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Study says Baguio most vulnerable to climate change

Published on 17 March 2014 Philippines

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - The City of Pines was ranked by a study of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation as first among 12 cities in the country that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The recent study said Baguio City obtained a vulnerability score of 7.43, followed by Dagupan City with 6.91, and Tacloban, 6.74.

The other cities studied and included in the list are Iloilo, 6.69; Cagayan de Oro, 6.68; Cebu, 6.65; Zamboanga, 6.32; Naga, 6.10; Laoag, 5.80; Davao, 5.6; Batangas, 5.65, and Angeles, 5.56.

WWF-Philippines Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan was quoted as saying the cities were ranked according to climate exposure, socio-economic sensitivity, and adaptive capacity melded to generate scores which show each city’s climate vulnerability.

The WWF-Philippine however clarified that such ranking and study are intended to help these cities prepare for climate change impacts.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said he has yet to see and read the study.

However, he cited a finding by local scientists showing that Baguio will not be as seriously affected as in the low-lying areas in the country for a period of 30 years starting 2013.

“I don’t think Baguio City will be affected by typhoon surge or tsunami like what happened in Tacloban.  If that would happen, that would already be the end of the world,” Domogan had said.

Domogan conceded that the city could be vulnerable owing to overpopulation, decreasing forest covers and overdevelopment. He said the city’s existing trees and vegetation have decreased because of residences that have been constructed.

But he insists that compared to other cities, Baguio is still better off.

Source: PhilStar | 13 February 2014