Project NOAH Chief IO Stresses Communication, Literacy in Climate Change and DRRM
September 23, 2014
BAGUIO CITY – – More than ever, we are equipped with the information we need. But information is all for nothing if not communicated effectively. There are ways of effectively sending out information. Social media is one of those ways.
Project NOAH Chief Information Officer Oscar Victor Lizardo stressed these as he spoke to a group of educators, local chief executives, and other literacy stakeholders about climate change and disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) during the National Literacy Conference held at the Benitez Hall, Teachers Camp, here on September 18-19.
Using Project NOAH’s experiences in communication and information dissemination as examples, Lizardo showed the importance of social media in communicating climate change and DRRM.
The problem, he said, is that “we’re not communicating very well even if the experts are communicating it”, referring to the social media phenomena of public figures (celebrities) gaining more attention than public information (specifically from government agencies and personalities). “There is a way of communicating,” he said. “[But] not everyone can do it. Some people listen to certain people. Some people know how to send that information across. You just have to know how to send that message.”
“There is a way to package your information that will make people listen,” he encouraged. Information, he said, should be visual. “Mas naiintindihan ng tao kung nakikita niya. (People understand information more when they see it).”
Aside from the social media, Lizardo also said the academe plays a role in the communication of climate change and DRRM. He encouraged the inclusion of imparting knowledge on natural hazards and disasters in the academe. There is a need for the academe to be proactive, he said. Furthermore, the young need to be molded and to focus on disaster prevention.
There is also a need to empower local leaders, Lizardo said. There is a need for information to be localized for better understanding and appreciation of it. The initiative, he said, must come from the local government units.
Literacy stakeholders must also bank on the media for they are a source of information, according to Lizardo. He suggested capitalizing on the power of the entertainment industry. Though such may be scoffed at, he said the popularity and influence of celebrities may be used to an advantage when it comes to advocacies. “Imagine if they talked about climate change.”
Lizardo also cautioned about inaccuracy. “If you’re going to send a message out, make sure it’s correct. Make sure it’s proper. Because if you’re going to send the wrong message, you might as well not send because lives are always at stake.”
Lizardo was one of the resource speakers in line with the conference’s theme “Literacy for resilient communities”./JDP/Pryce E. Quintos- PIA-CAR