The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension organized a forum on La Niña preparedness last 16 May 2016 at the OVCRE Annex Building.
During the morning session, Mr. Anthony R. Lucero, a Senior Weather Specialist from the Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section of PAGASA-DOST, discussed updates and predictions for La Niña. He also shared some background information about both El Niño and La Niña, as well as some indicators, phases, and manifestations. Lastly, rainfall forecast per region for May to October 2016, wet day forecasts, drought/dry spell outlook, and tropical cyclone forecast, and average temperature forecasts were also tackled. To summarize, El Niño is already in its decaying stage and the possibility of a developing La Niña is favored towards the end of the year. PAGASA has already launched La Niña Watch to aid the country.
UP Scientist Dr. Teodoro C. Mendoza discussed UPLB’s role in preparing for a La Niña scenario. He emphasized that with or without La Niña, we should already be preparing because climate change is here to stay. For the impending La Niña, he recommends that action centers and quick response teams must be organized. UPLB must assist in educating people, providing advisories, and delivering information using different media.
The speaker for the afternoon session was Dr. Domingo E. Angeles, former Dean of the College of Agriculture, and current Chairperson of the Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food Security. He discussed the effects of La Niña on food security, as well as some strategic actions that can be undertaken by UPLB.
An open forum was held in which the participants shared their suggestions and comments. Some recommendations include tapping experts from the College of Human Ecology and College of Development Communication to develop a communication campaign for lifestyle and diet change. It was also agreed upon by the audience that UPLB should formulate short, medium, and long-term plans on how to face La Niña.
Comments and recommendations will be consolidated by the OVCRE in order to come up with proposed projects and activities to better prepare for La Niña and climate change.