Established in 1948, the City of Legazpi is in many ways an epicenter of innovative resilience activities in the Philippines. In 2006, a large landslide from a major volcano, Mount Mayon, and two cataclysmic typhoons affected hundreds of thousands, killing 755. The impacts of climate change threaten to add to the list of vulnerabilities facing Albay Province in the future. In recent years, sea level rise and increased incidence of severe weather events, coupled with variability in temperature and precipitation patterns, have led to greater storm surge and severe flooding.
Since assuming office in 2007, Governor Joey Salceda has championed a “Zero Casualty” plan, which combines disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) activities. In response, Legazpi leveraged private financing as well as government and international funds for the integrated disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation activities. To maintain a sustained level of investment, they linked their climate adaptation plan with city legislation, a move that reduced the risk that investments may be de-prioritized by the city.
Still, Legazpi has many challenges ahead, including integrating climate models into future scenarios, the desire to expand the tourism portion of its economy, and adapting to increasing pressures of urbanization.
Partnering on Shared Climate Challenges
Legazpi and Fort Lauderdale share similar climate challenges including flooding, sea level rise, hurricanes and typhoons, coastal erosion, and storm water management. Because Fort Lauderdale had already begun to implement innovative approaches to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, the CityLinks team felt that it was an ideal partner community for Legazpi. Fort Lauderdale also demonstrated the positive economic impacts adaptation approaches can have on tourism and in securing investments from private industry.
Objective: Support Zero-Casualty Policy with the development of scenario based maps to help inform land use plans and hazard maps
- Training and technical GIS support to create scenario based maps that can be used to identify vulnerable areas
- Determine appropriate sea level rise scenarios and map next steps to go from scenarios to projections
- Create a work plan for physical and policy recommendations for the improvement of the city’s land use plan
- Creation of land use planning tool that provides different types of adaptation strategies for land use purposes including protection, accommodation, retreat, and avoidance.
- Key technical staff at the city and provincial level trained in the policies and programs that address climate impacts in key land use areas.
- Provided city land use planning staff with data requirements and steps to take o begin scenario mapping for sea level rise.
- City, provincial, and regional representatives have increased their capacity to adapt to climate change and have a broader understanding of long term impacts of climate change.
Cross-cutting Recommendations and Lessons Learned
- Cities must begin to integrate climate projections into hazard maps to better understand future threats instead of relying on historical data.
- Access and dissemination of data is critical to local governments’ ability to make informed decisions across sectors to ensure climate resilient development.
- Building capacity at the local level in geospatial reasoning and analysis enhances better service delivery across sectors and easily allows climate data to be integrated into planning.
- Building relationships through city-to-city partnerships is key for long term knowledge sharing creating catalysts for change between partnered cities.
The 2011-2016 CityLinks program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was designed to address the global challenges of climate change, food security, and access to water and sanitation. Learn more about the CityLinks model here and ICMA’s other global projects here.
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