by Von Henzley Consigna and Gelyzza Marie Diaz
“We’re here to inform people that climate change exists.”
That’s according to Martin Imatong of the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) office of the Municipality of Los Baños. No stranger to disaster, the Philippines is found in the typhoon belt and Pacific Ring of Fire. And as climate change swiftly shows its effects, disasters are expected to worsen. Taking little steps to address huge goals, the CCA office introduced a Los Baños first — the pioneer climate change mini-library.
Occupying a small corner in the CCA office, the mini-library is open to the public. “We encourage everyone [to visit], lalo na yung mga regular people — students, faculty [and] tricycle drivers,” said Imatong. In October 10, 2017, the office started to tap institutions that specialize in Information, Education and Communication (IEC).
Institutions and agencies who contributed to the mini-library’s pool of resources include the following:
- Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
- International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD)
- Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB)
- Immaculate Conception Parish
- Laguna Water District Aquatech Resources Corporation (LARC)
According to Imatong, these institutions were selected because the materials they produce are easily understood by laymen. As early as October 24 of the same year, book donations started to arrive and since, the office has been collating the said materials.
According to Imatong, when the Climate Change Council convenes every first Wednesday of the quarter, they announce the presence of the mini-library at the CCA office. However, Los Baños residents are still seemingly unaware about the existence of the said library. “Before we expect residents [to visit], siguro ‘yun munang mga empleyado rito [sa munisipyo ang pumunta sana],” he said. The CCA office also recognizes the need to further advertise the mini-library but doing so would require them to shed expenses.
About the motivations in establishing the mini-library, Imatong is clear about one thing: most people in Los Baños, regardless of socio-economic status, age, or background, are unaware of the gravity of climate change; they know what climate change is, but not its impacts in the long run. He said he is concerned when the time comes that climate change starts to strike hard, as many things will be affected, including food and water supply.
He says that while he maintains a realistic point of view, he’s keen on slowly introducing awareness to the people of Los Baños. Apart from the climate change mini-library, CCA has worked with other agencies and institutions in endeavors trying to combat climate change. With the mini library however, small as it is now, he sees that the only goal is to educate and raise awareness — “we are in one bus towards disseminating the knowledge to all the people,” Imatong said.
The mini-library is available during CCA’s office hours, Monday to Friday, 8AM-5PM.