The University of the Philippines UP, by virtue of the approval of the Board of Regents on Feb. 23 and an Executive Order from UP Pres. Danilo L. Concepcion, established the NOAH Center (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards – NOAH Center for climate actions and disaster risk reduction management) in UP on March 21.
The NOAH Center takes off from Project NOAH which began as a research program under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2012. In the past five years, the project harnessed technologies and management services for disaster risk reduction activities. These were offered by DOST through PAGASA, PHILVOLCS, and the DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) and the UP College of Engineering. Having delivered its research results and after two extensions, this project under the DOST ended on Feb 28, 2017.
The University’s new NOAH Center will be attached to the Office of the President, with its main office at the UP NIGS in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
The Center aims to “assist Filipinos in climate change actions and disaster risk reduction by providing timely, reliable and readily accessible data and information, such as hazard risk maps, as a basis for action by warning and response agencies against possible disasters that may occur from floods, typhoons and other natural hazards.”
The Center also aims to “support disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, and encourage public and private sector cooperation and partnership in the prevention and mitigation of disasters.”
Being a national scientific research center under UP, the NOAH Center will serve as a reliable and sustainable office tasked with generating “science-based information, models and applications useful for disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, resource management, water conservation and planning, land use and local planning, urban development, and engineering designs, and other similar mainstreaming actions, research, development and extension services.”
In addition to its goals of collaboration and partnerships with international and national or local entities or organizations through the UP System, the NOAH Center will also participate in the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council’s Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment system and provide information, technical assistance and capacity building to the Climate Change Commission.