The Climate Change Commission recently secured a $10-million grant from the United Nation Green Climate Fund (UN-GCF), a major boost to the Philippines’ war against impending natural hazards.
The GCF board approved the grant during its 24th meeting held last week at its headquarters in Songdo, South Korea. Another $58 million will be released February next year. The fund will be used for a multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning system (MH-IBF-EWS) in the Philippines.
The GCF is a specialized UN financing mechanism created to fund initiatives towards a global shift to low carbon emission and climate-resilient adaptation measures for developing countries. The MH-IBF-EWS aims to strengthen and ensure the delivery of actionable and timely early warning to communities.
GCF was established in 2010 by 194 countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African States.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, whose second congressional district of Legazpi City is among the project’s pilot areas, said the projects will “ensure that all climate change related hazards are included in the development of climate risk profile of targeted LGUs as provided for in Climate Risk Management Framework (CRMF).”
Salceda, the House Ways and Means Committee chair and the first Asian elected as GCF co-chair, said the initial grants represent only a small portion of the $10.4 billion fund collected out of $100 billion pledges to the GCF by developed countries, which largely contribute to global warming.
The country’s projects include enabling the most climate-vulnerable Philippine coastal communities to effectively manage the disaster risks of climate change; increasing and improving the stock and quality of the country’s coastal resources, especially mangroves, and enabling them to withstand the adverse impacts of climate change; and putting in place the enabling environment and institutional arrangements for the continued resilience building in the country’s coasts.
The $58-million project’s expected beneficiaries, including lives saved from climate-related disasters, are: 578 local government units in 28 provinces; 9,024,000 fisher folks and farmers; 33 academic institutions; and 51 million people in the eastern seaboard.
The GCF will channel the grant to the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be the project’s lead agency. It will work together with the Department of Interior and Local Government for advocacy, outreach, public awareness, capacity building of LGUs, and updating of disaster preparedness and response protocols using impact-based early warning system; Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau for landslide hazard and threshold mapping; Office of Civil Defense as implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, that will facilitate inter-agency coordination, resource mobilization for disaster preparedness and response, and manage information at the national and regional levels; and the World Food Programme.
In 2009, Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act was enacted into law that provided the foundation for the creation of the Climate Change Commission, National Framework Strategy on Climate Change for 2010-2022 and the National Climate Change Action Plan for 2011-2028.
The 24th board meeting of the UN-GCF allocated a total of $407.8 million, raising GCF’s total portfolio to $5.6 billion. Aside from the Philippines, other beneficiaries of new transformative initiatives are China, Laos, Mozambique, Nepal and the State of Palestine. Combining co-financing by GCF’s funding partners, the newly approved projects will channel over $1.87 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience.
“The influx of replenishment funds will help GCF to meet the growing demand for both adaptation and mitigation initiatives aimed at countering the climate challenge,” co-chair Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan Mahmoud said. (With reports from Climate Change Commission, UN GCF)