CCC, OMLC hold Sea Level Rise Forum on impacts of sea level rise in PH
MANILA, 9 August 2020 — The Climate Change Commission and its National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), in partnership with the Oscar M. Lopez Center, successfully convened the first of its two-part online webinar entitled “Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes?,” which discussed knowledge on the current and future state of sea level change in the Philippines. The virtual forum gathered members of the academe and research institutions in the Philippines and abroad, government agencies, policy makers, and organizations  leading community-based initiatives, to assess the current science on sea level rise and to identify gaps in information gathering, monitoring and communication in the country. Facilitated by Dr. Carlos Primo David, chair of the NPTE, the forum aimed to share good practices, innovative technologies, and latest policy reforms on sea level rise. According to Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center, the forum will be part of a multi-year comprehensive study assessing the potential or likely impacts of different climate change scenarios on sea-level rise and the associated hazards. The study will look at key hotspots as case studies in selected cities of the Philippines, and will include coastal mapping and decision-making tools. Highlights of the event were presentations by Dr. Benjamin Horton, Director of Earth Observatory of Singapore on “Mechanisms of Sea Level Changes: Global/Regional/National Perspective”; Dr. Laura David, Director of the University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) on “Current And Future Risks And Impacts of Sea Level Changes”; Dr. Fernando Siringan, Professor of UP-MSI on “Sea Level Rise from the Perspective of Marine Geophysics/Geology”; Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) on “Data Availability and Coastal Mapping”; and Dr. Ma. Laurice Jamero, Head for Resilience Collaboratory of the Manila Observatory on “Limits to Adaptation: Perspectives from Small-Island Communities.” Dr.  Horton introduced the South East Asia SEA Level Program (SEA2), an initiative of the Earth Observatory of Singapore which aims to understand and integrate the internal and external mechanisms that have determined sea level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future. This research program impacts upon the ecological, ethical, social, economic, and political challenges specifically facing coastal regions. “This is a holistic program. We aim to understand what is happening on the solid earth, what this has to do with groundwater withdrawal, with tectonics. We want to understand an array of local, global, and regional processes in sea level. These will combine together with future projections of daily sea level and extreme events. It’s a holistic program where we look at the impacts of coastal adaptation measures. The Earth Observatory of Singapore wants to work with our partners in South East Asia to provide projections of sea level at the local scale, at decadal time scales, to make countries of Southeast Asia a safer and more sustainable place,” said Dr. Horton. Dr. Laura David presented data on Climate Exposure Clusters and Coastal Marine Habitat Distribution which shows that the entire Philippines will actually experience significant amounts of sea level rise, accounting for about twice to even three times that of the global average. She also discussed the declining mangrove forests of the Pacific Islands and resulting – increased exposure to storm surges, increased coastal sedimentation, decrease in biodiversity and biomass, and release of sequestered carbon. She also discussed the effects of sea level rise on the fisheries sector. “There are about 1.6 million fishers in the Philippines. Twenty-seven percent of them belong to the municipal fishery, or associated directly with the habitats of coral, mangrove, and seagrass. So if these (marine resources) start dying off, we’re talking about loss, not only of food availability for the entire Philippines, but of labor, of loss of livelihood for our fishers,” said Dr. David. Dr. Siringan emphasized the connection to sea level rise of groundwater withdrawal, and of aquaculture as an economic activity that provides benefits to the people but is also a threat and a factor. “It is essential that we know the direction, style, and rate of vertical motions of our coasts. We should minimize the local human-induced causes of sea level rise. There is a need to shift the focus of development to higher grounds accompanied by continuing efforts to protect our coastlines,” said Dr. Siringan.   Dr. Paringit shared that coastal communities are vulnerable to climate change, as he and his family personally experienced the challenges brought about by constant flooding in their area. He presented case studies of communities eventually adapting to sea level rise and land subsidence. “Marami pa akong nakikita na we need to work on, it’s not just the availability of the data but how it’s going to be analyzed, how we’re going to project scenarios in the near future and in the far future. We need the tools in order to make this happen. Over all, I wanted to see how data sets could be used to actually create scenarios on impacts to certain sectors or to certain areas in the environment,” said Dr. Paringit Dr. Jamero shared the experiences of the small island communities of Tubigon, a municipality located in the North Eastern side of Bohol. The area was severely affected by tidal flooding due to land subsidence that was, in turn, induced by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013. She shared the strategies implemented such as to retreat as a way to adapt to relative sea level rise and its social impacts. “We should also take control of the narrative and shift away from sinking islands to resilient islands. We should stop thinking of island communities as a basket case and force them to relocate when they aren’t ready yet, and rather start to recognize how resilience has always been part of the island life,” said Dr. Jamero. The forum also featured responses from different stakeholders, including Dr. Eulito Casas, Associate Professor of UP Visayas Tacloban College; Atty. Josine Alexandra Gamboa, Manager for Government Initiatives of RARE Inc.; and Dr. Bjoern Surborg, Principal Advisor and Cluster Coordinator for Climate Change of GIZ Philippines. In his closing remarks, CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman emphasized the importance of convergence of different sectors in advancing climate research to help the communities survive and thrive. “This forum is one important step toward a broader cooperation across sectors on dealing with the increasing threat of rising sea levels to our communities. Rest assured that the Climate Change Commission shall continue to advance research on the slow onset impacts of climate change in the country. We shall also hold more online learning exchanges such as this — experts’ forums that inform and explain climate science to the public,” said Sec. de Guzman. This event is part of a series of the National Panel of Technical Experts’ Fora aiming to mobilize community-based climate action and mainstream climate change knowledge into development policies and practices. The full discussion of Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes? can be accessed through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ9Vr9Yduss&list=PLOWeRyX1mB4wObVtKi6DUhuq2EvEMQ4_E Part 2 of this online forum will be soon announced in the Facebook pages of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl, and the Oscar M. Lopez Center at facebook.com/OscarMLopezCenter.
August 09, 2020 Sunday
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Millennial Farmers in 12th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series
MANILA, 05 August 2020 — For the 12th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Millennial Farmers and Gardeners,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda will discuss with millennial farmers their stories and experiences in venturing into agribusiness and the importance of sustainable farming. The episode will air on Thursday, August 6, 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining the online conversation are young farm managers and “agripreneurs”, including: Ms. Karmila Rose Dimamay, farm owner of Milay’s Garden in Tibiao, Antique and incumbent Board Member of the Province; Mr. Enzo Pinga, founder of Earthbeat farms in San Pablo City, Laguna; Mr. Raphael Dacones, chief farming officer of Teraoka Family Farm in Pangasinan; and Ms. Stephanie Mendiola, founder of Indie Farms in Silang, Cavite. Meanwhile, Atty Paula Aberasturi of Down to Earth PH will join as reactor.  In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to encourage citizens to be sustainable and self-sufficient. This upcoming episode will focus on encouraging the younger generation to venture into sustainable farming and agribusiness as viable career options.  As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a “better normal” can be realized within our communities.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
August 05, 2020 Wednesday
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Experts to discuss PH climate and sea level changes in Part 1 of online Sea Level Rise Forum
MANILA, 04 August 2020 – To facilitate discussions on the current and future state of climate and sea level change in the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and its National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), in collaboration with the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center, will conduct an online forum entitled “Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes?” on 5 August 2020, Wednesday, 9:45 AM, via Facebook Live.   The online forum will examine how the impacts of climate change, specifically sea level rise, is affecting the Philippines as an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, with 822 coastal municipalities, and one of the longest coastlines in the world estimated at 36,289 kilometers.   Members of the NPTE who will join the virtual forum include Dr. Carlos Primo David, current chairperson; Dr. Laura David and Dr. Fernando Siringan of the UP Marine Science Institute; and Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center.   Other leading climate experts and scientists who will also participate include Dr. Benjamin Horton, Director of Earth Observatory of Singapore; Dr. Ma. Laurice Jamero, Head Resilience Collaboratory, Manila Observatory; and Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.   A distinguished roster of reactors from different agencies and organizations have also been invited. They are: Dr. Eulito Casas, Associate Professor from  UP Visayas Tacloban College; Atty. Josine Alexandra Gamboa, Manager of Government Initiatives of Rare, Inc.; and Dr. Bjoern Surborg, Principal Advisor and Cluster Coordinator for Climate Change of the GIZ.  CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Representative from the Lone District of Antique, and Representative Edgar Chatto, Chair of the House Special Committee on Climate Change, will deliver special messages.   Citing a report from the Partnerships in Environment Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), gradual changes in climatic parameters have a direct relationship to the rise of sea level, mean temperature and change in precipitation patterns will affect the health, food, water and livelihood of vulnerable coastal communities particularly those in low-lying areas.   To recall, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR5) cited that global mean sea level has increased by about 0.19 m from 1901 to 2010 at a mean rate of 1.7 mm per year. However, between 1993 and 2010, global mean sea level has been increasing at a faster rate of about 3.2 mm per year. Under the 1.5°C warming scenario, global mean sea level is expected to be about 51cm by 2100. Moreover, the global sea level is expected to continue to rise past 2100 even if temperature rise has been limited to 1.5°C before the end of the 21st century.   As of 2005, the total population in the country’s coastal areas was estimated at 43 million and majority are dependent on fishing as their main source of livelihood. Fisherfolk remain as one of the poorest sectors with poverty incidence at 41.2% and with the least resources to cope with the changing climate.   This upcoming online forum on sea level rise will feature a discussion on the observed and projected changes and impacts of sea level rise from the perspective of a climate scientist, a geographer, a geologist, an oceanographer and a social scientist. This will also present the current state of knowledge on the current and future state of sea level change in the Philippines.   The forum also aims to identify gaps in information gathering, monitoring and communication of sea level rise in the country and facilitate the sharing of good practices, innovative technologies, and latest policy reforms on sea level rise.   Interested participants are encouraged to register until August 3, 2020 through this link: https://rb.gy/tleik7. The forum will be streamed live on CCC’s Facebook Page at  facebook.com/CCCPhl.
August 04, 2020 Tuesday
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Youth-led Climate Activism Featured in “Stories for a Better Normal” Series
MANILA, 3 August 2020 — For the 11th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Youth Climate Activism,” House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, together with fellow Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders, underscored the critical role of the youth in climate action and shared their insights and experiences on how they are leading climate initiatives before and during this pandemic. Featured in last Thursday’s episode were youth Climate Reality Leaders Ms. Christine Paula Bernasor, Project Manager and Experience Designer from Talisay, Cebu; Mr. Johnny Altomonte, CEO and Founder of Verne Energy Solutions; Dr. Renzo Guinto, Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab; Ms. Ruzzel Morales, Committee Chairperson for Environment of the 12th National Youth Parliament; Ms. Jessica Wu, Co-founder of Lesstics; Mr. Carl Alonsagay, Project Liaison Officer of the ClimatEducate Project; and Ms. Hilary Hao, Business Development Associate of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.  Ms. Nazrin Castro, Philippine branch manager of The Climate Reality Project-Philippines also joined the online conversation as Legarda’s co-host. Mr. Ethan Spaner, Director of The Climate Reality Project’s International Program, also joined from their Washington, D.C. headquarters.  Mr. Spaner shared how The Climate Reality Project supports the community of Climate Reality Leaders in engaging world leaders, policymakers, experts, and advocates to find solutions to the global climate crisis. He also stressed the importance of youth activism in today’s global challenges. “Youth activism around the world is important to us. We are in full understanding that tomorrow’s leaders need to have the space today. But we’ve found out that the youth are already the leaders of today. We could learn a lot by listening to our young leaders in our country, especially the Filipino youth who are passionate and fighting for their lives. They give me hope,” said Spaner. Ms. Bernasor presented an overview of climate initiatives and activism online, and how the digital landscape is presenting various avenues to advocate for climate action even on a pandemic. She explained how social media and digital platforms should be utilized in terms of advocacy campaigns, including awareness raising and mobilization, especially in urging environmental protection and climate action towards sustainability. “We had gotten more reliant on digital platforms. It has become easier to convince the youth and everyone who are affected by the pandemic that we should care about our climate and environment. Climate activism does not need a big budget. It just needs you—quarantine or no quarantine! A small seed of action can grow into a rebellion,” said Bernasor. Mr. Altomonte shared how he decided to venture into renewable energy at a young age. He also encouraged the greening local government units (LGUs), which could help address other issues by the communities.  “The renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions will solve a lot of existing pain points for LGUs, such as clean water, access to energy, market access, employment opportunities women empowerment. Sustainable development is dependent on sustainable energy. It's really important even at the barangay level to start greening from an energy perspective because energy is the foundation from which we move forward. We can’t have a sustainable community without sustainable energy,” said Altomonte. Dr. Guinto, a medical doctor, expressed that the health system of the future must be universal, high quality, climate smart, and pandemic-resistant. He also said that health workers must be engaged as LGUs craft their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) and that climate change and health must be integrated into our education system. “Early on in my career, I already realized that my patients are not just the people, but it's also the planet. Both people and the planet are currently sick. As we talk about COVID, we know in the backdrop there is a climate crisis that is continuously happening. In an increasingly warming planet, the risk for infectious diseases becomes so high. There are old infectious diseases that we expect to reemerge and new ones to emerge,”  said Dr. Guinto, who also called for the flattening of our curve in terms of carbon emissions and ecological footprint. Ms. Morales discussed the importance of engaging the youth in crafting national plans and strategies and underscored the need for the government to step up its efforts on climate action. “The youth and majority of groups and communities have long been asking for an alternative to this current system. We know and feel that we deserve better. What we need is a balanced revolution. We need not only the youth to step up, but also the government. We are tired of token representation. We want action. The future is for the youth. We will claim it, no matter what,” said Morales. Ms. Wu shared her initiatives on zero waste and her advocacies on women and youth empowerment and youth, as well as the importance of recognizing the people’s connection with the environment. “We are not separate from the environment. All of us are interconnected. We should be conscious of the intergenerational responsibility in all that we do. If we do not act now, when?” said Wu. Mr. Alonsagay introduced the ClimatEducate, a youth-led climate change education project composed of students, youth advocates, young professional researchers and educators, which aims to promote climate change education in different schools and communities in the Philippines and in the global south. He shared how the project could complement and further integrate climate change and disaster risk reduction concepts into the K-to-12 curriculum. “One thing I realized in the last four years of providing climate awareness to schools and communities is that we cannot teach about the changing climate if we don’t make sure they know how to read and have food on the table. Climate change education should go along with the true aim of social justice,” said Alonsagay. Ms. Hao talked about climate change and nutrition, and encouraged fellow millennials to switch to a less-meat and plant-based diet to promote nutrition, while helping fight climate change. “Food is really something I'm passionate about. It’s something that should not be too difficult to incorporate in our life and has a positive effect on our climate. If we eat a more balanced diet, with more fruits and vegetables, it will actually give less strain on the planet,” said Hao. A Climate Reality Leader herself, Legarda encouraged the young leaders to pursue their passions and thanked them for taking an active role in helping implement environment and climate change laws, especially the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. “To my fellow Climate Reality Leaders, push the way forward. Do concrete actions at home and within our communities. Engage other leaders, so all this talk will not go to waste. Our efforts at the local level is the most important. Put your initiatives online, so others may know what climate action means,” Legarda concluded. Climate Reality Leaders are individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of discipline who have undergone training with The Climate Reality Project, which is founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, a climate activist himself who was awarded the Nobel Prize for the film “An Inconvenient Truth.” As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation.
August 03, 2020 Monday
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Youth Climate Activism in 11th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal”
MANILA, 29 July 2020 – For the 11th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders including House Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda will gather for a special episode on “Youth Climate Activism” and discuss how youth leaders are driving and sustaining their climate initiatives, even during the pandemic.  Climate Reality Leaders are individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of discipline who have undergone the training of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), which is founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, a climate activist himself who was awarded the Nobel Prize for the film “An Inconvenient Truth”. Legarda recalled her visit with Al Gore in Tacloban in 2016 to talk to the families affected by Typhoon Yolanda, as well as the training of more than 800 aspiring Climate Reality Leaders, including herself, also in 2016.  In this upcoming episode, Legarda will be joined by youth Climate Reality Leaders Ms. Christine Paula Bernasor, Project Manager and Experience Designer from Talisay, Cebu; Mr. Johnny Altomonte, CEO and Founder of Verne Energy Solutions; Dr. Renzo Guinto, Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab; Ms. Ruzzel Morales, Committee Chairperson for Environment of the 12th National Youth Parliament; Ms. Jessica Wu, Co-founder of Lesstics; Mr. Carl Alonsagay, Project Liaison Officer of the ClimatEducate Project; and Ms. Hilary Hao, Business Development Associate of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.  Mr. Ethan Spaner, Director of TCRP’s International Program and Ms. Nazrin Castro, Manager of the Philippine branch of TCRP Philippines, will also join the discussion. The episode will air on Thursday, 30 July 2020, 10:00 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Legarda, author of the Climate Change Act, noted that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes the role of youth as key actors in raising awareness, running educational programs, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices, and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects. She also noted that, according to the UN Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth, and Climate Change, the youth constitutes the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness. She added that youth aged 15 to 24 years represent 16% of the world population and will reach 1.3 billion people by 2030. This upcoming episode will provide a platform for young Climate Reality Leaders to present insights and experience in helping solve the climate crisis and to call for urgent actions from the country’s leaders.  As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation.
July 29, 2020 Wednesday
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CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster Outlines Green Recovery Plan Ahead of SONA 2020
MANILA, 23 July 2020 — “We shall reimagine our relationship with nature by catalyzing structural investments and behavior change. We shall convert this health crisis into opportunities to accelerate climate action. We shall formulate responses to the pandemic through a climate lens,” said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu yesterday at the “Tatak ng Pagbabago 2020: The Pre-SONA Forum,” which was held in preparation for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.   The third part of the forum was co-led by the Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster (CCAM-DRR) Cluster, which is chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) as secretariat.   Sec. Cimatu presented the Cluster’s major projects for the past year focusing on scaling up community preparedness against climate hazards and disasters.   “No previous pandemic had a more dramatic impact in peoples' lives in the past century as COVID-19 has in a few short months. On the other hand, climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced,” said Sec. Cimatu.   “We were able to demonstrate to the whole world that if we act with the political will shown by this government in its fight against this pandemic, we can actually see the change we want. We are at the point where humanity is given a chance to stop and think and to choose how we rebuild, and we shall come out of this in such a way that we can collectively deal with climate change and disasters,” he added.   Among the highlights of the report were the response to the communities affected by the Taal Volcano earlier this year, the Boracay shutdown and rehabilitation, and the cleaning of Manila Bay.   Sec. Cimatu also mentioned the country’s success to secure an approval from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a grant of USD10 million for the establishment of multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning systems nationwide. He also added that over Php 300 million-worth of climate change adaptation projects by several local government units had already been approved for implementation under the People's Survival Fund (PSF).   Other accomplishments by the cluster include:   Establishment of a Doppler radar in Bohol in 2019, bringing the total number of Doppler radars to 17 nationwide; Commissioning of two satellite telemetered seismic stations (raising total to 104), while nine active fault maps were generated; Establishment of a 1.7 km wastewater interceptor and a 2.5 km-long trashboom in Manila Baywalk, noting that coliform levels in the area declined; Planting of 1.704 billion seedlings in 2.031 million hectares, generating 5,004,336 jobs under the Enhanced National Greening Program; Rehabilitation of Angat Dam low-level outlet to serve as backup water discharge to ensure steady water supply, as well as the reactivation of 89 deep wells and installation of 46 groundwater monitoring in critical areas; Closing of 27 dumpsites and construction of 382 materials recovery facility (MRFs) and 22 sanitary landfills, noting that the guidelines for integrated management of municipal solid wastes through waste-to-energy facilities also took effect and that the wastes from South Korea without importation clearance were sent back; and Maintenance of 104 ambient air quality monitoring stations in highly-urbanized centers nationwide, noting that the Philippines had good air quality as levels of criteria pollutants were within standard in 2019.   Sec. Cimatu said that the CCAM-DRR Cluster shall prioritize actions and investments that will reduce long-term health impacts from and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. He discussed the following strategies and priorities:   The 'Plant, Plant, Plant' program will be implemented for food security. More effective health care waste management shall be implemented to overcome large volumes of infectious and hazardous waste in hospitals. Storage, treatment, and disposal facilities in the country shall be increased to prevent zoonotic diseases. Surveillance and enforcement activities in degradation hotspots and critical ecosystems shall be enhanced. Research and development and utilizing natural resources for disease prevention and cure shall be undertaken. Reforestation and watershed management, forest protection, and agroforestry development especially in critical watersheds shall be strengthened. Family-based approach shall be adopted under the Expanded National Greening Program to provide livelihood opportunities. Increased demand for water during the COVID-19 pandemic shall be addressed by fast-tracking the development of alternative water sources. The capacities of the LGUs, especially the barangays, shall be strengthened. Data infrastructure and early warning systems in the NDRRMC shall be upgraded. Endeavor for a low-carbon pump to recovery by sustaining the investments on renewable energy and energy conservation programs to ensure continuous power supply amidst the pandemic.   CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman also discussed the role of climate change adaptation and mitigation in pursuing a green COVID-19 recovery.   "Tulad po ng COVID, climate change is an urgent global concern. It is an existential threat; it is a life and death issue. Like our response to COVID, we must heed the science in responding to the climate crisis. Kailangan po nating ibangon muli ang ating ekonomiya mula sa dagok ng pandemya nang mas matatag kaysa dati. We cannot just go back to business as usual, vulnerable and defenseless against the next pandemic or global disruption. Mahalaga pong kaakibat po ng pagbabago at pagbangon ng ating bayan mula sa pandemya ang mabisang pagtugon sa climate change," said de Guzman.   President Rodrigo Roa Duterte concluded the program by delivering a message. On his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday, he will present a roadmap for the country to recover from the effects of the COVID-19.   "My fellow Filipinos, the accomplishments that we have just presented to you in this Pre-SONA Forum are the fruits of our collective efforts to foster real, lasting, and meaningful change in our country. Numerous trials have tested our resolve this past few years, but we always emerge victorious because of our unity and bayanihan as a people. As we look to the future with much hope and positivity, let us continue to work together to build a better and more prosperous Philippines and for ourselves and the next generation of Filipinos,” President Duterte concluded. 
July 23, 2020 Thursday
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Message of Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman - Tatak ng Pagbabago 2020: The Pre-SONA Forum
July 22, 2020 Wednesday
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Culinary Heritage Mapping in 10th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series 
MANILA 22 July 2020 – For the 10th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” on the topic, “Culinary Heritage (Part 2),” culinary heritage experts and advocates will underscore the continuing efforts to document and map out local Filipino food to revitalize culinary heritage in the Philippines.  The episode will air on Thursday, 23 July 2020, 10:00 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/, to be hosted by House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda. Resource speakers include Chef Gaita Fores, 2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef and owner of several restaurants, including Cibo, Lusso, and Grace Park; food writer Ige Ramos; Rectito Melquiades, Coordinator of the Guiuan Recovery and Sustainable Group for Resilience in Eastern Samar; and Gatchi Gatchalian, restaurateur and President of the Davao Tourism Association.  Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), will be a reactor for this episode.  In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics such as food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, sustainable urban mobility, and culinary heritage preservation, which were all framed in the context of promoting sustainable and healthy lives, while helping families and communities address the climate crisis. The first part of the culinary heritage episode which aired last July 16 underscored the importance of preserving local food and culinary heritage through adaptive and sustainable diets. It also tackled the importance of celebrating the local food and culinary heritage of Filipinos and recognizing these as a form of art. It also called for the development of more sustainable and resilient food systems for healthier diets and improved nutrition of all Filipinos. In this upcoming episode, Legarda will deepen the discussion on regional foods and cuisines, as well as underscore how the preservation of local food and culinary heritage promotes agrobiodiversity, an important adaptation strategy in reducing the impact of climate change on food security. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a “better normal” can be realized.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation and Slow Food Network.
July 22, 2020 Wednesday
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Itinampok ang Naka-Aangkop na mga Pamanang Lutuing Pilipino sa Stories for a Better Normal
MAYNILA, Ika-21 ng Hulyo 2020 — Ang ika-siyam na kabanata ng "Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways" ay may paksang “Pamanang Lutuing Pilipino” mula sa iba’t-ibang mga rehiyon ng Pilipinas. Sa isang talakayang pinangunahan ni House Deputy Speaker at Antique Representative na si Loren Legarda, kasama ang mga dalubhasa at tagapagsulong ng pamanang lutuing Pilipino, ipinalabas sa pamamagitan ng Facebook Live ang kahalagahan ng pagsisinop at pangangalaga ng lokal na pamanang lutuing pagkain sa pamamagitan ng angkop na diyeta. Ang online na talakayan ay dinaluhan nina Gng. Luth Camiña mula sa Camiña Balay nga Bato sa Iloilo; Datu Shariff Pendatun III, chef at may akda ng “On The Cuisine of Muslim Mindanao"; Gng. Amy Besa, tagapagmay-ari ng Purple Yam sa New York; Gng. Louella Eslao-Alix, may akda ng mga aklat na may kinalaman sa pamanang lutuing pagkaing Pilipino; Chef Jam Melchor, tagapagtatag ng Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement at pinuno ng Slow Food Youth Network Philippines; at si G. Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining (NCCA). Tinalakay ni Chef Melchor ang ibat’t-ibang mga uri ng mga pamanang pagkain dito sa Pilipinas na nakasaad sa ilalim ng Ark of Taste ng the Slow Food Network International. Binigyang diin din niya ang kahalagahan ng pagkilala sa gastronomy at Philippine Culinary Arts bilang bahagi ng National Arts.   “Napaka-halaga po na pinag-uusapan natin ang culinary heritage, dahil dapat maintindihan na ang pagkaing Filipino ay laging magiging bahagi ng ating kultura. Hindi lang ito pantawid gutom, kundi sadyang bahagi ng ating pagkatao bilang mga Pilipino,” sabi ni Melchor.   Ipinaliwanag ni Datu Pendatun ang kakaibang mga sangkap, pampalasa at pamamaraan sa pagluluto sa Muslim Mindanao. "Sa makatuwid, ang mga lutuing pagkaing mula sa Muslim Mindanao ay iba’t ibang sangay lamang ng iisang pinagmulan ng mga sangkap na ginagamit ng lahat sa loob ng rehiyon. Karamihan sa mga tao ay gumagamit ng niyog, habang ang ibang mga tao ay gumagamit ng galangal, karamihan ay gumagamit ng luya, habang lahat ay gumagamit ng sibuyas at bawang. Silang lahat ay mga kombinasyon o pinagsama-sama lamang kaya nga't kung paano lamang natin to gamitin ang syang nakapagbibigay katangian dito bilang tunay na kakaiba," sabi ni Pendatun.   Ibinahagi ni Gng. Besa kung paano ginagamit ng Purple Yam sa kanilang mga putahe ang mga produkto o sangkap na bihirang gamitin ng marami.   “Nag-umpisa kami dito sa Amerika, na-influence kami ni Alice Waters, noong 1980s. In-apply namin yung pagmamahal sa cuisine o pagkain, kasi ginawa ng mga Amerikano yun dito...Ganun ang ginawa namin para sa mga putaheng Pilipino at gayun din sa mga putaheng mula sa Timog-Silangang Asya. Lagi tayong nakatingin at lumilingon sa kanluran at hindi natin pinapansin ang ating mga kapitbahay mula sa Timog-silangang Asya kung saan meron talaga tayong pagkakatulad," sabi ni Besa. Ibinahagi ni Gng. Louella Eslao-Alix ang kakaibang kasaysayan ng mga Cebuano sa pagkain.   "Mangangalakal ang karamihan sa mga Cebuano dahil hindi kami maaaring magkaroon ng malalawak na sakahan. May kinalaman ang heograpiya at malaking bahagi ito sa pagpili namin ng mga pagkaing maaari naming kainin kung kaya't mas gusto namin ang mga pagkaing lamang dagat," sabi ni Alix. Ibinahagi ni Gng. Camiña ang lokal na mga sangkap na ginagamit sa mga pamanang putaheng Ilonggo na inihahain ng Camiña Balay nga Bato.   "Ang Iloilo ay isa sa mga pangunahing pinagmumulan at pinagkukunan natin ng bigas dahil ito'y sadyang lugar na pang agrikultura. Noong binuksan namin ang Camiña Balay nga Bato, gusto naming Ilonggo ang maging tema ng aming hapag-kainan at ang mga pagkaing inihahain namin ay mula sa pangpamayanang pakikipag-tulungan ng pamilya ay mga magka-kaibigan," sabi ni Camiña. Tinalakay ni G. Arvin Villalon kung paano sinisuguro ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining (NCCA) ang pangangalaga at pagtataguyod ng ating katutubong pagkain at pamanang mga lutuing pagkain. "Ang sining ng lutuing pagkain ay napakahalaga dahil nakapagbibigay ito sa atin ng kamalayan tungkol sa ating pagkatao, kasama ng pagpapatuloy ng ating lahi. Marami sa ating mga kabataan ay naghahanap ng mga bagay na mapaghuhugutan ng kanilang pagkatao. Pangalawa ay ang pagkakaisa ng lipunan na nagbibigkis sa mga tao. Kaugnay dito ay ang likas at maliwanag na pamana, kasaysayan, at mga kaugalian tulad ng paggalang natin sa mga naka-tatanda at pagka-malikhain," sabi ni Villalon. Bilang isang online discussion na nagpapalaganap ng kaalaman sa kalusugan, kalusugang pangkaisipan, pangkapaligiran, at mga kasanayang pagbabagay klima, ang Stories for a Better Normal ay naglalayong baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya at mga pamayanan na magkaroon ng nakapag-papanatiling pamumuhay tungo sa mas malusog, mas ligtas at mas maayos na normal kesa dati nating nakasanayan. Ang online discussion na ito ay magkatulong na inorganisa ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Legarda at ng Climate Change Commision (CCC), katuwang ang Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 21, 2020 Tuesday
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CCC Opens Applications for eLearning Online Course on Accessing the People’s Survival Fund
MANILA, 21 July 2020 — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and limitations on face-to-face trainings and meetings, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) continues to provide capacity building for local government units (LGU) and other stakeholders on accessing the People’s Survival Fund or PSF, a national climate adaptation grant mechanism created by Republic Act No. 10174 which amended the Climate Change Act of 2009. By way of mentoring potential beneficiaries and partners, the PSF eLearning Program was developed to address the challenges of LGUs in accessing the climate adaptation grant such as lack of direct information on the process and requirements for PSF funding, constraints in terms of technical capacity to develop climate change adaptation projects, and the need for collaboration with community stakeholders. The second run of the PSF eLearning Program was concluded through a virtual culminating activity held on 24 June 2020. The online event is designed to encourage its students to share their experiences, learnings and feedback on the program. “Yung mga modules, very friendly and downloadable para madali lang siya i-access. Hindi kami mahihirapan maski isang island municipality kami. Nakuha naman naming ma-download at mabasa yung mga references na binigay sa amin,” said Mr. Glen Boyles from the island municipality of Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol, one of the students from PSF eLearning Batch 2. Graduates of the previous batches will still continue to receive technical assistance from the CCC through its PSF One-on-One Mentoring Program. The CCC is now accepting applications for Batch 3 of the Program, which will run from August-October 2020. Interested applicants must be working in the planning and development, environment and natural resource, climate change, and/or the disaster risk reduction and management offices or units in LGUs or community-based organizations. Registration must be done through the link: bit.ly/PSFeLearningBatch3Registration and a maximum of three participants for each LGU or organization. The deadline of registration is on 22 July 2020, 8PM, while the results will be posted on 29 July 2020. Only 50 applicants are selected per batch. For more information, contact the PSF Unit of the CCC at (02) 8450-5513, or send an e-mail to elearningclimate.ccc@gmail.com.
July 21, 2020 Tuesday
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Adaptive Filipino Culinary Heritage Highlighted in Stories for a Better Normal
MANILA, 18 July 2020 — The ninth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways” featured the country’s culinary heritage from various regions of the Philippines, in a discussion hosted by House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda with chefs and culinary authors aired via Facebook Live. The guest experts and their life work underscored the importance of preserving local food and culinary heritage through adaptive and sustainable diets.   The online conversation featured Ms. Luth Camiña from Camiña Balay nga Bato in Iloilo; Datu Shariff Pendatun III, chef and author of “On The Cuisine of Muslim Mindanao"; Ms. Amy Besa, author and restaurateur-owner of Purple Yam in New York; Ms. Louella Eslao-Alix, culinary heritage author; Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement and head of the Slow Food Youth Network Philippines; and Mr. Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).   Chef Melchor discussed the kinds of heritage food in the Philippines registered under the Ark of Taste of the Slow Food Network International. He also emphasized the importance of recognizing gastronomy and Philippine culinary arts as an integral part of National Arts.   “Napaka-importante po na pinag-uusapan natin ang culinary heritage, dahil dapat maintindihan na ang Filipino food will always be part of our culture. Hindi lang ito pantawid gutom, but it’s definitely part of our identity as Filipinos,” said Melchor.   Chef Pendatun explained the distinctive culinary ingredients, tastes, and techniques in Muslim Mindanao.   “Fundamentally, the cuisines of Muslim Mindanao are just different permutations of the ingredients that everybody else uses in the region. Most people use coconut, some people use galangal, most people use ginger, everybody uses onion and garlic. The cuisines that we have there are just permutations of these, they’re just combinations. It’s how we apply them that makes them unique,” said Pendatun.   Ms. Besa shared how Purple Yam utilizes the most underused produce or ingredients in their dishes.    “Nag-umpisa kami dito sa Amerika, na-influence kami ni Alice Waters, noong 1980s. In-apply namin yung pagmamahal sa cuisine o pagkain, kasi ginawa ng mga Amerikano yun dito...Ganun ang ginawa namin for Filipino and also Southeast Asian dishes. We always looked to the west, we never look at our Southeast Asian neighbors with whom we really have a lot in common,” said Besa.   Ms. Alix shared the Cebuanos’ unique history of eating what they love and what is available around their surroundings.   “Cebuanos are mostly traders, because we cannot have big farms. Geography plays a big part in our choice of food. So mostly, we like seafood,“ said Alix.   Ms. Camiña shared the local ingredients used in Ilonggo heirloom dishes offered by Camiña Balay Nga Bato.   “Iloilo is a top rice producer, basically agricultural. When we opened the Camiña Balay nga Bato, we wanted an Ilonggo narrative for our dining table, and the food that we offer is basically a community collaboration of family and friends,” said Camiña. Mr. Villalon discussed how the NCCA ensures the preservation and promotion of our indigenous food and culinary heritage.   “Culinary art is so important, because first it provides a sense of identity and continuity. A lot of our young people are looking for identity markers. Second is social cohesion, it binds people together. It also connected to natural and tangible heritage, history, values like respect to elders, and creativity,” said Villalon.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 18, 2020 Saturday
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Culinary Heritage in 9th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series 
MANILA, 15 July 2020 - For the ninth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic on “Culinary Heritage,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with culinary experts and culinary heritage advocates, will discuss the importance of preserving local food and culinary heritage through sustainable diet. The episode will air on Thursday, 16 July 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining Legarda are Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Ms. Louella Eslao-Alix, culinary heritage author; Ms. Luth Camiña from Camiña Balay nga Bato in Iloilo; Datu Shariff Pendatun III, chef and author of “On The Cuisine of Muslim Mindanao"; Ms. Amy Besa, restaurateur and author; and Mr. Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to teach citizens to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.  This upcoming episode will underscore how the preservation of local food and culinary heritage promotes agrobiodiversity, a key adaptation strategy in mitigating the impact of climate change on food security. It aims to help map and revitalize the country’s local food and culinary heritage. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 15, 2020 Wednesday
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Legarda Promotes Sustainable and Nutritious Diet, Culinary Heritage Preservation in 8th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series
MANILA, 10 July 2020 - House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource speakers, shared tips on good nutrition and diet as well as the importance of preserving local food heritage, during the 8th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic, “Nutrition, Diet, and Culinary Heritage” shown via Facebook Live. Sustainable food enthusiasts and nutrition experts joined the online conversation, including  Zenaida Velasco, National President of the Nutritionist-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines; Virgith Buena, Chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Nutrition & Dietetics; Professor Luchie Callanta, College of Home Economics of the University of the Philippines-Diliman; Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the group Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Manuel Onalan, an indigenous Filipino organic farmtrepreneur; Sashah Dioso of the University of the Philippines-Visayas; and Asha Peri, a plant-based chef and founder of The Ecology of Food. The episode was held in celebration of Nutrition Month this July, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 491, s. 1974, underscoring the importance of proper nutrition and a diverse diet, as well as growing food in a sustainable manner. “Isinusulong natin ang konsepto ng sustainability sa ating pamumuhay upang ang ating likas na yaman ay nagagamit natin sa paraan na hindi ito nasasayang, naitatapon, o nauubos. Sa ganitong paraan, tinuturuan natin ang ating sarili na mamuhay nang wasto at may paggalang sa ating kalikasan,” said Legarda. “Ngayong idinadaos natin ang Nutrition Month sa ating bansa, nawa’y maintindihan din natin ang tama at wastong pagkain at pamumuhay para mapanatili o mapalakas natin ang ating katawan at resistensya lalo na sa panahon ngayon ng pandemya,” added Legarda.  Ms. Zenaida Velasco shared the benefits of eating a balanced diet for our mental health and wellbeing. She noted that unhealthy dietary intake and nutrient depletion can lead to mental health disorders. “Sa panahon ngayon ng pandemya, marami tayong iniisip at pangamba kaya overwhelmed tayo. Dumadagdag pa ang social distancing sa ating isolation. One of the cornerstones in supporting good mental health is food. Ang ating kinakain at hindi rin kinakain will affect our mood and behavior,” said Ms. Velasco. Ms. Buena shared tips on how to ensure that families eat healthy food during this pandemic by reading the nutrition label and eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. She also advised viewers to drink more water to avoid dehydration. “A whole-food, plant-based diet is more of a lifestyle. We emphasize whole minimally-processed food to limit or avoid animal products, focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. A healthy diet excludes refined foods like added sugar, white flour, and processed oils,” said Ms. Buena.      Prof. Callanta shared the one-week nutritious and balanced cycle menu that was developed by the students of the UP College of Home Economics to help households cook healthy dishes from relief goods provided. She also shared some of the infographics they designed featuring various food rich in vitamins and minerals that can boost our immune system.  “Ngayong may COVID-19, ang unang hinihingi sa atin ay kung papaano papalakasin ang ating resistensya. Sa pamamagitan ng infographics, naglabas kami ng recipes para gawing mas masustansya ang mga delatang nakukuha nating bilang ayuda. Naglabas din kami para sa mga pagkaing mataas sa bitamina at mineral. Dumadating po ang mga ito sa mga local government units (LGUs) at ipinapaskil nila sa mga palengke, at ang iba pa ay humihingi ng permiso para maituro sa mga paaralan,” said Prof. Callanta. Chef Melchor shared the online database called Ark of Taste, which seeks to create an archive of indigenous food and ingredients from different countries, adding that Slow Food members nominate these food in an effort to promote and preserve biodiversity in grains, rice, fruits, or cooking traditions. He said that for the Philippines, there are 64 approved and archived local food and ingredients, but the aim is to document more through a complementary food mapping initiative.  “Kapag pinaguusapan ang isang produce o pagkain, hindi ito nawawala sa discussions—pwede pang itanim at ihain. Kapag hindi na pinaguusapan, maaaring mamatay ang mga ito katulad ng kultura natin. We have 64 indigenous ingredients and crops at the moment, that's why I am pushing for food mapping. Kung sasandal lang tayo sa international organizations, matagal na panahon ito bago ma-approve. Marami tayong produkto at indigenous crops na kailangan nating gamitin, pag-usapan, at itanim pa para humaba ang buhay at mapakinabangan ng susunod na henerasyon,” said Chef Melchor. Mr. Onalan, known by many as Mang Manny and an indigenous Filipino organic “farm-trepreneur,” explained the physiology of rice and shared rice nutrition and rice heritage.  “Rice relates to the political, social, and cultural context in our life in the Philippines. Rice in the cultural minorities, particularly in the Cordillera, dito na-develop ‘yung tinatawag natin na heritage, not only in the production side, but also in the consumption side. We are promoting organic rice, which is technically unpolished rice, and usually brown, black, and red. White rice is considered “desecrated” because they have polished off parts that have nutritional phytochemicals. What is left is compound and complex sugar and carbohydrates,” said Mr. Onalan. Mr. Dioso shared how environmental protection has aided Northern Antique in sustaining the basic needs of Antiqueños during the pandemic. “Noong nagsimula ‘yong pandemic, ang Pandan ang kauna-unahang bayan sa Antique na nag-register ng positive case ng COVID infection. At dahil nga sa government-imposed lockdown and community restrictions, the community resorted to backyard gardening and river fishing para ma-sustain ang pangangailangan sa pagkain. Naging malaking tulong ‘yung paniniwala at pagprotekta sa environment sa pag-sustain ng pangangailangan ng mga tao sa Northern Antique,” said Dioso. Ms. Peri gave a quick overview of the “Ecology of Food,” a plant-based nutrition course, and encouraged people to cook their own food using local, organic, and biodiverse food. “As an educator and chef, when I prepare food on my plate and when I teach, I tell my students that our plate should be a reflection of the biodiversity that grows in the fields, as practiced by our permaculturists, biodynamic farmers, and agri-ecologists, where we grow different crops together instead of just one crop. When we talk about nutritionally diverse food, this can only come from local, organic, and seasonal sources,” said Peri. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation. Episode 8 may be watched on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/conglorenlegarda/videos/320743009090549/) and on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea2jxzqdiGs).
July 10, 2020 Friday
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Legarda Supports GCA Call to Action on Sustainable and Resilient COVID-19 Recovery
MANILA, 10 July 2020 — House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, as one of the Commissioners of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), has joined a Call to Action for governments and businesses to integrate climate resilience into their COVID-19 recovery packages.  The GCA issued the statement, Call to Action for a Climate-Resilient Recovery from COVID-19, urging world leaders to integrate climate resilience in decisions at all levels of government, and calling on businesses, organizations, and communities to do the same with particular focus on resilience in infrastructure and financing.  The statement put a spotlight on the threats arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of people’s health, well-being, and livelihoods and how these will be multiplied by the worsening impact of the climate crisis with more extreme storms, droughts, heat waves, food crises and diseases. “The raging COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the sobering reality that the world is not as advanced, prosperous and as resilient as we thought it to be. We have realized that our societies and economic systems are fragile and dependent on the health of our natural environment, and that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable,” said Legarda. “As the GCA has observed, “The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically exposed the risks humanity faces and how unprepared we are to respond,” she added. Legarda said that the Call to Action builds on the Commission’s 2019 flagship report, “Adapt Now”, laying down a triple dividend from embracing climate adaptation “by averting future losses, spurring economic gains through innovation, and delivering social and environmental benefits to everyone, but particularly to those currently affected and most at risk.” The GCA seeks to raise the profile of adaptation work by bringing together stakeholders and investments along seven Action Tracks: locally-led adaptation, urban resilience, water resources management, social safety nets, food security, nature-based solutions, and disaster prevention. These sectors are considered the most vulnerable to climate impacts or most critical for climate action under international frameworks including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement on climate change, and Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.  Legarda said that she will work with the Climate Change Commission towards ensuring that the need to strengthen public health standards to fight COVID-19 is aligned with the goals of a sustainable and resilient pandemic recovery. She recently authored and sponsored House Bill No. 6864 or the “Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities and Public Spaces Act of 2020,” which seeks to establish safety measures and protocols in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasizes the significance of pursuing sustainable pathways, protection of biodiversity, and the strict implementation of environmental laws. “I hope that this crisis has taught us well to be more cautious and approach today’s risks with concrete measures that will diminish our present vulnerabilities. As the world responds, it must build back better, towards a recovery that values the complex and interconnected relationships of human health, the economy, the climate, and the environment,” Legarda concluded. 
July 10, 2020 Friday
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CCC, OML Center Hold Virtual Press Launch for Klima Film Festival
MANILA, 10 July 2020 —The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center held the Klima Film Festival Press Launch on Wednesday, 8 July 2020, encouraging more of the youth to sign up as teams and participate in climate film labs, in an event streamed via Facebook Live through CCC’s Facebook Page.   The KFF, a joint initiative with the OML Center as part of its Balangay Project, aims to reach out to various young filmmakers all over the Philippines and inspire them to tell stories from their own communities.   “We conceptualized the Klima Film Festival, together with the Oscar M. Lopez Center, by putting emphasis on the biggest challenge of our time that is climate change, and the vital role of our youth in driving climate action. This project will not only give our youth a platform to exhibit their creativity but also enable them to champion climate justice and sustainable development,” said Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera of CCC during her welcome remarks.   “The genesis of this activity is really the realization that we, the Oscar M. Lopez Center, as a science organization, needs to be more than just about science. We need to communicate. We need to tell stories - not just one story. Because if you think about climate, there are a lot of local stories. So what we want to do is use science while interacting with various sectors of society to help them effectively tell their various narratives, especially the youth from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” said Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center.   Rep. Edgar M. Chatto of the 1st District of Bohol, Chair of the House Committee on Climate Change, graced the launch and expressed his full support to the project.   “Dalangin ko na sana ay maging makabuluhan ang inyong mga maikling pelikula na siyang magmumulat sa ating mga kababayan, maging sa ating mga pinuno sa gobyerno -- kamulatan na siyang pupukaw sa kanilang isip at damdamin upang kagyat na kumilos upang mabigyan ng lunas ang climate change at maisalba ang inang kalikasan at ang sangkatauhan,” said Rep. Chatto.   House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, who authored several environmental laws including the Climate Change Act of 2009 which created the CCC, also expressed her support to the KFF.   “To our youth, use this platform to make your voices be heard. I believe that you are the most active partners in challenging development norms, politics, governance, and leadership. Each of us has opportunities to make a difference for our future. We must take hold of the opportunity to responsibly manage our environment and lead the way towards resilient and sustainable development,” said Rep. Legarda in her message.   Open to all young filmmakers aged 16-22, the KFF opened its registration on June 30 and will end on July 31, 2020.   The full guidelines, mechanics, and submission requirements can be viewed at https://climate.gov.ph/events/klima-film-festival, or through the Facebook accounts of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl, and the Oscar M. Lopez Center at facebook.com/OscarMLopezCenter.   Watch the replay of the Klima Film Festival Digital Press Launch through this link: https://www.facebook.com/CCCPhl/videos/665185324077361/.
July 10, 2020 Friday
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Nutrition, Diet, and Culinary Heritage in 8th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series
MANILA, 8 July 2020 – For the eighth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with a topic on “Nutrition, Diet, and Culinary Heritage”, House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with food experts, will share their knowledge on good nutrition and the importance of preserving local food heritage through sustainable diets.   The episode will air on Thursday, 9 July 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining Legarda are nutrition experts and sustainable food enthusiasts Ms. Zenaida Velasco, National President of the Nutritionist-Dietitians' Association of the Philippines; Virgith Buena, Chairperson of the Board of Nutrition & Dietetics, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); and Assistant Professor Luchie Callanta from the University of the Philippines. The episode will also feature Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the group Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Mr. Manuel Onalan, indigenous Filipino organic "farmtrepreneur"; Mr. Sashah Dioso from the University of the Philippines Visayas; and Ms. Asha Peri, founder of Ecology of Food and a plant-based chef.  A staunch advocate of the preservation of indigenous culture, health, and environment, Legarda authored House Bill No. 637 or the Food Forest Gardening Act, which highlights the importance of establishing food gardens as a sustainable practice to help ensure food security and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  The previous episodes of Stories for a Better Normal featured backyard farming and food gardening, saving seeds, and planting organic fruits and vegetables the permaculture way in order to teach urban farmers how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.  This upcoming episode will highlight how maintaining a healthy diet to support a strong immune system can help Filipinos cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Legarda will also underscore how a sustainable and resilient food system can help preserve the culinary heritage of Filipinos. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.             This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 08, 2020 Wednesday
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CCC Further Mainstreams Gender, Emphasizes Integration of Gender-Responsive Principles in Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Programs
MANILA, 7 July 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) today announced that it is ready for Level 3: Gender and Development (GAD) Application from its previous status of Level 1: Foundation Formation, following the Philippine Commission on Women’s (PCW) initial assessment of the CCC’s Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF).   The CCC said that the presentation of the results of its GMEF last year and the submission of its Gender Audit Report are part of its commitment to mainstreaming gender, while aligning with the national policy to allocate 5% of every agency’s budget to GAD initiatives. It also emphasized that gender-responsive principles must be applied in all climate adaptation and mitigation programs in the country.   The CCC’s GMEF were assessed of its gender mainstreaming initiatives based on policies, people, enabling mechanisms, and projects, activities, and programs (PAPs).   The GMEF is a tool that identifies the status and/or progress of government agencies in mainstreaming gender and development in their respective organizations, particularly in their systems, structures, policies, programs, processes, and procedures, in line with the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and other GAD mandates, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   In terms of policy, the PCW highlighted the adoption of CCC Resolution No.2019-002: Mainstreaming and Strengthening Gender-Responsive Approaches in the Formulation and Implementation of Climate Change Policies, Plans, Programs, and Activities; the issuance of CCC Office Order No. 2018-022: Constitution of GAD Focal Point System based on RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, Chapter VI Section 36.b; the issuance of statements supporting gender and climate change at national and international levels; and the integration of GAD perspectives in national plans, such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC). The PCW also positively noted the continuous advocacy on gender and climate change at the international level, such as the appointment of gender focals in the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the active participation in mainstreaming gender in UN climate talks.    In terms of human resource, the CCC is said to have a gender-balanced and gender-supportive management and is gender-inclusive in hiring personnel; while in terms of enabling mechanisms, the CCC initiated exploratory activities with PCW and other organizations to facilitate gender mainstreaming, such as in the development of the Green Jobs Certification and Standard process, NDC consultations, and the NCCAP monitoring and evaluation (M&E) validation process, as well as the forging of Memorandum of Understanding with PCW on gender and climate change and the practice of collection of sex-disaggregated data.   In terms of PAPs, the PCW highlighted the integration of gender concerns during the conduct of 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation (APAN) Forum, which was co-hosted by the CCC with partners in the region, the 2nd National Convention on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR), and the UNFCCC negotiations; the conduct of consultation activities with internal and external clients to identify gender issues in the climate change sector and its corresponding strategies; and the consultation with the PCW and partner agencies and relevant organizations in its GAD mainstreaming efforts.   The CCC stated that while the Level 3 status—up by two levels from previous assessment—is already a positive indicator of its efforts to effectively mainstream gender, much work needs to be done as it strives to achieve the highest, which is Level 5: Replication and Innovation, where GAD programs are institutionalized and replicated in other agencies and offices and where peoples, policies, enabling mechanisms, and PAPs are further enhanced based on the results of GAD M&E.   The CCC has always expressed that climate change is not gender-neutral—that the societal roles and responsibilities of women and men affect the way they experience and cope with climate impacts, which already aggravate existing gender inequalities. On the other hand, this very vulnerability of women makes their insights and experiences extremely valuable in planning and implementing climate action.   It is therefore the CCC’s commitment to ensure that the aspect of gender equality and empowerment in climate action, which is already enshrined in international and national policies, is demonstrated in our country systems and processes.
July 07, 2020 Tuesday
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CCC, OML Center Launch Klima Film Festival for Young Filipino Filmmakers
MANILA, 7 July 2020 — To showcase the creativity of young filmmakers in advocating for climate action through short films, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center have teamed up to launch the Klima Film Festival for original short films revolving around the theme, “Adapting For A Sustainable Future”.   A Digital Press Launch will be streamed on Wednesday, July 8 through the CCC’s Facebook Page at facebook.com/CCCPhl. Media people can register through this link: bit.ly/KFFPressLaunch.   The Film Festival, dubbed as KFF, is part of the OML Center’s Balangay project which aims to chronicle the stories of the changing climate in the context of the Filipino experience and how it has shaped the Filipino identity and culture.   All interested participants shall form a team with a maximum of ten (10) members aged 16 to 22 years. The representative of the team shall register online through this link: bit.ly/KFFSignUpSheet. Registration is from June 30 until July 31, 2020.   Before submission of films, participants are required to attend a series of free online workshops, including a climate change seminar-workshop and climate film labs, to deepen their understanding and appreciation on the science behind climate change and of film as a medium to mobilize community action.   After attending the climate change seminar-workshop, each team is required to submit their film concept/synopsis before they may proceed to participate in the climate film labs.   After completing the climate film lab activities, teams must ready their films. Submissions shall include: the short film in the form of narrative fiction and running between five (5) to seven (7) minutes; a 30-second trailer; an official poster (18’ x 24’); and behind-the-scenes footage. The film may be in any Philippine language but must have either English or Filipino subtitles.   Entries should be original. Any use of material (footage, music, etc.) not originally produced or owned by the team must secure permission from the original copyright owners. The submitted film will be co-owned with the CCC and the OML Center and shall be used as part of information, education, and communication (IECs) and promotional materials only.   Entries should also adhere to the MTRCB Rated-G classification on movies and may not contain any violence, explicit scenes, and foul language.   All entries may be submitted to the address klimafilmfest@gmail.com with the subject format, “KFF Entry | Team ID Number” until 12MN of October 23, 2020.   The Klima Film Festival shall announce the Top 10 finalists where the chosen Best Film, 1st Runner Up, and 2nd Runner Up shall receive cash prizes of Php 50,000, Php 30,000, and Php 20,000, respectively. The remaining seven (7) finalists will receive Php 5,000 each.   Special Awards including for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Musical Scoring, Best Performance, Best in Research and Content, Audience Choice Award, Best Poster and Most Liked Teaser, will also be given and shall receive Php 3,000 each.   Awarding will be in time for the 2020 National Climate Change Consciousness Week to be held online in November. For more details, visit the official Facebook page of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl, or its website at climate.gov.ph/events/klima-film-festival. 
July 07, 2020 Tuesday
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Legarda: “Everyone Must Benefit from Permaculture”
MANILA, 2 July 2020 — On the seventh episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic, “Saving Seeds and Growing with Nature,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda and experts shared the basics of permaculture and encouraged individuals and households to start saving their own seeds and grow food in a manner that heals nature. Joining Legarda were permaculture practitioners and seed saving experts and enthusiasts, including Bert Peeters of the Philippine Permaculture Association; Jabez Flores of Permaculture Research PH; Rina Papio of Green Space Pilipinas; Karen Hizola of Global Seed Savers PH, and Dr. Blesilda Calub of the University of the Philippines - Los Baños.  Environmental lawyer Atty. Ipat Luna; Earth Leader and founder of Kai Farms Karla Delgado; and DowntoEarth PH founder Atty. Paula Aberasturi joined as panel reactors. Mr. Bert Peeters described permaculture as designing with nature through an ecosystems and biodiversity approach. He also explained how permaculture empowers communities. “Permaculture in action entails working with a lot of local government units (LGUs). It is being able to make products that are locally relevant with the abundant materials that are in the area. It is also teaching people how they can craft and use raw materials into something useful like baskets or bamboo bikes, or wines and juices,” said Peeters. Mr. Jabez Flores talked about the permaculture and biodiversity mapping of the Philippines, which is an essential tool that allows farmers and researchers to visualize the geographic location of their potential sites, determine the available resources, and identify farm components.  Flores also highlighted that there are species that act as natural pest control, seed dispersers, or pollinators, thereby making the entire ecosystem more functional and resilient. “Permaculture landscapes are designed for diversity. The aim is not just to promote biotic diversity with crops, wildlife, and trees, but also biophysical and sociocultural biodiversity as well, which are sometimes neglected in the design,” said Flores. Ms. Rina Papio discussed the importance of soil health and illustrated new ways of turning food waste into healthy soil through Bokashi composting. “Whenever we send our food waste to the landfill, we are throwing away a valuable resource that can help build soil. It’s time we make a change from being land fillers to land healers,” said Papio. Ms. Karen Hizola showed the basic steps of seed collection and storage, encouraging more people to adopt seed-saving practices as she highlighted their benefits. “Why are seeds very important in our lives, especially sa panahon ngayon ng pandemya? When you hold a seed in your hand, it is like holding the past, the present, and the future because mayroon kang record ng kung ano mang tanim ang na-produce ng seeds na 'yun. You are holding the future in your hand because seeds are actually self-replicating and key in making sure that we are able to flourish in the future” said Hizola. Dr. Calub explained how the UP Los Baños and its surrounding communities have benefited from the school gardens, home gardens, and community gardens through their mentorship and learning resources. “We made use of the school gardens as an open air classroom for teaching Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan, Science, Math, and English. We integrate in these subjects the science of food and nutrition, organic agriculture, edible landscaping, climate resilience, and composting from biodegradable wastes,” said Dr. Calub. Legarda, author of House Bill no. 637 or the Food Gardening Act of 2019 and Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, reiterated the need for every household to implement segregation of food waste and composting in practicing permaculture. “There’s so much we could do together to help implement existing environmental laws. When we design small or big farms in rural or urban areas, let’s make sure that every local government, people’s organization, and citizen can understand, implement, operationalize, and benefit from permaculture,” said Legarda. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 02, 2020 Thursday
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Saving Seeds and Growing with Nature on 7th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series 
MANILA, 29 June 2020 – On the seventh episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic, “Saving Seeds and Growing with Nature,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource persons, will discuss the basics and benefits of permaculture and the importance of saving seeds in ensuring food self-sufficiency.  The episode will stream on Facebook Live on Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:00 a.m. at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining Legarda are permaculture and seed saving experts and advocates, including Karen Hizola, Executive Director of Global Seed Savers Philippines; Dr. Blesilda Calub from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños; Bert Peeters, founder of the Philippine Permaculture Association; Jabez Flores of the Permaculture Research PH; and Rina Papio, founder of Green Space Pilipinas. Reactors will include Karla Delgado from Kai Farms and Atty. Paula Aberasturi of Down to Earth PH. Legarda, author of House Bill No. 637 or the Food Forest Gardening Act of 2019, highlighted in previous episodes the importance of establishing food gardens as a sustainable practice to help ensure food supply and availability, while helping address climate impacts. This upcoming episode will also provide practical tips to encourage households and communities to save their own seeds and grow food the permaculture or organic and sustainable way. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 29, 2020 Monday
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