to 9 to educate the respective local governments on how to create strategies to adapt to climate change.