Webinar Series 2

Developing Green Spaces in the University: Climate Mitigation Strategy

Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. It has already had observable effects on the environment. As an initial step to address the problem, the Batangas State University conducted a seminar which will strengthen and help the University to have more knowledge and ideas that will support its disaster and climate readiness. It was conducted on August 6, 2021 via webinar together with other participants from constituent campuses.

Ms. MELODY MELO-RIJK, RND, MBA, EnP. She is a project manager for WWF-Philippines with expertise in sustainability for food system, cities and tourism. The seminar was started by giving background on the topics that will be discussed. The guest speaker also shared the WWF mission which is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As the start of the webinar proper, climate change was then discussed. The causes, hazards and impact were elaborated which gave us more knowledge and ideas on how climate change affects our lives. The difference between weather and climate were also Discussed. The speaker reiterated that weather refers to conditions like rain, temperature and wind over hours to days while climate refers to average weather conditions over a long period of time. It was then followed by the discussion of the factors that causes climate change such as greenhouse effect, global warming and anthropocene. On this webinar, it was pointed out that climate change hazards impact people and other living beings in the world.

The speaker also shared with us the scientists’ projection on the impacts of climate change. Some of those were as follows: the temperature will increase by 03.-4.8 degrees by 2100. The heat waves and extreme precipitation events will be more often and will last longer. Precipitation on wet and dry regions will increase and decrease respectively.

Through this webinar, we became knowledgeable on how climate change impacted the climate and weather events which also have tremendous effects on our lives. The hazards brought about by the changing seasons and drought caused agricultural failure and crop planting unpredictability, less water supply less or no crops, which greatly affects the lives of our farmers. After knowing the hazards and impacts of climate change, actions that should be taken were then discussed. Climate change mitigation and adaptation were introduced. As noted, climate change mitigation is the action taken to stop climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere while climate change adaptation is the action taken to deal with climate change impacts and reduce the effects on lives, livelihoods and ecosystems.

Key environmental laws were introduced for us to have a better understanding of our government’s engagement to climate change. The speaker also allows us to understand the major environmental contaminants and what we can do as an individual to help lessen those contributing factors. To measure the knowledge and insight gain by the participants through the webinar, an exercise was given. The participants were requested to join the breakout room per campuses and tasked to list and discuss the possible climate vulnerabilities and disaster risk of each campuses. The task was engaging and fun as each campus was able to discuss and know more about the risk in their respective campuses. Malvar, Nasugbu and Rosario campuses were chosen to present their outputs. Each has their own different vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

As the webinar continues, Developing Green spaces, a strategy in building disaster and climate resiliency was discussed. The speaker shared the importance and benefits of having green spaces within the campus. History and proponents of Green spaces was also discussed. Planning of urban green spaces was elaborated by Ms. Rijk. Lastly, benefits of having or protecting existing green spaces were given distinct importance. An inspiring quotation from David Attenborough “THE TRUTH IS: THE NATURAL WORLD IS CHANGING. AND WE ARE TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THAT WORLD. IT PROVIDES OUR FOOD, WATER AND AIR. IT IS THE MOST PRECIOUS THING WE HAVE AND WE NEED TO DEFEND IT” concluded the discussion of the guest speaker.