Climate Change Adaptation Best Practices in the Philippines

ProGED features the good practices presented in the book
Climate Change Adaptation Best Practices in the Philippines,
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Published by the DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR) in 2012.

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ALBAY PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

Action on climate change starts with education. Climate change adaptation starts with disaster risk reduction. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation as a provincial strategy follows five steps: 1/Adopt an MDG as your goal and adaptation follows, 2/ Ordain policies, 3/ Allocate budgets, 4/Execute programs, and 5/ Build institutions to realize your goal.”

JOSE MA. CLEMENTE SARTE SALCEDA
Governor of the Province of Albay
First United Nations Senior Global Champion
on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

OVERALL POLICIES & STRATEGIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

It is widely recognized that global warming and climate change are happening, threatening the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and improvement of the Human Development Index (HDI). The experience of Albay attests to this, having been exposed to various climate risks like tropical cyclones, storm surges, heavy precipitation, and landslides that are expected to worsen as a result of climate change. The impacts of climate change and volcanic eruptions undermine initiatives to achieve the MDGs and overall economic growth and development. Typhoon Reming in
2006 claimed 1,023 lives and left several hundreds missing across the province. Damages to infrastructure, homes and farms due to lahar, flash floods, landslides, and strong winds were estimated at PhP3.2 billion. This annual pattern drains the province of its resources, providing a real challenge to the attainment of legitimate aspirations of the government and the people.

Coastal communities need protection from sea level rise and other impacts of climate change while upland communities must prepare for more landslides, mudslides and floods. Albayanons now depend
primarily on themselves in responding to these threats. With national policy ordaining LGUs as frontline agencies for addressing issues of climate change (Climate Change Act of 2009), the Government of Albay sought assistance to understand climate science in the local context. Within a two-year period, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously passed resolutions and the Office of the Governor issued executive orders for the adoption of policies and strategies, their institutionalization, and the provision of financial resources to strengthen the city, town and barangay capabilities against climate change. Donor agencies and the UN in the Philippines were engaged for support of the following:

  • Establishment of the Centre for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (PGA-CIRCA) as the institution for climate change concerns and its Climate Change Academy (CCA) for LGUs and the LCCAD for the propagation of knowledge and expertise in the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation;
  • Integration of climate change concepts in the curricula of primary and secondary education;
  • Establishment of the Albay model for local, national and international advocacy; and
  • Public-Private Partnership initiatives in Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA)

CLIMATE CHANGE SUBJECTS OR ISSUES TARGETED

The Province of Albay gives priority to the enhanced provision of services to improve the climate change resiliency of its vulnerable communities. Local CCA is the battle cry of Albay CIRCA. Through CCA and mitigation measures that also provide means for attaining food security, water sufficiency, human health & security, sustainable energy, climate-smart industries & services, Albay hopes to prepare its communities for the intensified impacts of climate change.

For climate change adaptation, a cross-cutting, science- and ecosystembased approach that considers equity and social justice, the people’s health, the state of coastal, water and forest resources/biodiversity, and agriculture, is being developed for the assessment of Environmental/ Ecological Stability.

BEST PRACTICES

The release of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 informed the world of existing evidence showing discernible influence on many physical and biological systems of anthropogenic warming and the need for mitigation measures to prevent new emissions and adaptation to address impacts of past emissions.

For Albay, the usual point of land entry of tropical storms on the eastern Pacific seaboard of Luzon, this scientific information was vital to the conceptualization of the local policy and strategic response to intensifying meteorological events being experienced at the time.

The Albay experience helped bring about wide acceptance of DRR as the first line of defense. Innovative policies and strategies must be adopted to address the deadly combinations of impacts of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and climate change on the well-being and economic condition of communities. The building of resilient communities became the priority concern of the government. Then Albay CIRCA Executive Director Manuel “Nong” Rangasa spearheaded a province-wide CCA program. The best practices of Albay CIRCA to date are:

  • Socio-Political Advocacy for Green Economy
  • Mainstreaming DRR/CCA into Local Development Planning Processes for Integrated Physical Framework
  • Mainstreaming Climate Change in the Philippine Educational Curriculum in Albay

BEST PRACTICE 1: SOCIO-POLITICAL ADVOCACY FOR GREEN ECONOMY

International, national and local advocacy for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction was needed to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the new phenomenon and approaches for addressing climate change impacts among the people and policy and decision makers. In Albay, the devastation wrought by intensifying tropical storms and heavier precipitation, in combination with volcanic eruptions, provided the perfect conditions for launching such a campaign and achieving its objectives. At the time when the memory of suffering and loss is fresh, everyone looks for solutions, willing to cooperate on initiatives that might shield them from the next strike.

The socio-political advocacy sought to encourage the adoption of national policy for climate change adaptation and the green economy by establishing Albay as a global, national and regional LGU model and champion. It would signal the readiness of Albay to work with the national leadership and international donor agencies for the establishment of the necessary institutional framework. In particular, Albay CIRCA took the lead in accordance with the Local Government Code and the proposed mandate of LGUs in the Climate Change and DRR bills pending in the Congress of the Philippines.

MAJOR PARTNERS

Office of the President, Senate and Congressional Committees on Climate Change, Climate Change Commission, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), United Nations in the Philippines, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, GIZ of Germany, World Agro-forestry Centre-ICRAF Philippines, UP Los Baños, Manila Observatory, Christian Aid, Leagues of Provincial Governors, City Mayors, and Municipal Mayors.

STRATEGIES & PROCESSES/METHODS

Armed with the global climate change premise, Albay initiated dialogue and collaboration with the scientific/research and academic communities, the government, business, religious, diplomatic and donor sectors, public intellectuals for the benefit, primarily, of Albayanons, for all vulnerable Filipino communities, and for the rest of the developing world. It was clear to the Provincial Governor that the threats were of such magnitude and intensity that the response could not be less than comprehensive and integrated at all levels.

Albay’s socio-political advocacy sought to influence key national and local policy and decision makers in government to consider climate and disaster risks and concerns in socio-economic development planning and implementation. Albay CIRCA led the following activities:

  • The First and Second National Conferences on Climate Change Adaptation (NCCCA) of 2007 & 2009
  • Climate Science Seminars and Multi-sectoral Dialogues for improved understanding of the physical, socio-cultural and economic impacts of climate change
  • Participation in planning and implementation of global and national programs and projects
  • Continuing participation in the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings, Asia-Pacific Regional Adaptation Knowledge Management (AKM), Asia Pacific Adaptation networks
  • Adoption of the multi-awarded super software of CLIMSystem Limited, SimCLIM, the Manifold GIS Software, and the DOSTPHIVOLCS REDAS Software
  • Capacity development support for research institutions and initiatives of other local government units in Region 5

RESULTS

  • Albay Declaration (2007) calling for the early passage of the Climate Change Act (R.A. 9729) and the creation of the Climate Change Commission
  • Manila Declaration (2009) calling for the early passage of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (R.A.10121) and the creation of the NDRRMC
  • LGU Declarations of Commitment (LGU Summit +3i Luzon/Visayas, 2010 and Mindanao, 2011); Media Declaration (2011) for more people participation in raising climate awareness;
  • Establishment of Albay/CIRCA’s Climate Change Academy for Local Government Units and the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD).

BEST PRACTICE 2: MAINSTREAMING DRR/CCA INTO LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROCESSES FOR INTEGRATED PHYSICAL FRAMEWORK

This project was designed to climate-proof vulnerable communities through the integration of climate change into local development planning processes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Aggravated by mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders, Typhoon Reming (Durian) lashed at communities and buried Barangays Padang and Maipon, now stark reminders of the vulnerability of Albay and the absolute necessity of climate change adaptation and climate-sensitive development processes in local governance. The new Governor, Jose Ma. Clemente Salceda, an economist, was quick to respond with dynamic political leadership. He secured the support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which adopted SPA Resolution 2007-04 which enjoined all government agencies and private entities to cooperate in climate change adaptation measures for the sake of present and future generations of Albayanos. By so doing, he assumed the lead role in local risk management, making Albay a model for risk assessment, innovation, testing of programs and activities in CCA and DRR, and the demonstration of a paradigm shift: “MDGs as the road map to human development and climate adaptation as the means.”

LOCATION/S COVERED

All 15 municipalities and three cities comprising 720 barangays

PARTNERS/COOPERATING ORGANIZATIONS

OCD/RDRRMC, DOST-PAGASA/PHIVOLCS, DENR-EMB/MGB, HLURB, NEDA, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Spanish Government-AECID, University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB), University of Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, IPCC Experts, Asia Pacific Network, ClimSystem Limited/SimCLIM

OBJECTIVES & GOALS

  • Identify parameters for Comprehensive Land-Use Planning (CLUP) review and revision, and modify procedural guidelines for easy integration of climate change considerations;
  • Conduct capacity building activities for local planners;
  • Strengthen the institutional structure for CLUP preparation and implementation; and
  • Draw plan to institutionalize the tested framework for nationwide implementation

STRATEGIES & PROCESSES/METHODS

  • Assessment of the extent to which the existing CLUPs can respond to current and future natural and anthropogenic threats to development and public safety and identify areas for improvement for responsiveness to all threats and factors affecting local sustainable development goals.
  • Drafting of protocols for CLUPS preparation, review and revision; and
  • Adoption of final guidelines and procedures for nationwide implementation.

RESULTS

  • Integrated and watershed-based assessment and planning framework for comprehensive treatment of all development concerns and issues in the context of a changing climate finalized;
  • Stakeholder inputs from 720 barangays; and
  • Science-based protocols for CCA/DRR-sensitive decision making finalized.

FUNDING

Joint Program UN MDG-F1656 Albay Demonstration Site

PLAN & SUSTAINABILITY

The weeklong training is expected to develop understanding of the concepts of climate change impacts and vulnerability; participatory techniques and applicable methodologies; ability to use, maintain and update the Albay SimCLIM software package; and ability to prepare a data gathering and climate change impacts and vulnerability assessment plan for two case study sites.

KEY BARRIERS MET, LESSONS LEARNED, REPLICABILITY/TRANSFERABILITY

The national decentralization policy places LGUs at the forefront of response to climate change impacts and risks, requiring them to formulate strategies on the bases of comprehensive, scientifically sound vulnerability and impact assessments and in close collaboration with scientists and researchers and the local communities.

OTHER COMMENTS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Continuing CCA/DRR learning experience is needed for sustainability

BEST PRACTICE 3: MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE PHILIPPINE EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM IN ALBAY

This project was designed to bring climate change issues, impacts and responses into the consciousness of this and the next generation of Albayanons and other Filipinos by integrating such in the academic curriculum of primary and secondary schools.

ACTIVITIES

Training of Trainers (TOT) in Aug 2008, Bicol University, Legazpi City for selected key teachers, principals, supervisors and superintendents of DepEd in the four Albay divisions; drafting, review, redrafting of all lesson exemplars through write shops, in collaboration with DepEd Central Office, UPLB and IPCC experts and scientists; TOT – Teaching demonstration simulation of final outputs; and reproduction and distribution to Albay schools.

MAJOR PARTNERS

DepEd Reg. 5, Albay Division, and Central Office; UPLB, JP MDG Achievement Fund 1656, Albay Demo; Spanish Government-AECID and UNDP

RESULTS/PRODUCT

Compendium of demonstrated lesson exemplars for all levels

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

TYPE OF ORGANIZATION

Local Government Unit – Provincial

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Basic public services, technical support for government plans and programs in CCA and DRR

HEAD OF ORGANIZATION & TITLE

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, Ph.D.

HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS

Albay Provincial Capitol, Legazpi City, Philippines

WEBSITE

www.albaycirca.org

CONTACT PERSON & POSITION

Dr. Cedric Daep, CIRCA Executive Director

MOBILE

+63-927-255-6030

EMAIL ADDRESS

cedricdaep@gmail.com