PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN – Naga City is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines in terms of economic viability. Being one of the partner cities of the Coastal Cities at Risk in the Philippines (CCARPH) Project of the Ateneo de Manila University, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and National Resilience Council (NRC), the continuous need of adapting to the catastrophic effects of climate change has never been this important. Two of the common problems that a developing city is facing are increasing land imperviousness and declining tree cover which are correlated with high heat index. Heat index is defined as a human discomfort index that a person feels as the current temperature mixed with relative humidity has made contact with their body. Mr. Jeremiah Y. Morales together with Ms. Jerleze Mae Q. Osea, both graduates of Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management at the Ateneo de Naga University, have conducted an undergraduate research to tackle and interrogate this emerging problem in Naga City under the guidance of Ms. Shane B. Bimeda, M.S. (Cand.).
As lead author, Mr. Morales presented their undergraduate research entitled, “Microclimate Variability Analysis and a Proposed Management Plan for the Urban Heat Reduction of Naga City, Camarines Sur”. The paper was accepted for oral presentation at the 12th Philippine Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE) International Conference and Scientific Meeting at Puerto Princesa, Palawan with the theme “Strengthening the Power of Environmental Education Through Innovative Pedagogy to Practice (P2P) Models” held last October 15 to 17, 2019. The activity was spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ School of Environmental Science and Management together with the Palawan State University.
Their research investigated the average heat index of selected sites at Naga City, Camarines Sur. They have found that increasing land imperviousness and declining tree cover are two factors that greatly affects Naga City’s heat index. Results show that tree cover is negatively related with heat index. This means that if there is a decline in the amount of tree cover, the city will more likely to produce a higher heat index. Another factor that showed significant result with heat index are the impervious surfaces (e.g. concrete roads, cemented infrastructures, and buildings). Based on the study, impervious surface has a positive relationship with heat index which meant that the higher the impervious surface, the higher the heat index will be.
“Understanding the impacts of Urban Heat Index in a micro-scale level is of vital importance and a critical issue most especially that urban cities are growing exponentially at a rate that surpasses the ability of nature to heal itself. Nature-based designs plays an integral role on keeping urban cities livable thus, urban cities must redesign their approach as to how they will utilize and develop their lands. Furthermore, studies such as these can prove to be beneficial to Local Government Units as this may be used to support evidence-based programs of the city on the environment.”Jeremiah Y. Morales
To know more about the study, it is publicly available at ResearchGate. Interested individuals/researchers may access it through this link (bit.ly/MoralesOsea) or directly contact the researchers via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org