The University of the Philippines Baguio, through its newly established Knowledge and Training Resource Center on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, has again teamed up with the United Nations World Food Programme to enhance campus awareness and preparedness on climate change and disasters. The project, entitled “‘Change Starts Here’: Making a Climate Smart and Disaster Preparedness-Sensitive UP Baguio,” aims to establish UP Baguio as an academic institution marked by a pervasive culture of sensitivity to these issues as a means to enhance the KTRC’s role as a training and resource center on climate change and DRRM in northern Luzon.
The project is broken down into four components: Curriculum Development and Instruction, and On-Campus Activities, Capability Building, Monitoring and Research, and Disaster Protocol Development. The first component will involve a review of UPB curriculum in its different departments in order to determine the extent to which climate and environmental issues are actually and may potentially be taught and discussed in the classroom. If this is limited, this component is also concerned with developing climate change-sensitive and DRRM-sensitive curricula. The component on Capability Building, on the other hand, will be tasked not only with enhancing skills and knowledge within the University but also, and perhaps more importantly, with building the capacity of secondary and tertiary level schools in the province through a Summer Institute on Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness as well as with public lectures featuring experts on the said topics.
The component on Monitoring and Research will engage the active participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) and other community stakeholders in gathering weather data, testing the early warning protocol(s), mapping new major landslides, and determining the LGU’s level of compliance in setting up functional disaster response mechanisms and learning about their perceptions of the KTRC so far. Lastly, the component on Disaster Protocol Development is aimed at creating and piloting effective emergency and evacuation plans for the University’s constituents to complement UPB’s efforts in creating a climate-smart and disaster-prepared campus.