13.6M Filipinos in danger of sea level Rise
Sea level rise has serious implications among Filipinos living in coastal areas as it can submerge homes and communities. This is why Senate Climate Change Committee Chair Loren Legarda said at least 13.6M Filipinos must be relocated by 2050.
The warning to the government came just in time for World Environment Day yesterday, 5 June. Legarda said ‘The celebration of World Environment Day is not only about the environment per se. Climate change, disasters and extreme weather events are the other issues that are linked to the environment.’
The senator cited a 2012 Asian Development Bank (ADB) study that ranked the Philippines as one of the most vulnerable to climate change and 5th most affected by sea level rise in terms of population: ‘Several studies have already noted the high vulnerability of coastal communities in the Philippines to sea level rise.
‘This is the challenge that we must address because according to a study by the ADB, sea level rise will affect at least 13.6 million Filipinos who will have to relocate to higher, safer places.’
Legarda cited another study by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Climate Change Programme that said if the sea level rises by 1 metre then 167,290 hectares of seashore land in 171 coastal towns under the following provinces will be submerged:
- Zamboanga Sibugay
- Camarines Sur
- Negros Occidental
The senator said that although little can be done to stop the rising of the sea level, the Philippines can still reduce the risks by acting now.