Interview of Director Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga by National Geographic: Climate Change, disaster risk, and human development

Director Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga of Manila Observatory

Last 5 February 2014, Imelda V. Abano published in National Geographic’s Energy Blog the interview of Director Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga of Manila Observatory before she presented her speech in Shell’s Powering Progress Together. In the interview, Director Loyzaga talked about how Manila Observatory sought “a dynamic and systematic understanding of climate change, disaster risk, and human development can  decrease exposure and vulnerability, and pave the way for inclusive growth.” She said that given the right scientific tools and political will to use them, policy makers make the right development decisions, especially since extreme weather, population density increase, and poverty provide the essential ingredients for a disaster.

In Typhoon Haiyan, for example, Director Loyzaga pointed out the need to understand the hazard before it strikes, to communicate the hazard of storm surge in the language understood by those who are vulnerable, and to coordinate with clear lines of authority. After the storm passed, the rehabilitation and recovery programs must take into account the risk, she said.

According to Director Loyzaga, the Manila Observatory, despite its 150 years of history, has not changed its mission: to serve the Filipino people through scientific excellence.  She hopes that the Philippines can find the right formula for investment and scientific collaboration to show how science can transform development.