A Green Climate Fund program that all Philippine sectors can call their own
Non-governmental organizations reviewed the proposed Philippine program of the Green Climate Fund and shared their climate priorities.
In the past few months, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Philippines in partnership with the Climate Change Commission and the United Nations Development Programme, consulted key people in various non-governmental organizations as part of development of the Philippine country program for the Green Climate Fund.
During the consultations, the priorities of the organizations in the development, civil society, private and indigenous sectors were integrated into the country program, which outlines a schedule of climate-change projects and pathways for co-financing and private-sector engagement.
The finalization of the country program will help the Philippines gain access to the Fund, which will bankroll climate-related initiatives that, in turn, will transform the Philippines into a climate-resilient and low-emission country.
“To achieve this transformation, the Philippines must implement multi-sectoral climate efforts anchored in enabling institutions and policies,” said Rodel Lasco, country coordinator of ICRAF Philippines, during a climate-finance forum held 9 July 2018. “Such efforts will only materialize if everyone talks and plans based on a common understanding.”
During a consultation workshop with development partners and civil society organizations, held 11 September 2018, several participants pointed out that of the climate actions included in the country program, none of them seemed to transcend the ‘business-as-usual’ approach. This prompted agreement that all climate actions must possess the potential for a paradigm shift, the capability to trigger positive change under alternative frameworks. This potential should be stated clearly in climate actions to emphasize to the Fund that the Philippines was serious in its pursuit of climate resilience and low-emissions development.
The participants also suggested to raise the level of analysis further wherein ICRAF, the Commission and the United Nations Development Programme will examine the various links that bind both government and non-government sectors. From such analysis, more entry points can be identified for ‘catalytic’ changes that will help the Philippines achieve its climate goals.
Private going public
Since the country program is expected to present pathways for private-sector engagement, a separate consultation workshop was organized for private-sector organizations, 13 September 2018. The assumption was that the private sector played a crucial role in securing climate finance for the country. The sector, as was emphasized during the climate finance forum and the first consultation workshop, provides many funding opportunities for transforming climate-related plans into concrete, sustainable and transformative actions.
During the workshop, the participating organizations presented their climate-related initiatives, which cover solid waste management programs; transformative energy projects; culture-sensitive actions; and forest restoration programs. The Bank of the Philippine Islands specifically advocates for compliance with the Philippine Green Building Code, which enforces the right of individuals for safe and healthy environments through resource-efficient and ecologically friendly buildings.
Engage indigenous people
Indigenous communities are one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change owing to their lack of financial and technical capability to implement adaptation and mitigation efforts. Compounding this is a lack of engagement with the communities. Indigenous communities are usually left out of climate discussions. Indigenous communities possess an untapped potential that must also be explored and then integrated into the country program.
For instance, they have developed traditional knowledge and practices that have helped them thrive through changes of climate. These should be examined and, if possible, expanded in scale to provide more adaptation and mitigation support for other vulnerable communities. The Fund can support indigenous people’s initiatives to improve decision-making processes from sub-national to community levels.
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.