The world faces a big challenge, that if we fail to overcome today, will become an insuppressible hurdle of the future generation. Climate change spares no one. Even the countries with the most advanced technology are at the mercy of disasters beyond human control. What humankind can do is to have a collective action and effort to minimise the impacts of climate change and provide a better future for the next generation.
One way to delay the long term effects of climate change and minimise its impact is to achieve sustainable development and an environment where modernisation and the ecosystem can coexist in a harmonious balance.
The development of progressive eco-towns and sustainable agglomeration with the help of an expert green city developer is one feasible solution countries have.
The question is: how can a massive sustainable development project, like building eco or environmentally friendly properties and communities, address each social impact of climate change?
The Socio-Economic Impacts Of Climate Change
People may already be familiar with the effects of climate change on the environment; however, it is only the surface implications. The domino effect of the environmental challenges reaches deeper socio-economic problems, such as hunger, health, and energy.
Unfortunately, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries concerning socio-economic challenges due to climate change. Setting and achieving sustainable development goals in the Philippines can help reduce these five consequences of the social impact of climate change.
Climate change is one of the uncontrollable forces that trip food security in agricultural countries like the Philippines. The Philippines’s food production is threatened by the country’s climate change risks and vulnerabilities.
Agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture are the country’s primary food source, and climate change drastically affects the harvest of these industries. Destructive typhoons, droughts, and water stress significantly impair the productivity of these industries. According to the Department of Agriculture, the agricultural damages (farming and fisheries) in the Philippines reached PHP 12.3B in 2020 due to typhoons alone.
Apart from typhoons, extreme drought has also affected the agricultural production of the Philippines. In 2019, the agricultural damages reached PHP 7.96B due to El Nino, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Abnormal weather changes also affect the prevalence of diseases and pests and the shortage in the water supply. These factors impact crop harvest and livestock population.
Global warming is one of the reasons behind these recent extreme weather conditions. The increasing earth temperature causes long-lasting drought and heat waves during the summer while encouraging heavy precipitation, causing frequent typhoons and heavier downpours during the wet season.
Environment development and sustainability through climate change adaptation measures and solutions can minimise the negative impact of climate change on food security.
Access To Clean Water
Food security is also linked to access to safe and clean water. The Philippines has been recently experiencing water shortage for the past years. Despite being an archipelago, an island group surrounded by water, at least five million Filipinos use unsustainable and unsafe water resources.
Even the capital region, Metro Manila, has faced brinks of water shortages in the previous El Nino season as the major dams that supply the capital with clean water reach critical levels. It forced water distributors to implement rotational water service interruptions and reduce water pressure. The local government has provided the public with water rations to aid the water service interruption.
Apart from affecting the urban cities, water shortage also affects agriculture and aquaculture. Extreme heat and massive droughts caused small streams and rivers that irrigate the farmlands to dry up. Dry spell also increases the risk of fish kills, red tide, and worsening water quality in fish farms.
Water shortage is also linked to health risk. According to the World Health Organization, one out of ten Filipinos does not have access to improved water sources. More than 139,000 Filipinos died in 2016 due to waterborne and foodborne diseases worsened by the lack of safe and clean water supply.
Asustainable development projectlike additional water infrastructure, water filtration and treatment system, and a rainwater reservoir for households and a sufficient and drought-proof water irrigation system for farmers can help minimise the impact of water shortage.
Apart from the impact of hunger and water shortage on the population, the increasing global temperature also poses health risks. More extreme summer periods in the country increases the risk of heatstroke among Filipinos.
The abnormal changes in the climate also increase the prevalence of diseases, such as malaria and dengue and other respiratory conditions like asthma.
The weather changes may influence the length of transmission season of diseases carried by insects and animals, like mosquitoes and snails.
The summer season also affects the number of rabies cases among people. Extreme heat affects the behaviours of wild animals with rabies. Because of the high temperature, these wild animals become more agitated, and encounters are highly likely. Thus, exposure and vulnerability to dogs, cats, bats, and other rabies-carrying animals increases during summer.
Food scarcity due to climate change also contributes to malnutrition among children.
Typhoons and frequent flooding also increase the risks of various skin conditions as well as life-threatening diseases like cholera and leptospirosis.
Environment development and sustainability are vital in mitigating the impact of climate change on health. Superior and affordable health care system, natural disaster measures, flood-proof infrastructures, food security, and health awareness about seasonal diseases can reduce climate change’s health impact significantly. Countries can start witheco or environmentally friendly properties and communities with help from agreen city developer.
Global warming leads to more extreme weather conditions such as more destructive typhoons and long-lasting dry spells and heatwaves. Floods from monsoon rains and weather systems have cost billions of pesos in infrastructure damage alone.
Typhoon Goni that devastated the country in 2020 left infrastructure damage amounting to not less than PHP 8.4B across several regions. The economic loss because of temporary paralysation of the local trade and market due to damaged roads, public and private infrastructures can reach up to millions if not restored as soon as possible.
Fire incidents heighten during summer as well. Single fire incidents in properties alone could reach up to millions of pesos of fire damages. Mostly, marginalised people living in informal dwellings are victims of these fire tragedies. Commercial establishments are also not spared.
Asustainable development project like proactive disaster risk management is essential in reducing the impact of climate change on physical infrastructure.
As a tropical country, the Philippines has a higher demand for power supply during the summer season. Residential air conditioning units are one of the highest electricity usages, at the same time, a large contributor to the carbon footprint.
With a high demand for electricity and unprecedented power plant outage, parts of Luzon experienced rotational blackouts due to thinned power supply, June of 2021.
Apart from the limited power supply, stronger typhoons continue to trip power lines and topple power towers and posts, causing temporary electricity outages.
Sustainable development and environmentand eco-friendly programmes like renewable power can help increase the electricity supply.
Now that we have determined a few of the socio-economic impacts of climate change, the only question remaining is, how can environment development and sustainability mitigate these effects?
How Sustainable Development Minimises The Socio-Economic Impacts of Climate Change
Sustainable development is an idea where communities can progress and sustainably meet their needs without compromising the environment. There are lots of ways to practice this idea in real life, including implementing policy and goal and initiating asustainable development project.
The Philippines participated in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. It resulted in the sustainable development goals of the Philippines.
The 17 sustainable development goals are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life On Land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships For The Goals
To be able to meet these sustainable development goals, the Philippines should focus on three areas: economic development, social development, and environmental protection.
The Three Core Areas of Sustainable Development
The economy is one of the most important factors in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The main objective of sustainable economic development is progressing while adhering to environmentally sustainable guidelines.
However, sustainable economic development has divided a lot of people due to its strong links to what perceived as unhealthy and unsustainable consumerism. It also affects businesses, trade, and employment.
However, there are several ways to achieve sustainable development. It includes initiating asustainable development project by offering incentives to individuals, businesses, and organisations who will adhere to the sustainable policy guideline; and encouraging controlled and sustainable consumerism and production.
Developing countries are the ones who struggle the most in this area.
Social inclusion is one of the challenges in meeting the sustainable development goals of the Philippines.
Health and well-being are vital areas of social development. The public needs to have access to an affordable and reliable health care system. Basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing, and services should not be a privilege.
There should be no kind of discrimination in the workplace, education, services, and community. Human lives must be protected by providing and getting access to a fair justice system and upholding human rights.
If these basic areas are met, society can move to a much higher step of sustainable development such aseco and environmentally friendly properties and communities.
Nature is our major source of raw materials. Apart from resources, the environment is technically our home; therefore, irresponsible use and abuse only lead to destruction.
The primary purpose of sustainable development is to provide the next generation with an environment that can sustain their needs.
One of the greatest ways to promote environmental protection is by reducing carbon emissions. Thissustainable development project can be pulled off by collective efforts and cooperations of countries, organisations, and businesses. Pollution regulation and the use of renewable energy are only a few ways to reduce carbon emission. Reforestation, wildlife and forest floor preservation, and prevention of deforestation help conserve our natural resources.
Proper waste management and recycling projects also reduce the trash and garbage that pollute the ocean and ingest by marine life.
How Can Urban Living Achieve Sustainable Development?
Fulfilling the three cores of sustainable development may not be as easy as they seem, especially with a developing country like the Philippines.
That said, it seems that the country is still far away from meeting the 17 sustainable development goals for the Philippines. Yet, it is not too late.
The best part, there areluxury condo developerswho are now looking into eco-towns. Here’s how a green city developer can help meet sustainable development.
Access to clean water and sanitation should not only be restricted to cities. In developing an eco-friendly community, the green city developershould provide water infrastructure and treatment area for clean water supply. A rainwater reservoir is the best way to recycle water.
Affordable Clean Energy
Today, manyluxury condo developers incorporate renewable energy for household use; however, it should not be limited to people of higher social status. The middle class and the marginalised should have access to affordable clean energy.
Industrial and Infrastructure Development
Industrial development is essential in urbanisation. One way to maintain sustainability while an area develops is using recycled and sustainable materials for construction and the use of solar-powered equipment and transportation for production.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Apart from using recycled and sustainable materials for consumption, implementation of a sustainable development project like the ban of single-use plastic for production and consumption and implementation of recycling and waste management policy.
Calling for environmental accountability to organisations, government, and institutions contributing largely to pollution is the first step to proactive climate action.
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