PIÑAN, Zamboanga del Norte — The 9th South-South Citizenry Based Development Academy (SSCBDA) concluded on Friday afternoon, June 24, its three-day symposium that focused on various practices meant to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Some 240 delegates from civil society, national and local government units and agencies, and other sectors including the media, attended the SSCBDA – an innovative modality for sharing and learning from good practices at the local and community levels, conducted across the globe by various networks and organizations.
The three-day event held at Manuel’s Resort in Piñan was hosted by project PROSPER 3 (Participation in Resilience Building and Organizing Safe and Progressive Communities for Empowerment, Climate, and Disaster Risk Reduction) being implemented by the Center for Disaster Preparedness Foundation, Inc. (CDP) and with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Civil Society in Development (CISU) network in Copenhagen.
The theme for the event was ‘Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risks and Climate Change.’
Speakers from various local government units, provinces, government agencies, vulnerable communities, and CSOs across the Philippines presented their good practices and innovative solutions to provide models and case stories featuring nature-based initiatives to address the impacts of climate change.
Various networks, including Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils), Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), and the United Nations Office of the South-South Cooperation also provided technical support for the 9th SSCBDA.
The event shared the stories through exhibit and deep dive sessions PROSPER’s impact in ‘transforming the lives of the people living in nine municipalities along Salug Valley towards inclusive, adaptive, flood and drought resilient communities with better ecosystem practices for sustainable livelihoods and development.’
Salug Valley covers twelve (12) municipalities of Regions IX and X, and the Regional and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs) of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Misamis Occidental provided critical support and information in identifying the needs of communities in the valley and in project implementation.
PROSPER is a five-year project (2017-2022) with Phase 1 launched in the Zamboanga Peninsula on disaster management and training of duty bearers on inclusive Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM).
Phase 2 focused on family-level preparedness and School DRRM Awareness for Teachers and Schoolchildren.
“The SSCBDA is an academy centered on a learning platform wherein participants from CSOs, national and local governments, academia and training institutions learn from at-risk communities in disaster risk reduction climate change adaptation, and building community resilience”, said Zenaida Delica Willison, Vice-Chair of the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) and founding Board Member of the Center for Disaster Preparedness Foundation, Inc.
Over the last three days, climate change experts shared experiences and lessons through the ‘deep dive sessions’ and other learning events including site visits to Salug Valley communities.
During the event, CDP had organized Paghahalad: an interactive photo exhibit of PROSPER communities’ actions and innovative solutions from the Pinnovation Academy.
Pinnovation, a play on Philippine innovations, is also a CDP (Center for Disaster Preparedness) project that aims to institutionalize the Filipino innovative spirit for disaster risk reduction.
Paghahalad exhibit also featured organic products and various community-developed merchandise from PROSPER partners and Zamboanga Peninsula LGUs. These can be purchased by guests and visitors.
Both the deep dive sessions and the exhibit provided a preview of the triangular cooperation, among CSOs, local communities, and the national government agencies.
In her message during the opening, Mami Mizutori, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), congratulated the delegates and organizers for bringing to light voices that are often least heard in resilience building.
Incumbent Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo also opened the event with her keynote message, congratulating everyone for the success of the event.