Melanie Jimenez, News, Communication Management Office
Raising more awareness and disseminating knowledge about climate change were among the goals of the recently held Pagdaloy Public Lecture Series organized by the College of Political Science and Public Administration (CPSPA) on July 11. It focused on the best practices and policies of Thailand through the help and expertise of Dr. Puntita Tanwattana.
Dr. Puntita Tanwattana is a professional researcher at Environmental Research Institute at Chulalongkorn University- Bangkok, Thailand. She specializes in urban environmental planning, participatory planning, community-based disaster risk management, urban/community resilience, and urban environmental management.
In her discussion, Dr. Tanwattana emphasized that climate change remains to be a persistent issue that deserves our priority and attention. Its adverse effects on our daily lives are becoming more apparent, and their impact is causing significant damage in many sectors of society. She highlighted that understanding the negative consequences of climate change and cultivating a sense of urgency are both essential steps towards battling climate change.
According to Dr. Tanwattana, coping techniques such as mitigation and adaptation in the context of climate change and disaster risk reduction are seen as keys for high adaptive capacity and resiliency. Mitigation, or taking precautions before an emergency or disaster happens, can help get rid of or lessen the effects and risks of hazards. Adaptation, on the other hand, is the process of changing infrastructures in response to changing weather, climate change, and other disasters.
Dr. Tanwattana also emphasized the significance of collaboration between the state, individuals, and organizations to achieve coordinated action in the areas of preparedness, response, prevention, and mitigation for catastrophic natural disasters.
A significant portion of the lecture discussed the shared experiences of Thailand and the Philippines in dealing with various disasters and adapting for recovery and resiliency. Both countries are developing their own National Adaptation Plans (NAP) using the most recent climate science. This adaptation plan provides the medium and long-term strategies for the countries to adapt to disasters after risks are identified.
The presentation focused specifically on how Thailand uses and maps out their own NAP to directly address concerns about disasters, as well as establish a system of awareness and policies for such concerns.
One major point raised is the need to involve citizens, particularly young people, in development plans that are founded on established policies and solutions aimed at achieving sustainability and adaptive resiliency in the face of climate change and natural disasters.
The lecture series was attended by both graduate and undergraduate students from the College of Political Science and Public Administration (CPSPA). It was also graced by the college dean Associate Professor Elmer M. Soriano, Assistant Professor Estefanie Cortez, Chairperson of the Department of Political Economy, and Mr. Ramces M. Dili, Chief of the Center for Public Administration and Governance Studies.
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