Reclaiming land seen as measure to deal with climate change
DAVAO CITY—Reclamation projects, if done properly, is the answer to flooding, according to Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director engineer Leo Jasareno.
“Reclamation may just be the best defense against climate change,” Jasareno said in a statement.
“Reclamation is good if properly engineered and the drainage system properly installed,” he added.
Jasareno’s statement came after groups led by Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) threatened to file criminal and administrative charges against Environment Secretary Ramon Paje if he continued to ignore their demands to stop land reclamation projects nationwide.
The groups accused Paje of ignoring their complaints against reclamation projects in Manila Bay and other areas covered by the national reclamation plan of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).
As early as October last year, the PRA said “well-designed and properly constructed reclamation projects will not cause flooding.”
“On the contrary, they can prevent flooding by providing added protection, such as sea barriers to mitigate the effects of accelerated rising sea levels, which is a direct effect of global warming,” the PRA statement said.
Last week, Jasareno said climate change was inevitable and that development options should be explored to mitigate its impact.
“The land is sinking while sea level continues to rise,” he warned.
“Studies show that some areas experience land subsidence due to over extraction of ground water and water from wells. Sea level will continue to rise due to global warming,” Jasareno added, quoting a study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Science.
In a recent radio interview, architect Felino Palafox said, “if done properly, reclamation is the solution to flooding.”
“It is the solution to tsunami, the solution to storm surges,” said the architect. Palafox is designer of the reclamation project in Dubai that is now being considered as a model of reclamation projects worldwide.
“Dubai was able to expand its waterfront from 70 kilometers to 2,000 km through reclamation. The Philippines has the world’s third longest waterfront but we don’t use our waterfronts properly,” he said. Inquirer Mindanao
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