University of the Philippines’ Project NOAH Thinking of Tapping the Blockchain

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Initially a project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2012, Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) has been in UPRI’s (University of the Philippines Resilience Institute) care for more than a year. According to its executive director, Mr. Mahar Lagmay, the project is thinking of tapping a blockchain startup.

Ever since DOST stopped the project due to “lack of funds”, UPRI adopted the disaster management initiative. More than a year has passed and Mr. Lagmay said that the project is taking a transdisciplinary approach.

As he shared in his interview with Rappler, UP NOAH is still focused on helping disaster risk reduction efforts but is now also working with social scientists, musicians, visual artists, NGOs, LGUs, stakeholders, and the public. This is apart from its scientists and engineers it already cooperates with.

In addition to its broader team, the project added a Rebuild platform. This will enable LGUs and local communities to participate in putting their municipalities’ exposure to hazards associated with climate change scenarios. This platform was completed in February 2017.

Along with the Rebuild platform, Resilient Campuses project was also added and launched in August 2017. With this two platforms going hand in hand with UP NOAH, this answers its need for local information about hazards in the country.

“We tried to make all 22 campuses of UP resilient by generating maps that showed climate change hazards [in each area]. We worked on this so that the UP System could plan [ahead],” – Mr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director, UPRI

With its development moving at a good pace, Mr. Lagmay hinted that the project may do a possible collaboration with a blockchain startup.

“UP NOAH is looking at blockchain technology or distributed ledger technology. It’s a platform for transparency and built on open data. It’s immutable and there’s always validation,” – Mr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director, UPRI

To end his interview, he shared that a crowdfunding initiative has been approved by the UP Board of Regents for UP NOAH.

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