Sunday, December 8, 2013

Conference Agenda


Geo Hazards Mapping and Environment Summit

HMES 2014 Manila

Shift in policy regimes:

·   Factor natural phenomena and natural emissions in addition to industrial caused Greenhouse Gases (GHG) into Disaster and Climate Change risk parameters

·   All natural and man-made land deformations or wetlands defacements including altering life and inorganic objects therein should be seriously studied and factored into future Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities

·   Signing Declaration to observe 2014 as International Hazard Mapping Year

·   Signing Declaration for observing December 2014 and of every year thereafter as the Disaster Risk Reduction Month

·   Signing Declaration for observing December 17 on 2014 and on every year thereafter as the International Hazards Awareness Day

·   Signing expanded agreements between UN, member nations on sharing of GIS on disasters and information from outer space

·   Signing of Declaration for priority humanitarian care for disabled persons and waiver of immigration regulations in major disasters

·   Balancing campaign for community resilience with tagging of non buildable areas and relocation of communities directly in the path of disasters, extremely hazardous earthquake faults or liquefaction sites, other risk vulnerable places

Create Agreements in paper on new framework, parameters for a full-function Geoinformation Technology (GIT) Infrastructure for geo-hazards, disasters, emergency response and other possible crisis applications factoring both natural and man-made causes and build a functional GIS for disasters.

HMES 2014 Specific Objectives
·   Build a full scale, manual and computer coded environment and climate change risk map embedded with all available information overlays relevant to disasters.

·   Propose unifying of existing and new policy advocacy for the new millennium on disaster forecasting, management and interventions.

·   Identify non-functional framework, obsolescent parameters and technologies that should be shelved and disseminate and delist from future acquisitions by end-user states

·   Promulgate new systems for forecasting and early warning for higher avoidance of displacement and casualties

·   Map unsafe and safe areas and propose augmentation program for internal migration and relocation to the campaign for community resiliency

·   Identify Partners Clusters in building integrated GIS.
Initial Identified GIS applications

Priority 1
o   Water, Riverine Systems
o   Earthquakes / Faults
o   Volcanoes, Surface
o   Storm Data Analysis, Forecasting
o   Storm Cyclone Hurricane Detection
o   Hazards to Life Forms
o   Hazards to Human Life
o   Hazards to Land Transport
o   Hazards to Maritime Transport
o   Hazards to Infrastructure
o   Hazards to Aviation

Priority 2
o   Human Settlement Issues
o   Relocation
o   Political Conflict, Hostilities
o   Major Crime Incidents
o   Public Warning Systems
o   Equipage
o   Disaster Response
o   Humanitarian Assistance, Relief
o   Displacement
o   Post Disaster Measures
o   Warming, Temperature Change
o   Meteorologic

Priority 3
o   Forest Cover
o   Water contamination
o   Health, Hygiene Patterns
o   Disease Control, Mortuary Operations
o   Food
o   Agriculture
o   Aquaculture
o   Aeroculture 

Selected References:

Global map
Philippine Fault Map
Philippine Seismicity Map ( USGS - 2001 )
Map of Bohol - recently hit by 7.2 earthquake
Image capture of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in progress
Hardest hit area Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)
GIZ Germany zone map of Leyte


In the 1980s, the proponents were inspired by the resource recovery concept from Finland's FINKONSULT and the components of the Saemaul Undong model of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The resource recovery concept is characterized by its originators in Finland as a simple cost-saving methodology for organizations using appropriate technologies that will enable higher prevention of loss and generate greater savings either at the assembly line or in resource systems.

Resulting from this were studies submitted to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on modeling the Saemaul Undong in the Philippines and beginning a series of direct actions to promote resource recovery in the Philippines. In 1990, Jose B. Martinez proposed to the DND to re-activate the Forest Ranger Battalion and requested the proponents to put together a study that will be submitted to the head of that agency.

From 1990-1991, the Philippines experienced two great natural disasters:  the Baguio Killer Earthquake in July 16, 1990 and the Mt. Pinatubo eruption nearly one year later in June 15, 1991.  In 1992, the proponents were briefed about the harmful effects of the accumulation of billions of tons of tephra (ashlapillisolid chunks of rock), in the high elevation parts of Zambales, Pangasinan and other provinces in the vicinity of Pinatubo.

The source of the data was a scientist visiting from Germany to study the volcano and with whom the proponents had a brief but productive encounter.  The scientist recommended the seeding of weeds on the tephra-covered elevated areas around Pinatubo. This insight was strongly suggested to Malacañang however it was not acted upon.  A few months after the letter to the Office of the President, flash floods hit Pangasinan.  Around eleven barangays were submerged in water and technically disappeared from the map temporarily.  Lives and property were lost.

Also in the same year, the proponents conducted a survey on the impact of Pinatubo with Bulacan as a Case Study and came out with findings that one to a maximum of three out of ten people in no less than eleven municipalities of Bulacan -- mostly coastal -- excreted minor amounts of blood in their urine. The proponents also found the potable water in these eleven municipalities, including Malolos, Bulacan (provincial capital), to be highly salinated and to be the cause of the internal affliction of some of the respondents. The proponents campaigned for a solution to the saline water intrusion into the aquifers of Bulacan that was causing the high salinity content of the province's potable water. The Congress of the Philippines was moved to resuscitate an approved and dormant billion-peso fund solely intended for the water system of Bulacan.

In the same year, the proponents helped in the campaign began by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) to stop the building of a huge bridge-breakwater from Bataan to Batangas on the premise that the project will kill Manila Bay.  At the time and up to now, the deterioration of Manila Bay still need to be addressed fully but the mothballing of the super bridge-breakwater project stemmed the early demise of the golden sunset bay.

Further, the proponents also strongly advocated the stopping of indiscriminate conversion of agricultural land for industrial-commercial-residential usage.  During the Kabisig National Assembly of 1992, Malacañang ordered a moratorium in the land conversion. In 1995, the proponents went into a joint undertaking with the Pangasinan network of non-government organizations led by Mr. Jose Burgos to carry out reforestation projects in the province of Pangasinan.

At the time, the proponents observed that the landscape particularly in Central and Eastern Pangasinan was drastically transformed during the period between the Baguio Earthquake, the Pinatubo eruption, three to four years hence. The linking up with the NGO network was borne out by the forecast made in 1983 by scientists from DOST research and development, Dr. Ponciano Batugal and company, that Pangasinan will turn into a desert in a span of twenty five years.


In 1990-1991, the proponents earnestly started the advocacy for a full-function geographic information system for disaster and environment protection at the Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND).

Among these activities was the promotion of Public Warning Systems (PWS) in the country.  In 1992, a total number of nineteen (19) public sector agencies were enjoined to attend the 1992 PWS Seminar conducted by experts from Germany led by Dr. Peter Pfeiffer at Camp General Aguinaldo, Quezon City. This was conducted by the same organizers of the 2014 summit in cooperation with German technical assistance. Further, the advocacy for a nationwide Safety agency from Jan 1992 evolved into the Philippine Safety organization under the Department of Transportation and Communications in 1995 that became technically enacted into law as the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) after having passed the Third Reading and all the other requirements of legislation.

The proposed safety agency was patterned after the United States NTSB and Singapore’s Safety Commission. Malacañang’s then acting lady secretary of budget and management, Ms. Emilia Boncodin, returned the law back to Congress stating that she will refuse to comply with the requirements of the law because of the absence of funds for safety in the country.

In the time of former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Jose Marcelo Ejercito (Joseph Estrada), the advocacy for safe air transport, GIS, command-control-communications-computer-information (C4I) went into full swing and the proponents worked actively with specialists from the United States and not the least among them, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The proponents succeeded in upgrading the CAT Status of the country one rank higher due to the development of the Master Plan Framework for the Development of Air Traffic Systems (ATS) in the Philippines.  Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Harris BankCorp, Inc. (HBCI) under Harris Corp. (Florida) of the United States provided the initial pledges and committed to finance the proponents a minimum seed fund of Sixty Million United States Dollars (USD60,000,000) for the development of Philippine air traffic and air communications services.

Today, the entire Philippine aviation administration is privatized and extensively under re-engineering and development.  The transport safety Board was never implemented however an Office of Transport Security modeled after the same structure under the Department of Homeland Security of the United States is in place.

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