Chairman emeritus Oscar M. LopezLopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez’s (OML’s) affinity for nature meant that his family “was always surrounded by trees, animals and the outdoors.”
First Philippine Holdings Corporation chairman Federico R. Lopez (FRL) said the family habitually communed with nature during weekends at the farm, on hiking and camping trips and on snorkeling and spelunking excursions on “salbabida ni Oskie,” as OML’s mother had dubbed his inflatable boat.
FRL further recalled, at a tribute for his father that also served as a launching of three books published by the Lopez Group, that after resuscitating FPH in 1986, one of the first things OML did was to reforest a 1,000-hectare tract of barren land in Bambang, Tarlac.
To honor OML’s lifelong advocacy to protect the environment, the Lopez Group in 2012 partnered with the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines to establish the Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation Inc.
FPH provided the initial funding of P150 million to put up the foundation.
The foundation, as OML described it, is “a collaborative research effort that will look more deeply into climate change and the natural hazards that are created as a result, on how some of these hazards can be mitigated, and on how we can improve our collective ability to warn our countrymen about impending hazards….”
The OML Center aims to “become a leading catalyst for generating science-based solutions to climate-related risks and disasters in the developing world.”
Less than a year after it was established, the center has already taken part in a couple of notable conferences.
The OML Center was represented at the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead authors’ meeting in Norway. Its scientific director, Dr. Rodel Lasco, was appointed as lead author of the revised supplementary methods and good practice guidance arising from the Kyoto Protocol.
As one of its main activities, the IPCC prepares comprehensive reports about the state of scientific, technical and socioeconomic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. The IPCC is the cowinner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, with former US Vice Pres. Al Gore.
The OML Center was also introduced by Lasco at the Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR) 2013 international scientific meeting held in Manila. He discussed the center’s role in helping reduce and manage the impacts of climate-related hazards in the country.
The CCaR program aims to develop the knowledge base and enhance the capacity of megacities to successfully adapt to and, when necessary, cope with risks posed by the effects of climate change in the context of urban growth and development.