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Philippines to assess coastal areas for geohazards

Manila, Philippines: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Philippines, through the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB), will soon roll out coastal geohazard mapping project, PIA reported.

The project seeks to gather information regarding the condition of shorelines in the country so as to identify areas that are experiencing erosion or are prone to such. DENR Secretary Ramon Paje Jr. said that the coastal geohazard mapping project will help the government to plan a more responsive risk reduction programme for coastal areas as well as design climate change mitigating and adaptation measures.

Coastal erosion is a result of a number of geologic, oceanographic and atmospheric factors, including the relative sea level rise due to climate change. However, the rise of sea level can also result from man-made activities such as beach mining, Paje stressed. He said that beach resorts and other infrastructure constructed along coastal areas are the ones that will be primarily affected by erosion due to rise of sea level.

In a report to Secretary Paje, MGB acting director Leo Jasareno said among the environmental changes that will be looked into under the project includes the erosion and accretion or sedimentation of shorelines.

Jasareno also said that for this year, MGB’s Marine Geology Division, which is conducting the geohazard assessment, is targeting 97 coastal areas as priority areas in the provinces of Cagayan, La , Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Negros Oriental, and Cebu.

Among the parameters set by MGB in determining the priority areas to be covered by the project include the area’s inherence to vulnerability, average rainfall, wind surges affecting the area, and the number of population in the coastal area, among others.

Source: PIA