In the digital age, easy and open access to data is increasingly being taken for granted. But for the government and the public, the attainment of such access to vital information and resources on climate remains elusive.

The Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP) will soon eliminate this challenge with the development of a climate information-sharing platform, a massive knowledge-exchange effort being undertaken through the Climate Change Commission (CCC). The platform will provide an online venue for government agencies to access and contribute verified information, including surveys, studies and statistics, relating to climate.

philccap cop portalScreen grab of CoP web portalThe online “community of practice”, now seemingly the moniker for the climate information-sharing platform, was introduced to PhilCCAP agencies by Donna Sanidad of CCC at a gathering in Quezon City.

The website platform, which is currently moderated by CCC, is typical of most online forums where users are able to communicate through public postings but only after signing up.

The platform also allows users to upload a variety of electronic data, including text documents, videos and photos. A user may choose to have the files available for viewing for all other users or to restrict access only to a certain group.

The most useful feature of the online platform is its moderated feedback system. Users who have questions about a certain file uploaded to the online platform may address these questions to the uploader. A moderator from CCC then makes sure that the uploader responds to the questions.

As part of continuing development of the online platform, CCC organized a consultation forum in March, which saw the participation of many heads of agencies under PhilCCAP, and representatives from other government offices such as NAMRIA.

The consultation was moderated by Atty. Gia Ibay, a CCC consultant and an environmental lawyer who formerly worked for the DENR. She laid out the general guidelines of the proposed protocol for the platform, covering issues such as which information to pick and to whom it becomes available.

Reservations concerning the lack of a vetting process to ensure that the data uploaded are accurate and the absence of an intellectual property rights guideline were raised during the consultation. Atty. Ibay assured the participants that these are to be covered by the final draft of the protocol being developed for the online community of practice.

Currently, CCC is organizing training sessions for government officers in the provinces to familiarize them with the features of the online platform.

The online community of practice is still in its beta stage. This will be launched after all its features have been fully tested. #

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