Typhoon Haiyan and Philippines Disaster Management: ADB's Take

Feature | 13 November 2013

ADB has been helping build disaster resilience in the Philippines, which is regularly battered by typhoons and lies within the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.

The devastation brought upon the Philippines by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 showed once again that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events and natural hazards. ADB has been working for years with its host country, helping it build disaster resilience.

Since June 1987, ADB provided about $112 million to address climate-related disasters in the country. In response to Typhoon Ketsana, ADB launched the Disaster-resilient Metro Manila initiative, with two complimentary programs to fill institutional and investment gaps, besides providing post-disaster grants from the ADB's Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund.

Mainstreaming climate resilience into development planning has been the focus of several initiatives. For example, ADB is piloting climate resilience and green growth measures in three critical watersheds in the national capital region, Camarines Sur, and Davao Oriental, through two distinct projects.

Read how non-structural resilience measures, such as coastal zone management, urban land use planning, community-based disaster risk reduction and management, are channeled through support given to the Coral Triangle Initiative.

This includes roughly $6 million for the Philippines, which encompasses an adaptation component aimed at improving resilience of marine ecosystems and costal populations.

Forest rehabilitation and reforestation in critical watersheds means that climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies are promoted through the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management (INREM) project, which focuses on improving resilience of four critical watersheds. Such measures include forest restoration and reforestation; development of a GIS-based climate risk atlas; and a replicable public education and outreach adaptation campaign for watershed management. As part of the project, an integrated adaptation and climate risk management plan for watersheds was also developed.

Climate-proofing transport, irrigation, energy, and tourism infrastructure is also an area of activity through initiatives such as Cities Development Initiatives for Asia and Sustainable Transport Initiative. ADB also promotes clean energy through e-trikes solar energy and waste-to-energy projects, which improves adaptive capacity of local communities, provides improved alternate livelihood opportunities, and reduces dependence on polluting fossil fuels.