Category Archives: climate change

Press Release: Isang Litrong Liwanag = 1 Liter of Light

IsangLitrongLiwanagShows How Human-Powered Solutions Can
Revolutionize our Approach to Climate Change
MANILA – JULY 22 – IsangLitrongLiwanag(1 Liter of Light), the story of the first grassroots solar lighting program in the world, will make its national debut in a special screening at the Cinemalaya film festival on Thursday, July 26, at 3:30pm in the Dream Theatre.
Directed by Ms. Joy Aquino, the documentary follows the first efforts of the MyShelter Foundation and its volunteers as they bring the green revolution to the bottom 99% in the Philippines and around the world.
Empowering local entrepreneurs and marginalized groups like prison detainees and trash pickers, IsangLitrongLiwanag shows how simple technologies powered by human hands can immediately address the access to energy gap, one of the most critical issues facing the planet today.
In a world where over one billion people currently lack access to or cannot afford electricity, there are few solutions that reach the underprivileged communities that need them most. Using discarded plastic bottles, water, and a bit of bleach, 1 Liter of Light has given hope to thousands by lighting up their homes with low-cost, zero-carbon emission solar bottle bulbs. What started out as an initiative with one carpenter and one set of tools in San Pedro, Laguna, is now a global movement, with youth groups and volunteers replicating the project in at least ten countries around the world.
IsangLitrongLiwanag will inspire audiences by sharing the story of how a developing country can share its gift of knowledge with the rest of the world and revolutionize the way Filipinos think about solutions to climate change.

A DAtE to Fight Climate Change

A year ago, this blog posted about volunteering, disaster response, donations, among others, when typhoon Ondoy (International code name: Ketsana) flooded Metro Manila and nearby provinces on September 26. With almost 500 deaths and billions lost became the inspiration for the United Architects of the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission, the City of Taguig and the MyShelter Foundation to go beyond the traditional way of repairing after the storm, but building better habitat braced for a cycle of climate challenges.

Climate change is happening more rapidly than expected. As in many developing countries in the tropics, the Philippines’ poorest are already directly hit and they are the first ones feeling the impact yet least able to adapt.

The Philippines is consistently on the top ten on the Climate Index Risk as having the most deaths and property damage. Therefore, more and more there is a need to reorient the focus from Low Carbon initiatives, and look to a vision of Zero Climate Casualty initiatives.

It takes only seconds to destroy what takes years to build. Help reduce the painful cycle of environment destruction and post-disaster reconstruction through design. The best donation to a country at risk to the effects of climate change is not just financial aid, but ideas. This year’s challenge is to prepare communities before the next disaster.

Design Against the Elements (DAtE) is global design competition to look for new blueprints from the best architects from around the world for urban solution for communities already being hit by the early manifestations of climate change. Through this project it would be a way to bridge the movement of new ideas on how to build resiliency through the use of design and architecture which can lessen the impact of the yearly expected flooding and drought which cause massive migrations of low income urban sectors.

The winning design will be built in the prototype community for displaced teachers in Taguig City, Philippines.

There are currently 74 professional architects registered as of present for category 1 and another 110 for student entries from around the world. Easily one of the most participated design competitions in Philippine history.

The registration to this competition is extended to October 15, 2010.

For more info about the DAtE Competition, please log on to designagainsttheelements website.

The short introduction of this project is on youtube .

Run Against the Elements, 24 Jan. 2010

Ateneo’s Collegiate Society of Advertising (COSA) will hold its first-ever fun run on 24 Jan. 2010, Sunday, at the Ateneo campus grounds with 3k, 5k, and 10k categories dubbed as Run Against the Elements: Ateneo COSA Fun Run 2010 with the slogan, “Stand Up to Climate Change.”

COSA partnered with social entrepreneur, Illac Diaz, who started Design Against the Elements. It is an international design competition that responds to the call for social and climate adaptation by building sustainable homes. It was launched to international architects last 16 June 2009, Institute of International Education (IIE), United Nations Plaza, New York with the support of the IIE, the Philippine Consulate, Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Gawad Kalinga, United Architects of the Philippines and My Shelter Foundation.

The objective of the competition is to contribute to rural adaptability to climate change impacts, in the form of architectural resiliency to strong typhoon winds and heavy rains.

Capacity building in the present social networks such as community, non-government, and government organizations involved with these areas will allow a shift into post disaster mitigation to preparing ahead of the storm. The main hypothesis of this project is having a safer structure “ahead of time” will lead to less injury, number of climate refugees, and loss of life and property.

The competition brief, which is how the architects design the village based on the key points of climate change challenges, data on the site and province, etc., is still being done by the United Architects of the Philippines. Last 2008, it was for building safer schools for shelter.

It will be from the top marketing using the United Architects of the Philippines writing to all architect associations in the world linked to them but the exciting one is the grassroots marketing of the global Gawad Kalinga members asking architects they can reach or inspire to be involved. There are 4000 entries are expected in this competition.

The main partner and beneficiary will be Gawad Kalinga who will receive the winning designs of which the winner of the competition will have 100 houses built with the new design.

This competition will begin in November 2009.

Climate Change and Its Impact

This last month has been an incredible trial for the Philippines and its people. As the floodwater begins to recede, a new challenge needs to be met-rebuilding many areas that have been affected by the storm.

The projected impact of climate change in Philippines is extreme typhoons (top four in the world according to the Global Climate Index). This is due mainly to the high vulnerability of rural areas and very little capacity for adaptation (poverty and lack of awareness of the rising dangers) of the people at risk. These upcoming humanitarian disasters and climate refugee mass migration will lead to a high state of conflict and insecurity for the poor below the poverty line.

Design Against the Elements will focus on the climate displaced communities in Metro Manila, Philippines. Combined with research recently completed by the Manila Observatory on the future challenges of climate in the Naga region, which is a sample of similar challenges in other areas of the Philippines, it contributes to design and build a redesigned low income community which will be the new blueprint of how people in the vulnerable coastal areas can successfully cope with impacts of climate variability. The knowledge generated from this study will facilitate the development of policies that address these humanitarian challenges.

Top Artists Contribute in Promoting its Theme Song

The theme song, “Stand Up,” is composed by no other than my friend, Joey Ayala, and Boogie Romero in collaboration with 50 of the Philippines’ finest artists like Kjwan, Cookie Chua, Karl Roy, Jett Pangan, Noel Cabangon, Barbie Almalbis, Migs Escueta, etc.

Related Articles

Sea Level Rise in the Philippines

“According to Greenpeace Southeast Asia, in the Philippines, a one-meter rise in sea level, for example, is projected to affect 64 out of 81 provinces. From 1961 to 2003, the waters around the archipelago rose by 1.8 millimeter every year. A Pagasa study also showed that coastal areas in Navotas, Malabon, Cavite, Davao City and Legazpi City sank by 15 centimeters from 1970 to 1999.”

March 2009

“Most scientists expect at least 2 degrees Celsius warming as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, and probably more. The world warmed 0.7-0.8 degrees last century.

“… if the world limited warming to 1.5 degrees then it would still see two meters sea level rise over centuries, which would see some island nations disappear.”
“… best guess was a one meter rise this century, assuming three degrees warming, and up to five meters over the next 300 years.”

Manila Bulletin, 30 Sept. 2009

Also, interesting read about Philippine sea level rise study

by Greenpeace 2007