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Study: Eight out of 10 Pinoys affected by climate change

June 22, 2013 5:43pm
A World Bank-commissioned study revealed that eight out of 10 Filipinos “personally experienced” the impacts of climate change in the last three years.
The study conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) disclosed that 85 percent of respondents claimed to have suffered from climate change. Of this figure, more than half or 54 percent described their experience as “severe” to “moderate.”
“The percentage of those who personally experienced climate change impacts are highest in urban areas (90 percent) compared to rural areas (79 percent),” the World Bank said in a statement released on Thursday.
At 91 percent, climate change impact is highest at the National Capital Region, followed by the rest of Luzon (87 percent), Visayas (84 percent) and Mindanao (78 percent).
“The SWS survey tells us just how pervasive the impacts of climate change are to the lives of many Filipinos,” said Climate Change Commission secretary Lucille Sering said in the same statement.
“In the last several years, the country has suffered extreme weather events including long dry spells, heavy rains as well as strong typhoons and floods… Even some areas in Mindanao that we used to consider as “typhoon-free” have recently been hit by very strong typhoons, floods and mudslides,” she added.
The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate-related extreme weather events and sea level rise, the World Bank said.
The Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2013 report identified Manila as one of the seven cities around the world that face the highest exposure to the adverse impacts of climate change. 
Likewise, the survey results showed that about one-third or 38 percent of respondents have “only little” understanding of climate change, while 14 percent have “almost no understanding” of the subject. Only 12 percent of respondents said that they have “extensive” knowledge on climate change, while some 35 percent has “partial but sufficient” understanding.
Also notable is how about two-thirds or 63 percent of survey respondents admitted that they did not participate in efforts to reduce the ill effects of climate change.
Meanwhile, 37 percent of respondents said that they participated in at least one effort to lessen the impacts of climate change.
The survey, conducted on March 19 to 22, was participated by 1,800 adults nationwide.
The World Bank stressed on the importance of understanding climate change noting that information campaign on the subject is still warranted.
“Intensifying information campaigns on climate change remains a very important task in the Philippines,” said Christophe Crepin, World Bank’s sector leader for Environment in the East Asia and Pacific.
“With deeper understanding of this complex development issue, the country could enlist greater participation of the people and their leaders, civil society groups, the private sector and media in addressing the challenge especially for the poor and vulnerable,” he added.
On Wednesday, the World Bank launched a report titled “Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience.” 
The report explained the possibility of a 2-degree warmer world in the next few decades due to climate change, which threatens to reverse the development gains in the East Asia and the Pacific Region—including the Philippines. —VC, GMA News
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