A mission team from the World Bank led by Maurice Andres Rawlins met with some VSU officials today, October 29, to discuss possible analytical work and collaborative engagements on identifying green and grey defenses as part of an internationally funded-project on risk resiliency program for coastal resiliency in the Philippines.

This project seeks to establish green and grey coastal defenses like mangroves, and seawalls aim to protect vulnerable coastal areas in the provinces of Samar, Leyte and Southern Leyte that are prone to the effects of climate change.

The World Bank mission team is currently conducting technical meetings with various government agencies like DENR, DPWH, LGUs, and even state universities to know the feasibility of the project and for them to understand local realities happening in risk-prone coastal communities. Among the universities being tapped on this series of consultation, meetings include VSU, Eastern Samar State University, and Southern Leyte State University.

For their part, VSU experts shared some of the previous and ongoing projects being undertaken by the university in terms of climate change mitigation and coastal resource management.

Among the VSU experts who participated in the consultation meeting were VSU Executive Assistant Dr. Santiago T. Peña, Jr., Dr. Humberto R. Montes (Head of VSU Marine Laboratory), Dr. Ma. Aurora T. W. Tabada (Director of the Institute of Strategic Research and Development Studies), Dr. Renezita Come (faculty member of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science), and Dr. Buenaventura R. Dargantes (Program Leader of the Eastern Visayas Sustainable Energy, Industrial Policy and RDE Network).

Other members of the World Bank mission team are Agnes Chung Balota, Bregje van Wesenbeeck, and Renske de Winter. After this consultation meeting, the World Bank mission team will produce a summary of observations and opportunities, including infrastructure and ecosystem plans that have great potentials for future investments.