Bicol River News
Bicol River Amidst Climate Change

The Bicol River in the mid-eastern Philippines, is the source of livelihood of many of the local government units surrounding the wide expanse of the river. As a source of livelihood, the river plays a very important role in the lives of its surroundings. The river also serves as a source of irrigation for adjacent agricultural areas. It also serves as a transport route for goods, people, and services in the region.

But with the onset of climate change and continued anthropogenic contribution, the river’s role in the lives of the people surrounding it is threatened. Inundation, siltation, pollution and other threats endanger the river and the adjacent communities. The rising volume of water passing through the river due to increased rainfall also contributes to the degradation of the riverbanks and the incessant flooding of the plains near the river. Indeed, climate change adversely affects the river.

The local government of Camarines Sur and non-government organizations recognize that climate change is real and it is happening. Greenhouse gas emissions are through the roof, and the effects of climate change continue to worsen as the world goes into the future.

In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated categorically that there is unequivocal warming of the climate system and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased. All these events lead to the destructive effects now experienced by a large majority of the world.

In the Philippines, one of the biggest and horrifying evidence of climate change is Super Typhoon Yoldanda (Haiyan), which ravaged a large part of the Visayas in the Philippines and caused a large number of casualties and injury. The typhoon seriously damaged homes and buildings, infrastructure and services, and disruption in the lives and livelihood of people in the Visayas and other storm ravaged areas.

Thus, disaster risk reduction is the norm now that climate change has become real and felt by billions of people around the globe.

Worldwide initiatives to cope with climate change are faced by significant global adaptation gaps in finance, technology and knowledge. Thus, further action to cut emissions to prevent adaptation costs from soaring as wider and more-expensive action is needed to protect communities from the intensifying impacts of climate change. Comprehensive climate adaptation plans in governance is of great importance.

It is important to look to the future and coordinate the efforts and contributions of all the organizations and individuals helping the cities and towns to rebuild and recover. With the overall well being of the community at the heart of recovery activities, opportunities for job creation, investments, and innovation need to be maximized.

Bicol River

The Bicol River is the eighth largest river in the Philippines in terms of drainage basin size with an estimated catchment area of 3,770 km²

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