April 3, 2023
Researchers from the University of the Philippines (UP) highlighted the role of studying water-related risks and water management using science in Laguna Lake in their visit to Tsukuba, Japan recently.
The team composed of Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr., Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez, and Dr. Eugene Herrera shared their studies at the special session of the 9th International Conference on Flood Management on 20 February 2023. The Japan visit was part of ongoing cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS).
Their studies underscored the role of using technology to predict water disasters and mitigate their effects on lives and on the economy. Dr. Eugene Herrera in his paper, "Integrated Decision Support Analysis for Water Resource Management: Applications and Lessons Learned from Laguna Lake" underscored the importance of a decision support system describing the environment and means that the Philippines can manage the Laguna Lake.
Laguna Lake continues to suffer environment degradation and is one of the most stressed inland waters in the Philippines. It is touted to be the largest lake in the Philippines spanning 900 square kilometers and is a significant part of the Pasig-Laguna Basin. Fisherfolks depend on this lake for livelihood, but it is also prone to flooding due to its low-lying feature.
Dr. Eugene Herrera presented that "In managing flood-risk, there is a need to ensure equitable benefits for disadvantaged communities. We must effectively manage the operation of the lake for flood detention so as not to cause flooding elsewhere." He further emphasized the importance of science-based decisions to reduce the risks of flooding in Metro Manila and around Laguna Lake.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr. presented their study on the "Development of Hybrid Water-Related Disaster Risk Assessment Technology for Sustainable Local Economic Development Policy under Climate Change in the Philippines".
He highlighted the goal of this research project which is to achieve sustainable economic development by improving water-related disaster resilience and promoting balanced national land development through participatory water governance.
He also praised Japan's Development Integrated Operation & Maintenance Office for its work in managing their lakes. "I'm hoping that the Philippines, like in the Laguna de Bay, can adopt Japan's lake management techniques, particularly in the area of water governance."
Further, Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez shared her study on policies and ordinances relating to flood and drought management in municipalities near Laguna Lake.
"JICA has collaborated for decades with the Philippines when it comes to disaster management and climate change resilience. The knowledge exchange between Filipino and Japanese researchers through JICA's joint research program, SATREPS aims to promote science-based solutions to society's common problems like water resource management and flood disasters," said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.
In particular, the studies by the researchers form part of the Project for Development of a Hybrid Water-Related Disaster Risk Assessment Technology for Sustainable Local Economic Development Policy under Climate Change in the Philippines (HYDEPP). This cooperation is coming up with climate-based model to analyze water disasters to contribute to Philippine government efforts in flood mitigation, emergency response, and resilient infrastructure.
Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr., Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez and Dr. Eugene Herrera presenting their studies during the SATREPS special session of the 9th International Conference on Flood Management in Tsukuba, Japan
Participants during the SATREPS Special Session in the 9th International Conference on Flood Management
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