Priorities for Green Climate Fund identified by the Philippines

The Philippines is frequently battered by more than 20, increasingly severe, typhoons a year. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Finlayson


Almost 400 initiatives were consolidated from government agencies to create the focus areas that will compose the Green Climate Fund Country Program of the Philippines


The Green Climate Fund is a billion-dollar global platform that invests in low-emission and climate-resilient initiatives to help developing countries and vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The Fund’s activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership. National and sub-national organizations can receive funding directly rather than only via international intermediaries. Countries must establish clear priorities before submitting requests for support.

Articulating the Philippines’ climate priorities is one of the main goals of the country program. The Philippines, which ranks as the fifth most affected country in the world in terms of extreme weather events, must also present a plan for climate-related programs, including options for co-financing and private-sector engagement, to receive support from the Fund.

To this end, the Philippines’ priorities have been grouped by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) into focus areas to achieve the goals of the country’s climate adaptation plan. The focus areas represent the priorities for addressing climate change and will be submitted to the Fund.

Initially, ICRAF identified 12 focus areas, which tackled adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, energy, fisheries, forestry, transportation, and disaster risk reduction, addressing the goals of the National Climate Change Action Plan. They were prioritized based on various criteria set by the Fund, Global Green Growth Institute, Asian Development Bank and the Climate Change Commission.


John Pulhin, social safeguards specialist, presenting the timeline for development of the country program. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Coombs


Country ownership was regarded as the key criterion as this would ensure that proposals submitted to the Fund were aligned with national priorities. Urgency, sustainability and replicability would also be considered to ensure that the Fund would support initiatives that addressed current and long-term impacts of climate change.

The focus areas were revised with government agencies at the workshop, Identification of Focus Areas for the Development of the Green Climate Fund Country Program, held 3 September 2018 in Quezon City, co-hosted by ICRAF (facilitating the development of the country program), Climate Change Commission (national designated authority for the Fund), and the United Nations Development Programme (funder of the programing process).

Multi-sectoral climate action

Florencia Pulhin, climate-change mitigation specialist with ICRAF, presented the initial focus areas, followed by Flordeliza Andres, ICRAF’s climate-finance specialist, who led the finalization of 11 focus areas.

  1. Cascading adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change and disaster risk reduction (CCAM-DRR) in sub-national planning and investment programming, including building the capacity of government institutions for CCAM-DRR work
  2. Establishment or enhancement of measures to reduce the risk of disasters, such as hazard monitoring and modeling, systems, equipment, and infrastructure, including database management and dissemination of information to the public
  3. Switch to climate-proof infrastructure, including flood-control and slope-protection structures
  4. Energy-efficient technology and practices and adoption of renewable energy systems
  5. Environmentally-sustainable transport systems
  6. Establishment of information hubs, research and development centres, and training facilities for agriculture, fisheries and forestry; environment and natural resources; or CCAM-DRR
  7. Development of climate-responsive data on agriculture, fisheries and forestry, strategies, and production zones and systems
  8. Building community awareness and involvement with CCAM-DRR
  9. Management of solid waste, treatment of wastewater and improvement of air quality
  10. Forest protection, reforestation, rehabilitation and afforestation, including adoption of mixed forest systems
  11. Financing and risk transfer mechanisms (insurance and other instruments)

These will be presented to development partners, civil society organizations and the private sector as part of the continuing consultation process.

Flordeliza Andres. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Coombs

Country ownership

Prioritizing the focus areas for Fund support was based on several criteria presented by Maria Victoria Espaldon, institutional and policy specialist with ICRAF. Criteria included the potential to bring sustainable socio-economic benefits, address social issues such as gender inequality and women’s empowerment, and attract more investment.

Aside from the potential for sustainable development, the focus areas were assessed on their potential for shifting paradigms, or their ability to contribute to climate action after shifting from a business-as-usual to a low-emission and climate-resilient approach. In this regard, a focus area would be assessed based on its ability to achieve low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

Overarching these criteria, country ownership remained the key metric, assuring the Fund that government initiatives requesting support already aligned with national priorities.


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The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is a centre of scientific excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Knowledge produced by ICRAF enables governments, development agencies and farmers to utilize the power of trees to make farming and livelihoods more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable at multiple scales. ICRAF is one of the 15 members of the CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. We thank all donors who support research in development through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.

Renz Celeridad

Renz Celeridad is a Junior Communications Specialist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Philippines and a communication consultant to the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. His work includes communicating research and other activities of ICRAF and the CGIAR research program to their target stakeholders. His interests are primarily on researching and writing about people, media, society and culture. Renz holds a bachelor’s degree in development communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

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