Through a seed grant from Global Resilience Partnership, PRA and One Architecture launched One Resilient Team: Tacloban. In a ceremony held last March 24 at Patio Victoria in the said city, it was announced that PRA and One Architecture won USD 150,000.00 for the construction of three pilot projects in Tacloban City. The project, mangrove and beach forest reforestation and rehabilitation, will be done in Barangays New Kawayan, Nula Tula, and Diit in the said city.

 

The project sites were decided in consultation with representatives of different agencies present in the said event.

 

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Representatives of PRA, One Architecture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 8, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the local governments of Tacloban City and Palo deliberated and discussed the most appropriate sites for mangrove and beach forest reforestation and rehabilitation.

How the coastal protection strategy came about

 

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) requested the Netherlands government for a grant from the Dutch Disaster Risk Reduction Facility. The Dutch government then sent a consortium of engineering and water experts who were tasked to develop a comprehensive master plan for coastal protection strategy of Tacloban City and Palo.  After months of study, stakeholder consultation, and transfer of knowledge, the master plan, which followed the Dutch “building with nature” approach, was finalized on May 2016. Considering the social and economic welfare of the stakeholders, the master plan covered structural and non-structural interventions, land use planning, and emergency response measures.

 

Bringing the strategy to life

 

Among the strategies recommended in the master plan is mangrove restoration. To implement this, PRA partnered with One Architecture and Urbanism, an award-winning Amsterdam and New York-based design and planning firm. PRA and One Architecture together with Wetlands International and Professor Edilberto De Jesus, who is also a PRA Board Director, now form One Resilient Team: Tacloban.

 

One Resilient Team: Tacloban joined the Global Resilience Water Window Challenge, a competitive process aiming to promote water resilience by developing and testing novel solutions in a local setting. The Water Window Challenge is a central component of Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), a new model that seeks to solve today’s complex and interrelated resilience challenges by better aligning humanitarian and development planning.

 

Out of the 212 applications received by the Water Window Challenge, One Resilient Team: Tacloban’s entry is one of the 12 challenge winners that received a seed grant from GRP.

 

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  Engineers, architects and environmental managers from PRA and One Architecture visited one of the project sites at Barangay Nula Tula for an ocular inspection

 

Implementing storm surge and flood resilience program

 

The program is being developed in consideration of ecological success and social and economic impact. The seed grant will be used in a pilot program of shoreline pond and mangrove restoration on the selected sites in Tacloban City. Mangrove reforesting will restore sections of natural coastline. The implementation of the program will involve series of trainings and will be executed by local participants in coordination with local organizations and the City Government of Tacloban. The program will leverage on the community’s on-the-ground knowledge and will focus efforts where impacts will be greatest.

 

This resilience program will also monitor and assess social and governance factors in the design, implementation, and maintenance of the project. Simultaneously, regional data gathering and assessment exercise will also be undertaken for storm surge and coastal flooding vulnerable areas nationwide.