The first half of the year 2011 has seen significant developments in the national struggle to address the issue of climate change.
Remaining focused on its mandate, the Climate Change Commission moved along the Matuwid na Daan at a steady, determined pace, drawing support along the way from concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, international bodies and other stakeholders.
Recent developments, most important of which was the reorganization of the cabinet into clusters, thus, creating the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, have given more impetus to the Commission to move forward and realize its objectives.
Research and Documentation Division
A. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP)
On top of the Commission’s agenda is the crafting of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) which the law (RA 9729) prescribes to be completed a year after the formulation of the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC). The NFSCC was signed on April 28, 2010.
Immediately after the NFSCC was approved, the Commission started to work on the NCCAP. It organized consultations with various stakeholders to get valuable inputs and recommendations on what priorities or strategic plan of action the NCCAP should take.
The Commission finished the NCCAP in due time and is now awaiting the signature of President Aquino.
B. Scoping of Vulnerability Assessment Tool
Pending the signing of the NCCAP, the Commission pursued other tasks.
Last June, the Commission started the first of a series of consultations on vulnerability and risk assessment tools. This was in consonance with Section 9 (par. l) of RA 9729. The aim is to look for available vulnerability assessment (VA) tools, explore the applicability and capacity of these tools, and come up with a set of guidelines and criteria in selecting and recommending VA tools to local communities and sectors.
The Commission feels that vulnerability and adaptation assessments need to be generated using well-tested, science-based tools in order to come up with site-specific recommendations on how to better deal with the impacts of climate change.
During the first consultation, Dr. Peter Urich, Dr. John Pulhin and Dr. Rex Victor Cruz presented SimCLIM. This was the same tool used in the preparation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of selected municipalities in Albay Province.
Also, Dr. Maria Leonila Bautista of DOST-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology presented the READY Project and the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) Software. The software can be used to mainstream risk reduction into local development planning process. The DOST-Advance Science and Technology Institute also presented an overview of emerging open source tools that can help in developing VA tools.
On the second and third series of the consultation scheduled in August 2011, the Commission is going to look at presentations on tools for assessing vulnerabilities of the agriculture and fisheries, coastal and marine sectors.
C. Research and Development Agenda
The Commission started the stocktaking of climate change related studies, researches and proposals from national government agencies, academic institutions and non-government agencies. Through the stocktaking process, the Commission will identify research gaps on climate change, which will help in building the Research and Development Agenda on Climate Change (or Agenda).
The Agenda aims to support the research for knowledge and better understanding of climate change issues in the Philippines, such as spatial and time-related impacts, as well as adaptation approaches in different sectors. Through this, the Commission aims to create a platform for academic and international cooperation on climate change, to include an assessment of technology needs.
The Research and Development Agenda is to be presented to national government agencies, scientific and research institutions in December 2011.
D. Green Audit
The Commission met with Social Watch Philippines, to formulate the Green Audit Framework. This aims to determine whether the government’s budget is responsive to climate change, and whether relevant sectoral and strategic programs have been climate-proofed. The Commission is initiating the formulation of institutional arrangements on how to conduct the Green Audit, given the DBM’s NBM Memorandum No. 109, and its performance-based approach to the budget process.
Development Management Division
Review of Project Proposal for Requesting Support from the Global Environment Facility
The 5th Cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF5) has allotted the Philippines $8.8 million for climate change projects. GEF has provided the following strategic objectives for funding projects:
- Demonstration, deployment, and transfer of innovative low-carbon technologies
- Market transformation for energy efficiency in industry and the building sector
- Investment in renewable energy technologies
- Energy efficient, low-carbon transport and urban systems
- Conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through sustainable management of land-use and forestry
- Enabling activities and capacity building
The Climate Change Office of the Climate Change Commission acts as the focal agency for evaluating climate change project proposals for possible GEF funding. The Commission participated in drafting the National Portfolio Document that the national focal point will be submitting to the GEF Secretariat. An Inter-agency Evaluation Group was convened by the Commission to set evaluation criteria and evaluate the thirteen (13) project proposals submitted by proponents. The following are the criteria for evaluation:
- Projects should be aligned with the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan
- Projects shall be geared towards the following strategic thrusts at the local level
- Renewable Energy
- Environmentally Sustainable Transport
- Projects should develop and improve local capacity in project implementation even after expiration or termination
- Preference shall be given to projects with full grant
- Projects with national scope or coverage shall be preferred whenever possible
Panel of Technical Experts
Section 10 of RA 9729 states that the “Commission shall constitute a national panel of technical experts consisting of practitioners in disciplines that are related to climate change, including disaster risk reduction”.
Several potential members to the panel were requested by the Commission to submit their CVs and to complete the nomination form sent to them. A number of them have responded and the Commission will review the forms submitted. This panel of experts shall assist the Commission by providing technical advice on a wide range of climate change issues such as climate science, technologies, climate change adaptation and mitigation. To date, there are twelve (12) experts who submitted their forms. Their expertise range from but not limited to:
- Impact and vulnerability assessment in different sectors (coastal, agriculture, forestry, land degradation, etc)
- Adaptation assessment in different sectors (coastal, agriculture, forestry, land degradation, etc)
- Climate policy and negotiations
- GHG Inventory
- Mitigation analysis
- Biophysical impact analysis and integrated assessment
- Meteorological and atmospheric observations
Special Project: SEA GHG Phase II Project
The Philippines is one of the countries identified by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be part of its Regional Capacity Building Project for Sustainable National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management Systems in Southeast Asia (SEA GHG Project): Phase 2. The main objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of Southeast Asian countries to improve the quality of their National GHG Inventories and encourage the development of sustainable inventory management system. The Commission is the focal point of the project in the Philippines.
A briefing was conducted on May 19, 2011, with a number of relevant agencies participated and exchanged views on how to facilitate its implementation.
Technical support to LGUs and NGAs
The Commission has provided technical assistance to different LGUs and Government Agencies in the form of lectures and workshops on the basics of climate change and how they can identify possible adaptation and mitigation measures for implementation. It has actively participated in the LGU Summit and assisted the LGUs in their formulation of a resolution to address climate change. It has also assisted several agencies such as DSWD and CWC. A total of five (5) lectures and technical assistance were provided.
Regulatory Framework on Carbon Capture and Sequestration
The Climate Change Commission actively participates in the discussions regarding the formulation of the regulatory framework for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).
The regulatory framework on CSS is a project of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) drafted under the guidelines of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Despite acknowledging the importance of mitigation potentials in the country, the CCC is stands by its position on prioritizing climate change adaptation and is assertive in ensuring that safeguards are guaranteed and that unwarranted debts are circumvented.
Cooperation with Bilateral and Multilateral Donors
Korean Government for CDM Projects particularly Biomass and
Hydro Projects in the Philippines
The Climate Change Office of the Climate Change Commission (CCO-CCC) together with representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) had a meeting with representatives from the Korean government to discuss the possibility of the Korean government funding Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, particularly biomass and hydro projects in the Philippines. Pre feasibility studies of the potential biomass and hydro project will be supported as well as matching with investors to support construction of the project. Initial discussions came up with identification of projects in Aurora Province for a biomass from rice-hull project, and landfill project possibly in Cebu and Davao,. The Korean representatives also expressed interest in other projects such as wastewater and soil decontamination projects in the country. Data and information needed will be provided by the Climate Change Office, Department of Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
EU – UNDP for the preparation of the Climate Change Capacity Building Project Proposal under the Framework of the EU-UNDP Climate Change Capacity Building Programme
The Climate Change Office of the Climate Change Commission (CCO-CCC) has submitted to the UNDP a proposal for the preparation of the Climate Change Capacity Building Project Proposal. This is in line with the framework of the EU-UNDP Climate Change Capacity Building Programme. A series of stocktaking exercises and consultations with relevant stakeholders to be conducted were identified as part of the preparatory activities aimed to assist the national team in identifying capacity needs of the Philippines. This will also build consensus on which components and modules (such as public/private sector, GHG inventories, NAMAs, LEDS and MRV) are most appropriate for the Philippines to pursue.