By: Ann Maureen Malaki
More than a hundred students, professors, scientists, researchers, local government officials and non-government organization representatives attended the CCARPH International Conference entitled, “Bridging Science-Policy-Practice Nexus through Transdisciplinary Research and Resilience Innovations” held on March 7, 2020 at The Loft, Areté , Ateneo de Manila University. The conference has two tracks: 1) CCARPH research teams and partner-cities on delivering multi-stakeholder and transdisciplinary work to inform policy reform, and strengthening public-private partnerships for resilience, and 2) the Master of Disaster Risk Reduction (MDRR) students’ Capstone Project panel presentations on developing risk and resilience.
Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J., PhD, CCARPH Project Holder and President of the Ateneo de Manila University, gave the welcome remarks. Fr. Villarin highlighted the significance of transdisciplinary groups as it is necessary to go beyond the disciplinal walls to look at the complex reality. He compared science and policy trying to come together to an image of a boat headed to a waterfall. Science tells people how far they are from the waterfall and how to jump, while policy decides when to jump.
Similarly, Dr. Evangeline Bautista, Dean of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Science and Engineering, reiterated that science, policy, and practice can stand alone but bridging these together has the power to make things happen.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Fabian Antonio M. Dayrit, CCARPH Advisor and Vice President at the National Academy of Science and Technology, discussed the “Challenge of Disaster Mitigation” in managing the predictable and unpredictable.
Dr. Emma Porio, CCARPH Project Leader, delivered the “Resilience Thinking to Action” keynote speech of Dr. Hassan Virji, Executive Director of the Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START). Dr. Virji recognized that CCARPH has “created the basis for enhancing resilience at community levels to manage disasters”. Moving forward, he suggested the establishment of resilience clinics in the implementation of Urban Living Laboratories.
Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, President of the National Resilience Council (NRC), and Co-Principal Investigator of CCARPH, also gave a keynote speech on “Public-Private Partnerships for Resilience: Challenges & Opportunities”. According to her, “time is an important factor” and “anticipatory action is necessary for disaster resilience”. Additionally, it is a must to “embrace the wickedness or multidimensionality of problems that require multiple solutions”, and “everyone has a role to play”.
The conference was subsequently divided into two parallel sessions. Track 1 was allotted for the CCARPH research teams and partner local government units to present their updated findings. The research teams presented their studies, followed by actionable responses from the National Resilience Council and Local Government Resilience Councils. The panels were composed of the following thematic transdisciplinary groups: “Interrogating Climate Change and Socio-economic and Health Impacts”; “Mainstreaming Climate Disaster Risk Assessment towards a Resilient Local Government System”; “Air Pollution and Resilience in Katipunan – Killing us Softly?”; and, “Tools and Technologies for Climate and Disaster Resilience”.
Track 2 focused on the Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience (MDRR) students’ Capstone Projects. The presentation of ten (10) projects were divided into three panels 1) Disaster Resilience: Frameworks, Indicators and Protocols; 2) Bridging the Gap: Policy, Private Sector, Development; and 3) Alternatives and Solutions for Resilience.
During the event, posters of the CCARPH research teams and capstone projects were exhibited along with the technologies for disaster resiliency of the Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC). The conference was also live streamed in its Facebook page and YouTube channels.