DOST Partners with US for Ambitious Projects in the Philippines
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has sealed an agreement with the United States on a variety of science and technology projects. This is expected to speed up the completion of different outputs, not only through the financial help that will be extended, but also through the expertise that will be offered by professionals. Some of the projects that will be tackled by the partnership will include marine diversity and conservation, climate change and disaster resilience, health research, and agriculture and food security, among other things.
Project NOAH and DREAM
According to DOST, one that they assume to reap the benefit of the partnership would be Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. According to the scientists who are beyond the bringing of the project in real life, this will make the Philippines more prepared once it is confronted with a natural disaster that is as intense as Yolanda. They now have tools and expert knowledge on how to prevent the death of many people. Storm surge simulations, among others, have been developed in partnership with the US to demonstrate how dangerous such a situation can be and how to deal with it.
More so, another project that is anticipated to benefit from the partnership include DREAM or Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation, which is the one responsible for the creation of Light Detection and ranging (LiDAR) capability to provide hazard maps to identify the specific areas that will be at risk once a disaster strikes. This project has been given accolades and bagged the Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award for 2014. This was given in Geneva Switzerland last May. The recognition is a proof of how excellent the project is and will even be better with the relationship DOST is building with the US.
How The US Can Help
The hi-tech expertise has been noted by the DOST as one of the biggest benefits the country will be able to realize from the partnership. This is expected to help to speed up the learning curve to execute different projects in the most successful way that is possible. On the other hand, the US is expected to learn about capacity building and will also learn from the wealth of data that will be made available as a result of research for specific projects.
As part of the partnership, scientists from both countries have already met several times to create an actionable plan and a list of possible projects that can be pursued in the future. All of these plans further materialized during the 1st Philippine-US Joint Science and Technology Committee Meeting. This two-day meeting has lead into the creation of a 2-year plan grounded upon the need to take advantage of science and technology for the benefit of the country and its citizens. Some of the specific projects include the need to have a regulatory framework for stem cell treatment, as well as addressing climate change issues to have long-term preparedness against natural calamities.