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CLIMATE CHAMPION. Volleyball superstar Bryan Bagunas partners with the Climate Change Commission in promoting sustainable lifestyle choices and practices. [Photo credits to Bryan Bagunas] MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 18 January 2024 – To heighten awareness on climate change issues among the youth, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has collaborated with Bryan Bagunas, the first Filipino professional volleyball player to earn a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award outside the country. At the top of his game Hailing from Balayan, Batangas, Bryan Berroya Bagunas currently plays as an import for Taichung’s Win Streak. He showcased a remarkable performance of 42 points, leading the team to dethrone the seven-time champion, the Pingtung Taipower. Bagunas began his career with the National University (NU) Bulldogs, securing  back-to-back championship victories in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Men’s Volleyball League for Seasons 80 and 81. He received the Finals MVP award for both seasons and was honored as the three-time best server of the league from Seasons 79 to 81. Bagunas capped off his final year at UAAP in Season 81 with the Season MVP Award. Post-UAAP, Bagunas gained recognition in the regional volleyball arena as a key player for the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team in the SEA Games 2017 and 2019, achieving a historic silver medal finish for the country since its last podium finish back in 2005. In mid-2019, he attracted international scouts, signing up with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in Japan. Later, Bagunas joined the Win Streak in August 2022, earning  the MVP  award for Taiwan’s Top Volleyball League (TVL) Season 22-23, playing as Taichung  Win Streak’s outside hitter. A climate champion in the making Beyond volleyball, the 6-foot-5 outside hitter passionately addresses climate change. Having witnessed and experienced many disastrous typhoons in the Philippines, Bagunas emphasizes the urgent need to address improper waste management. This commitment anchors his venture as a climate change champion. The collaboration between Bagunas and the CCC highlights the Philippines’ vulnerability to climate change. Between 2011 and 2021, the country suffered losses and damages totaling PHP 673.30 billion due to tropical cyclones alone – 27% larger than the 2023 budget for social work (PHP 197 billion) and public health (PHP 296.3 billion), combined. This exemplifies the economic losses the country sustains due to typhoons. Knowing this, Bagunas hopes to inspire Filipinos, especially the youth, to help address the effects of climate change in the little-big ways they can. The volleyball star envisions a green, clean, and sustainable future that the next generations of Filipinos can enjoy and sustain. “Nasa edad na ako para magkapamilya at gusto ko na ang mga magiging anak ko at mga future generations ay maranasan na mabuhay sa isang fresh at malinis na mundo,” Bagunas said during an interview with CCC. “Gusto ko rin na sila [future generations] ay maging responsable sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan,” he added. Practicing and promoting sustainability While playing for a team overseas, Bagunas actively participates in the Philippines’ climate efforts through this campaign, aiming to influence Filipinos to adopt and promote a sustainable lifestyle. It underscores the importance of integrating effective, systematic, and easy waste-management practices into daily routines in response to climate crises and plastic pollution.   Inspired by the eco-friendly practices he observed from the countries where he played, Bagunas centers his advocacy on waste management and sustainable lifestyle. In one segment, he discusses the 4Rs in addressing climate change – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – and encourages everyone to adopt these principles. “Bilang import nakita ko yung mga local practices nila na napakaganda…napaka-istrikto nila pagdating sa pag-segregate ng basura. Sa transportation, maraming nagkalat na mga bikes na pwedeng rentahan kahit nino. Gusto ko na ma-adopt yun ng mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga kabataan,” the athlete narrated. According to the World Bank’s “Market Studies for the Philippines: Plastic Circularity Opportunities and Barriers,” around 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic worldwide leak into the oceans yearly, with Asia contributing over 80% of this marine leakage. The Philippines ranks third globally, producing over 2.7 million tons of plastic waste annually, with 20% or 0.75 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic ending up in the ocean. These figures underscore the necessity of involving Filipino communities in adopting effective and sustainable waste-management practices starting at the grassroots level. The campaign videos highlight the vital role of youth participation in combating climate change, echoing the famous line of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, “Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” In a data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it was found that 31.40 million Filipino youth are more than willing to adopt a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. While this is already a huge milestone for the Philippines, Bagunas, together with the CCC hopes to ramp this up even higher by reaching out more to the youth. Through the collaboration, the volleyball player urges all Filipino youth, athletes, and the public to proactively participate in climate efforts, rallying together with the Climate Change Commission to ensure a green and sustainable future. Likewise, these videos demonstrate the CCC’s commitment to engage every Filipino in the fight against climate change, irrespective of age, status, and profession. For more information about the CCC’s mainstreaming activities, visit https://www.climate.gov.ph and https://www.facebook.com/cccphl.
January 18, 2024 Thursday
QUEZON CITY, 21 November 2023 – At the Climate Investment Forum (CIF) 2023 held yesterday at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, key stakeholders from the public and private sectors sought to establish conducive conditions for climate-related investments aligned with national policies and sectoral needs. Stronger collaboration between the government and private sector is necessary to scale up sustainable and green investments that propel economic growth, as laid out in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.  In a keynote address, Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno outlined the country's first Sustainable Finance Roadmap which sets the stage for a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to promote sustainable finance. The roadmap includes strategic plans such as integrating risk management, encouraging climate related disclosures, and participating in international initiatives.  "We are laying the groundwork for enabling a just transition where every sector, every community, and individual can thrive," he emphasized. Diokno highlighted the crucial role of the “Green Forces” alluding to the Inter-agency Technical Working Group for Sustainable Finance. This body reviews the sustainable finance landscape, addresses policy gaps, and integrates sustainability into microeconomic policies.  Director Nieva Natural of the National Economic and Development Authority presented enabling mechanisms for climate investment, including the PDP 2023-2038, emphasizing the need for investments from the private sector to augment public investments and funds. The World Bank, through its Country Climate and Development Report, explained the benefits of investing in climate solutions. The report states that “the cost of climate adaptation is substantial but easily outweighed by the economic benefits of reduced climate damage. Mitigation measures would increase GDP by about 0.5 percent in 2040 and generate 80,000 jobs.” For his part, Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, reiterated UNDP's commitment to supporting the country's efforts in climate-resilient development and accelerating climate investment and financing.  Emphasizing the need for increased private sector engagement, Dr. Ramachandran stated, "Together, we can forge a path towards sustainable development, harnessing the strength of bayanihan for positive change." The event also featured a presentation on the Strategic Investment Priority Plan by Director Sandra Marie Recolizado of the Board of Investments.  Panel discussions ensued. The first session was moderated by Mr. Bonar Laureto of SyCip, Gorres, Velayo and Company.  It featured Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Leonel Cray De Velez and Department of Energy Director Willian Quinto addressing topics on steering investments towards a low-carbon pathway.  The second panelists included  Ms. Maria Christine Ponce Garcia of Nestle Incorporated, Mr. Peterson Fernandez  of Globe, Mr. Edwin Carrie of UNDP and Mr. Marcel Silvius of the Global Green Growth Institute who delved into the theme of advancing adaptation actions. Discussions followed during the open forum, covering topics such as security concerns in climate programs, private sector thoughts on new technologies, and challenges faced by organizations in investing more in climate action. Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera concluded the forum, summarizing key insights and emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to address climate challenges. In her closing remarks, she expressed optimism for the country’s sustainable future, noting that the Philippines is poised to lead the region in sustainable finance, fostering innovation and prioritizing climate-related investments. “With sustained support of our partners from the private sector and business community, we shall be leveraging on boosting collaboration aimed towards maximizing opportunities and available resources beyond the defined landscape of climate financing,” she pointed out.  Commissioner Herrera said that in line with the pronouncements upheld by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., “we must mitigate, adapt to, and be part of the solution – embark on advocacies, programs, and initiatives that will help us preserve our home.”  “This year’s CIF serves as a testament that through our strong collaboration, we can achieve and accomplish more. We hope to further strengthen our linkages beyond this forum, in the aim of carrying out fit-for-purpose and transformational climate interventions,” she concluded. The CIF 2023 is part of the 16th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week happening from November 19 to 25, 2023. It serves as a platform for enhanced collaboration between the government and private sector, addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities in climate  investments. The forum seeks to expedite the transition towards a climate-resilient and low-carbon future. For updates on the CCC Week commemoration visit the Climate Change Commission’s website at https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/cccphl.
November 21, 2023 Tuesday
(left) CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje together with officials and representatives from BARMM Ministries in the Capacity Building Program. (right) CCC and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy release turtle hatchlings in Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, Davao City.   MANILA, 25 October 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), conducted the Capacity Building Program for Ministries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to foster climate resilience in the region. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, highlighted the immense challenges faced by the BARMM region, emphasizing the need for transformative governance to combat climate change effectively. “We may face the same storm, but our vessels differ. Some have advanced radars and engines; we have the most basic. We must transform ourselves into the most resilient, the most capable vessel so that we can proceed with our journey not just for peace, not just for development, but for sustainability, progress, and full prosperity for our people,” said Borje. BARMM Minister Akmad Brahim echoed Secretary Borje's sentiments, emphasizing the need for proactive planning and building resilience in the face of climate change. “By engaging in proactive national and local planning, we can improve our ability to prevent future disasters and adapt to the changing climate. This requires good governance informed by sound climate science,” said Brahim. UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Edwin Carrie stressed the interconnectedness of climate change, peace and development issues, and emphasized the importance of prioritizing financing to effectively tackle climate change impacts at the local level. “Development is not a checklist of separate development issues such as climate, such as peace, such as poverty reduction, such as effective governance. Those are interconnected development issues that interact and impact into the development trajectory of any country,” said Carrie. The Capacity Building Program, attended by technical representatives from 15 ministries, covered topics such as Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), People's Survival Fund (PSF) project proposals, and the conduct of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and climate change expenditure tagging (CCET). The CCC thanked BARMM ministries, LGUs, and all stakeholders for their active participation in the Capacity Building Program. This collaborative effort marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards a sustainable, climate-resilient future. Conserving marine biodiversity In a parallel event, the CCC joins hands with BARMM’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy in releasing turtle hatchlings in Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, Davao City. The activity underscores the CCC's dedication to safeguarding marine biodiversity and protecting vulnerable species from the impacts of climate change. Sea turtles, essential to our oceans particularly in maintaining healthy coral reefs, were released as part of a crucial conservation effort. "By participating in the release of these hatchlings, we are not just conserving a species; we are contributing to the overall health and resilience of our marine environment," Borje emphasized. The CCC encourages the public to join in this endeavor by learning more about sea turtles and supporting local conservation initiatives for a sustainable environment. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
October 25, 2023 Wednesday
The People’s Survival Fund Board approves project proposals endorsed by the Climate Change Commission. Photo courtesy of the PSF Board Secretariat.   MANILA, Philippines | 25 October 2023 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) lauds the approval of projects geared toward increasing the adaptive capacity of local government units (LGUs) through climate change adaptation by the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board.   In its 20th meeting held on Monday, the PSF Board approved five climate change adaptation projects endorsed by the CCC amounting to Php 540.3 million. “The PSF Board’s approval of these five projects signals a pivotal message on the value of advancing adaptation measures at the local and community level, especially at a time when risks and challenges posed by climate change demand immediate and urgent actions,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. He thanked Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, PSF Board Chair, for his leadership and commitment in advancing the objectives of the PSF. Borje also thanked the PSF Board members for their sustained effort and collaboration throughout the review and evaluation, and field validation exercises, which led to CCC endorsement and PSF Board’s project approvals. These projects are submissions of LGUs from the PSF Board-issued Call for Proposals in February to April 2023. Adaptation interventions to be implemented by LGUs include establishment of climate field school for farmers, flood protection, river ecosystem management, installation of solar-powered pumps, and mangrove rehabilitation. “With the benefits to be provided by these projects, the PSF will be able to demonstrate effective and sustainable practices on local climate actions, championing the resilience of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change,” Borje added.  During the same meeting, the PSF Board approved a Php 2-million Project Development Grant (PDG) for the Municipality of Besao, Mountain Province to undertake project preparatory activities such as hydrological and geotechnical studies to establish rationale of the LGU’s adaptation intervention. The said approvals enabled 17 LGUs to receive support from the PSF and its PDG. Among the previously approved projects are from Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; Gerona, Tarlac; Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; Sarangani Province; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu. The CCC, in coordination with the DOF, is working on further streamlining the accession of PSF through enhancement of the processes entailed by project proposals from submission until the approval stage.    Created through Republic Act No. 10174, amending the Climate Change Act of 2009, the PSF is a long-stream finance for adaptation projects of local government units and community organizations. Its goal is to enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems to climate change. The CCC is likewise mandated to conduct the Climate Rationale Review and Evaluation (CRRE) of project proposals submitted for PSF, convening the National Panel of Technical Experts to look into the climate rationale of projects. The CRRE process takes into consideration the historical and present data, ensuring that projects are fit-for-purpose and responsive to specific climate risks and vulnerabilities of an LGU. For more information on the PSF, visit the CCC’s website at climate.gov.ph or the People's Survival Fund Facebook page.
October 25, 2023 Wednesday
Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert E.A. Borje addresses NGOs and other stakeholders at the Facing the Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development forum   MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 19 October 2023 – The Climate Change Commission highlights the crucial role of collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) in pursuing climate action, particularly in resilience-building efforts, in a public forum yesterday. “Our gathering today marks an initial step towards our partnership to further contribute to climate action. For climate change, no task is too big or too small. Participation in programs and activities, like tree and mangrove planting and coastal cleanups – when done together, simultaneously – can make a huge difference,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, in a public forum held to commemorate the Social Development Week 2023. With the theme, “Facing the Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development,” the forum was sponsored by the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), one of the country’s largest groups of CSOs, composed of 12 national and regional networks representing 1,600 non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and cooperatives. Borje pointed out that the CCC, under the guidance of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr., has established and strengthened partnerships with stakeholders, including civil society organizations, development partners, the private sector, and local government units through various coordination mechanisms, including the "Working to Empower Climate Action Network” or “WE CAN", tailored specifically for civil society organizations. “The Commission counts on your active involvement in this resilience-building effort. But we can do more if we continue to work together. The CCC champions advocacies where all of you can take part. May we continue to be part of the solution to this global governance challenge of our generation,” he said. “In the end, all our actions and initiatives will count as means to save lives, protect our livelihoods, and secure our future. As partners, sama-sama tayong magkaisa tungo sa isang bagong bansang matatag,” Borje added. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga also emphasized the importance of multistakeholder collaboration and partnerships. “We aim for inclusive processes recognizing that every voice needs to be heard, and for partners to secure co-benefits and build resilience for a truly whole-of-society effort in addressing climate change,” she said. For updates on the Philippines’ climate mainstreaming activities, visit the Climate Change Commission’s website at https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/cccphl.
October 19, 2023 Thursday
Pasay City, Metro Manila, 10 October 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the mitigation and adaptation benefits of nature-based solutions in urban areas at the Philippine Urban Forum 2023 held on October 5-6, 2023 in PICC, Pasay City. Nature-based solutions involve working with nature to address societal challenges, like climate change. These include actions that are broadly categorized as the protection, restoration, or management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems; sustainable management of working lands and aquatic systems; and the creation of novel or human-built ecosystems. “Our cities are facing unprecedented challenges due to the triple planetary crises of pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Urban areas compound these crises but have a fundamental role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through nature-based solutions that offer innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions and enhance overall climate resilience,” said CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera. Urban development experts presented existing and potential applications of nature-based solutions, including the sustainable management project of the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Renewable Energy Technologies (RETS) project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) which assists seaweed farmers in Tawi-Tawi, and the biodiversity conservation programs funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany. The UN-Habitat also presented its Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities Initiative focusing on circular economy and nature-based solutions in the urban environment. Commissioner Herrera acknowledged the tremendous potential of nature-based solutions, but also recognized the challenges surrounding their implementation. “Urban spaces that are suitable for nature-based solutions depend on the topography, physical structure, and urban density, therefore projects must be contextualized to the local environment. Governance for nature-based solutions requires the active cooperation and coordinated action between multiple stakeholders with different priorities and interests, as well as adequate knowledge and resources,” said Herrera. Since nature-based solutions are mostly components of wider scope climate adaptation and urban greening projects, Commissioner Herrera also encouraged local government units to tap the Green, Green, Green Program under the Local Government Support Fund, which provides funding for the construction, rehabilitation, repair, or improvement of projects for green open spaces, such as public parks and plazas, arboretum, and botanical gardens. “We need to strengthen our efforts that would champion the benefits of nature-based solutions as viable measures in saving our future and our planet. Nature-based solutions are an integral piece to the whole picture of our efforts on climate action,” Herrera concluded. The Philippine Urban Forum 2023 (PhUF), with the theme “Transforming our Cities and Building Resilient Communities,” is spearheaded by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The PhUF is the country’s largest multi stakeholder platform for knowledge and technology exchange on sustainable human settlements and urban development, highlighting the Philippine New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals 2030. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPHL.
October 16, 2023 Monday
Global and national leaders convene for the launch of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2024   PASAY CITY, 14 October 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) supports the Philippines in its role as the host country for the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) in 2024. The official launch of the conference was held today, coinciding with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Key figures such as Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, formally inaugurated the conference. Scheduled from October 14 to 17, 2024 in Manila, the APMCDRR will serve as the primary regional platform where global leaders convene to identify solutions to disaster risk issues and promote coordination and cooperation on the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Asia and the Pacific. The launch witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement by representatives from national government agencies, the private sector, and development partners. The CCC, one of the member agencies of the 2024 APMCDRR Inter-Agency Committee, recognizes the importance of this conference, especially in the context of the escalating climate crisis. "The Climate Change Commission fully supports the Philippines hosting of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The APMCDRR places the Philippines firmly at the locus of regional and global convergent action on climate change, disasters and biodiversity loss through improved governance and strengthened collaboration toward resilience," CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje said. Alongside the APMCDRR launch, the CCC actively participated in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Exhibit (Market Place) held as part of the 10th Top Leaders Forum. Mostly students,  the visitors explored the CCC's booth, which showcased local climate resilience efforts and initiatives. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
October 14, 2023 Saturday
The Awardees of the Philippine Resilience Awards for Women together with the members of the Selection Committee.   MANILA, 12 October 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in collaboration with the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, Philippine Commission on Women, Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, National Resilience Council, ARISE Philippines, WIN DRR Philippines, and SM Prime Holdings, Inc., honored exceptional women leaders during the Philippine Resilience Awards for Women - Awarding Ceremony held today. The event recognized the following awardees, each hailing from diverse backgrounds and demonstrating commitment to building climate and disaster-resilient communities: 1. Hon. Maria Josefina Belmonte - Mayor of Quezon City, for championing resilient food systems and sustainable livelihood through the City’s Community-based Urban Farming Program. 2. Ms. Alicia Ilaga - Director of the Climate Resilient Agriculture Office of the Department of Agriculture, for her commitment to community-based resilience in vulnerable farming communities through the Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) Program. 3. Hon. Maria Catalina Cabral - Undersecretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for championing critical infrastructure resilience in the implementation of DPWH infrastructure projects. 4. Dr. Shirley Agrupis - University President of Mariano Marcos State University, for her dedication to green technological innovations, including enhancing sustainable local bioethanol production using nipa sap. 5. Ms. Maria Vicente Jalandoni - President of the Base Bahay Foundation, Inc., for her efforts in promoting sustainable, resilient, and ecological housing through Cement-Bamboo Frame Technology (CBFT). 6. Dr. Urduja Alvarado - University President of Cagayan State University, for her community-based resilience initiatives, focusing on ecological development and empowerment of mangrove communities in Gonzaga, Cagayan. 7. Dr. Joy Mirasol - University President of Bukidnon State University, for championing bio-cultural diversity conservation and resilience through the strengthened and empowered management of Mindanao Protected Areas. 8. Ms. Nida Collado - Farmer and President of the Macatumbalen Community Based Forest and Coastal Management Association, for her leadership in community-based sustainable forest management and environmental conservation in San Vicente, Palawan. 9. Sr. Arcelita Sarnillo - Hospital Administrator of St. Paul's Hospital of Iloilo, Inc., for recognizing the link between human health and environmental conditions, championing green, sustainable, and climate-resilient healthcare through the Green and Healthy Hospital Program. 10. Ms. Mila Bogñabal - President of Joroan Farmers and Fisherfolks Association, for her efforts in promoting resilient food systems and sustainable livelihood in Joroan Tiwi, Albay, through the implementation of climate-resilient agricultural practices. Additionally, the CCC provided the Accelerator Fund for Grassroots Organizations to Ms. Collado and Ms. Bogñalbal, supporting their projects focused on teaching sustainable practices, enhancing disaster preparedness, and promoting eco-friendly technologies at the community level. These exceptional women leaders are a testament to the power of resilience, dedication, and innovation in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and disasters. "As environmental warriors, your influence and dedication will drive positive change, foster collaboration, and build a resilient world for future generations," said Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda. "It is your role to give Filipinos hope that together, we can work toward a safer planet, free from the devastating impacts of natural disasters and climate change," she added. CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director  Robert E.A. Borje emphasized, "These  women exemplify the spirit of resilience that our nation needs. Their actions echo a powerful message – that the collective efforts of individuals can indeed transform communities and safeguard our environment." CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera added, "Today’s awardees showcase the impactful intersection of dedication and innovation. We celebrate their achievements and are inspired by their commitment." Established in 2013 by Senator Loren Legarda, the Philippine Resilience Awards have been an inspiration for local leaders striving to build climate and disaster-resilient communities. Today’s ceremony highlighted the remarkable initiatives and projects undertaken by outstanding women leaders in the field of resilience. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
October 12, 2023 Thursday
The Climate Change Commission, represented by Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio O. Cuenca (left), and Japan International Cooperation Agency, represented by Philippines’ Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto (right), signed a Letter of Understanding for the Data Collection Survey for Climate Change Measure and Green Transformation.   MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 6 October 2023 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) has partnered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to further enhance the country’s climate change initiatives and programs. This collaboration was formalized through the signing of a Letter of Understanding (LOU) last October 3. This partnership, centered on the Data Collection Survey for Climate Change Measure and Green Transformation, marks the first direct and official collaboration between the CCC and JICA. CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje emphasized that JICA has been a "proven bilateral partner in climate change initiatives." With JICA's vast experience in addressing climate-related challenges, Borje said the collaboration "presents valuable opportunities to enhance our programs, to fine-tune our strategies, and to build the capacities to broaden knowledge and skills." Through the Data Collection Survey, the Philippines can count on JICA for fit-for-purpose and needs-based technical support and capacity-building, crucial for the timely and effective implementation of policies and measures set out in the Nationally Determined Contribution. The Philippine NDC underscores the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75%, aligned with global mitigation goals and sustainable development aspirations. Historically, the Philippines found support from esteemed bilateral partners like JICA, emphasizing the significance of international collaboration in confronting climate and environmental challenges. "Japan has already committed, in the “ASEAN-Japan Climate Change Action Agenda 2.0,” to collaborate with ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, to achieve a decarbonized and resilient society," said  Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative of JICA Philippines. “We are very keen to support your efforts for the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, considering the concept of the Paris Agreement,” he added. The CCC conveyed its appreciation to JICA for their "steadfast support over the years and in the upcoming years, and for entrusting the Climate Change Commission to lead this cooperative data collection effort alongside various Philippine government agencies stakeholders." "We recognize that climate policies and actions are most successful when stakeholders and partners actively participate in the development, implementation and monitoring. When we effectively engage and actively work at every stage, we bridge gaps, and create a coherent and effective approach to climate change, and this is when we make a difference,” Borje added. JICA is an established bilateral partner in climate change initiatives, offering multiple collaborative opportunities that significantly benefit the Philippines’ government programs. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
October 06, 2023 Friday
Climate Change Commission Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje meets with His Excellency Ahmed Saad N. Al-Homidi, Qatar's Ambassador to the Philippines, to explore avenues for collaboration in transformative climate action.   MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 5 October 2023 — The Philippines and the State of Qatar have pledged to leverage each other's strengths and expertise in building the skills and capacities of key stakeholders, including local communities, to adapt to and mitigate climate change and its impacts. Climate Change Commission (CCC) Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje expressed thanks to His Excellency Ahmed Saad N. Al- Homidi, the State of Qatar's Ambassador to the Philippines, for Qatar’s continuing support to the Philippines over the years. Borje recognized Qatar’s partnership with the Philippines, citing that continued support, including climate change initiatives, would be an important dimension of bolstered, mature and modern bilateral relations. “We are working closely with Qatar in line with President Marcos' vision to address the climate crisis through collaboration with the international community. Qatar's expertise and support can greatly benefit the Philippines to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change,” Borje said. Highlighted in the discussions were potential areas of cooperation between the two countries, and the need to establish a formal cooperation agreement focusing on technical assistance and policy development, particularly in areas under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The CCC extended an official invitation to Qatar to become a member of the contact group “Empowering Nurtured Alliance for Climate Action and Transformation,” or ENACT. It is the CCC’s coordination mechanism with development partners and embassies to facilitate regular dialogue and enhance the exchange of ideas and best practices between the two nations on climate-related issues. Ambassador Al-Homidi emphasized Qatar's long-standing relationship with the Philippines and conveyed their willingness to further cooperate in achieving the country's climate agenda. “The Philippines is a very important country for Qatar, and we want to explore engagement opportunities to make the bilateral relationship stronger. Our countries are working on signing a Memorandum of Understanding that will benefit both of us and serve as a catalyst for more bilateral partnerships,” Ambassador Al-Homidi said. The Philippines and the State of Qatar affirmed the importance of strengthening partnerships and working together towards transformative climate action. For more information on the Climate Change Commission’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPHL
October 05, 2023 Thursday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, NRC Executive Director Silvestre Z. Barrameda, Jr., and Samantha Bacaron, NRC Program Officer signed the Memorandum of Agreement between the two agencies for the Philippine Resilience Awards 2023: Category for Women.   MANILA, 27 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), together with the National Resilience Council (NRC), formalized its commitment to gender-responsive climate action in the Philippines through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the 2023 Philippine Resilience Awards (PRA): Category for Women. The PRA, a collaborative initiative by the CCC, NRC, the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, SM Cares, the Philippine Commission on Women, and the Women International Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (WINDRR)-Philippines, celebrates and acknowledges the outstanding resilience-building efforts of local women leaders across the country. Envisioned as an annual event, the PRA aims to honor and document best practices in Gender and Climate Action. The call for nominations for the 2023 PRA Awards was initiated on 22 August 2023, and concluded on 23 September 2023, garnering a total of 62 nominations. Guided by Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, the CCC has been steadfast in incorporating a gender-sensitive, pro-children, and pro-poor approach into the design and implementation of the government’s climate change efforts, plans, and programs. In his remarks, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje emphasized the vital role women play in climate action. “For our climate action to be truly reflective of the various needs of our communities, and truly make these initiatives transformative, we need women, we need them to be part of leadership, of decision-making, and of the critical mass that will move our nation towards greater climate resilience,” Borje said. Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera underscored the importance of collaboration among agencies to achieve climate goals. She said, “We recognize that achieving resilience requires massive transformation in our individual and societal behavior, enabled by an environment that fully embraces and practices sustainable and resilience-building initiatives, and we know that we need help from partner agencies and organizations to accelerate actions within our sectors and communities.” In parallel, the NRC, mandated to strengthen disaster resilience across the country, recognizes the pressing need to reinforce gender mainstreaming in climate change and disaster resilience work through the PRA. “Through the establishment of a network of resilience champions, this partnership empowers others to embark on similar journeys. It nurtures mentorship, fostering a culture of knowledge and experience that is shared and the inspiration of resilience is kept alive,” said NRC Executive Director Silvestre Z. Barrameda, Jr. To showcase the first Philippine Resilience Award for Local Women Leaders, the CCC and NRC will spearhead a learning session with the 2023 PRA awardees in November 2023 as part of the 16th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week. Both the CCC and NRC affirmed their commitment to expand the partnership beyond the PRA, working towards strengthening institutions and local governments to advance gender equality and climate resilience in the Philippines. “Our ultimate goal, after all, is to uplift the lives, livelihoods, and the future of every Filipino. Importante at mahalaga na ang partisipasyon ng bawat Pilipina ay maipasok natin sa mga ginagawa nating aksyon,” Borje added. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
September 27, 2023 Wednesday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje addressing the real estate and housing industry stakeholders at the 50th Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Association Inc. National Convention and House Expo   PASAY CITY, 27 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the critical impact of climate change on the real estate and housing industry at the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Association Inc.’s (CREBA) 50th National Convention and House Expo. In his address to industry stakeholders, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje commended the remarkable achievements of CREBA over the past five decades and emphasized the organization's fundamental role in driving social and economic growth in the Philippines. However, Borje also highlighted the climate challenges facing the Philippines. Typhoons alone have caused significant losses and damages amounting to Php673.30 billion, affecting the lives, livelihoods, and future of millions of Filipinos. “Adequate housing means having a safe, secure, and affordable place to live with access to basic services. Therefore, measures for climate change adaptation and mitigation must consider this fundamental human right,” he emphasized. Borje outlined several government initiatives aimed at climate-smart adaptation and mitigation, including the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and Green Jobs. Likewise, he stressed the importance of incorporating climate-smart standards in buildings and construction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We must decarbonize the building and construction sectors, reduce the waste they generate, and build with less. Collaboration throughout the building sector's lifecycle, involving everyone from architects and designers to contractors and operators, is vital to the success of these efforts,” he added. Borje called for collaborative efforts between the government and the private sector in addressing climate change. He urged CREBA members and industry stakeholders to prioritize the development of climate-resilient and green communities to protect people and properties from the impacts of climate change, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Every brick we lay, every beam we set, carries the hopes and dreams of our nation. As leading figures in the real estate sector, you possess both the influence and the responsibility to mold a brighter, eco-conscious future. Let us pledge to shape a greener, more sustainable tomorrow for every Filipino,” Borje concluded. The National Adaptation Plan serves as a long-term support mechanism to enhance community resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts, while the Nationally Determined Contribution reflects the Philippines' commitment to progressive climate change mitigation, fostering low-carbon, sustainable, and climate-resilient development. Through Green Jobs, the CCC and other government agencies incentivize environmentally friendly practices within businesses, contributing to job creation and green investments. CREBA convened the Golden Jubilee National Convention and House Expo to celebrate its 50th founding anniversary. The event aimed to reaffirm CREBA members' commitment to drive land and housing development as a catalyst for economic and social progress. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
September 27, 2023 Wednesday
CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera with the students of Philippine Science High School - Southern Mindanao Campus (PSHS-SMC)   DAVAO, 18 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) congratulated students and parents at the Philippine Science High School - Southern Mindanao Campus’s (PSHS-SMC) 35th Recognition Day Program, and encouraged them to take an active role in addressing the critical issue of climate change. In her address, CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera shared a comprehensive overview of climate change, highlighting its profound impacts on both local and global scales. She shared poignant examples, including Davao’s own experience. It is a region historically unaffected by floods and typhoons, but in 2012, it was not spared from the wrath of Typhoon Pablo – the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit Mindanao, destroying villages and killing over 1,000 people. Highlighting the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, Herrera drew attention to the recent record-breaking heat in July 2023, recognized by the World Meteorological Organization as the hottest month ever recorded. She echoed the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, stating that "the era of global warming has ended, and the era of global boiling has begun." She underscored that vulnerable communities, including youth, children, and women, are disproportionately affected by climate change, with severe floods, droughts, and temperature increases wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods. Commissioner Herrera emphasized the transformative power of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in addressing the pressing challenges facing the nation and the world, including climate change. She urged the students to recognize their significant role in climate action, emphasizing that climate change is a challenge that we are already facing and must be addressed head-on. In closing, Commissioner Herrera, an esteemed alumna of PSHS-SMC, encouraged students not only to engage in discussions about climate change within the classroom, but also to actively participate in decision-making processes within their school organizations and local and national government bodies to drive climate action. She gave them a powerful message: “You are not just the future, you are the present. Start small if you must, but create a ripple effect through your contributions. Reshape the world through science. Embrace your role as Earth’s stewards.” For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
September 18, 2023 Monday
Participants of the training workshop on Enhanced Local Climate Change Action Plan in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, organized by the Climate Change Commission   PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN, 18 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) recently concluded a series of capacity-building activities in Palawan aimed at strengthening the province’s Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) and facilitating access to the People's Survival Fund (PSF). The training workshop on Enhanced Local Climate Change Action Plan (eLCCAP) provided a comprehensive understanding of the key components of the LCCAP, and knowledge about developing science-based and risk-informed plans. The training featured lecture-discussions and hands-on workshops covering a wide range of topics. These include understanding climate projections and Climate Extremes Risk Analysis Matrix (CERAM), an introduction to the eLCCAP formulation process, climate and disaster risk assessment (CDRA) procedures, an overview of community-level greenhouse gas inventory and data requirements, methodologies for estimating GHG emissions across sectors, and a walkthrough of the GHG Inventory Toolkit. Additionally, it encompassed climate change expenditure tagging (CCET) and the PSF process. A total of 78 representatives from 23 local government units (LGUs) participated in the training workshop, representing various offices such as the Planning and Development Office, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Agriculture Office, Environment and Natural Resource Office, as well as members of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) Palawan Chapter. “We recognize the vital role of LGUs in adaptation and climate resilience. Through these capacity-building activities, we aim to enhance the capacity of our LGUs to access and utilize the PSF in initiatives that will help their communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change," said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. The CCC remains steadfast in providing the necessary support and resources to strengthen the capabilities of LGUs throughout the country. This commitment includes the continuous provision of capacity-building programs focused on CDRA, GHGI, and PSF proposal development, as well as establishing a contact group mechanism between CCC, LGUs, the Provincial Government of Palawan, and PIEP Palawan Chapter to monitor the progress of LGUs' eLCCAP development. “We will continue working closely with the Province of Palawan, along with other LGUs in the country, to ensure the successful implementation of the eLCCAP and further enhance resilience against climate change impacts,” VCED Borje added. The LCCAP serves as a roadmap for local-level climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, outlining specific actions and measures tailored to the unique needs and vulnerabilities of each locality. The submission of the LCCAP is a key deliverable mandated by Republic Act 9729, or the Climate Change Act, and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2021-068. As of 23 August 2023, 85.95%, or 1,474 out of 1,715 LGUs across the country, have successfully submitted their LCCAPs to the CCC. Notably, the Province of Palawan has achieved a 100% compliance rate, with all 25 LGUs having submitted their LCCAPs. The CCC is actively collaborating with the Department of Interior and Local Government - Local Government Agency and other relevant partners to equip LGUs and other stakeholders with the knowledge and skills required to develop effective climate action plans and implement climate adaptation and mitigation measures. These capacity-building initiatives have benefited 1,342 LGUs, representing 78% of the total 1,715 LGUs in the country. Additionally, 167 state universities and colleges (SUCs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) have also gained from these activities.   For more information on the Climate Change Commission’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPHL.
September 18, 2023 Monday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje addresses students during "Insights: Climate Change, Changing Landscapes, and Behaviors" event at the Far Eastern University.   MANILA, 13 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) engaged students from the Far Eastern University (FEU) to bring to the forefront the critical issue of climate change and to highlight the role of the youth in addressing the crisis. In a discussion on "Insights: Climate Change, Changing Landscapes and Behaviors,"  CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje underscored that “climate change stands as the global governance challenge of our generation. Its systemic and historic nature transcends borders, and no nation or locality can effectively combat it in isolation.” He pointed out the pivotal roles that the academe, students, youth, and communicators play in the realm of climate change and resilience-building. Borje expressed great confidence in the youth, as they are bound to assume leadership roles in the near future, making their active involvement important. Addressing the students directly, Borje issued both an encouragement and a challenge, stating, "I encourage and challenge you to be part of the solution. Our actions and initiatives are the means to save lives, protect our livelihoods, and secure our future." He emphasized that climate change disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable, especially developing countries like the Philippines, and urgent action is needed to mitigate its devastating effects. The CCC's National Panel of Technical Experts identified 10 climate-induced risks in the Philippines. These risks are affecting communities and livelihoods, particularly economic growth and development, food security, and migration and displacement. Borje shared that the CCC has been instrumental in developing policies and programs to support local communities, including the Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. Substantial budget allocations have also been made to advance climate initiatives. He highlighted the significance of collaboration with various stakeholders, including local government units, civil society organizations, the private sector, and development partners, to advance climate action. The Commission is currently pursuing advocacies such as the Net Zero Carbon Challenge to engage stakeholders in collective action. Borje concluded with a unifying message, "As partners, sama-sama tayong magkaisa tungo sa isang bagong bansang matatag" (Together, let us unite towards a stronger nation). The event was attended by students pursuing Bachelor of Art in Communications, Humanitarian Communication, and National Service Training Program courses. The CCC reaffirms its unwavering commitment to inspire change, raise awareness, and foster unity in securing a sustainable future through meaningful collaborative contributions to climate action. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
September 13, 2023 Wednesday
CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, Atty. Siavash Rahbari, Country Manager of IDLO Philippines, Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves, PCW Executive Director, and DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh led the virtual ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for “Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Action through the Rule of Law” project.   MANILA, 08 SEPTEMBER 2023 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is committed to a whole-of-government and whole-of-world approach in advancing women's and girls' engagement in climate action. The CCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the IDLO’s “Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Action through the Rule of Law” project. The project will provide technical assistance to the government on: (1) the conduct of legal assessment on Gender, Climate Change, and Environment-related laws and policies; and (2) capacity-building on Gender and Climate Change for civil society organizations. The MOU was signed through a virtual ceremony led by CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, Chair of the CCC Gender and Development Focal Point System, Atty. Siavash Rahbari, Country Manager of IDLO Philippines, Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves, PCW Executive Director, and DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, Chair of the DENR Gender and Development Focal Point System. "This partnership will be instrumental in our efforts to assess how our current laws and public resources  enable, or if they at all hinder, the empowerment of women and other vulnerable sectors. Ultimately, we want to address policy gaps and pave the way for women to take on more leadership and decision-making roles in climate programs so that our actions are more effective as they consider women’s perspectives," Herrera said. Building partnerships is among the thrusts of the CCC in its role as the lead policymaking and coordination body within the government on climate change matters. Under the Climate Change Act, the CCC is mandated to ensure that all government policies, plans, programs, and projects are gender-sensitive. “This MOU will catalyze and reinforce gender mainstreaming through environmental and climate change policies and legislation,” emphasized CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. IDLO is an intergovernmental entity that promotes the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development based in The Hague, Netherlands. For more information about the CCC’s gender mainstreaming activities, visit the website of the CCC at https://climate.gov.ph and https://niccdies.climate.gov.ph/.
September 08, 2023 Friday
Tons of plastic waste are suffocating coastal and mangrove ecosystems, such as in the Tanza Marine Tree Park in Navotas.   MANILA, 8 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) commits to safeguarding mangrove ecosystems against the dual threat of climate change and plastic pollution. Mangroves, found in many coastal areas around the world, are ecosystems that serve as crucial carbon sinks. It also protects coastal communities from storm surges, and provides habitat for various species of animals. However, plastic pollution poses an immediate threat to mangroves. Plastic waste disrupts their growth and function, ultimately leading to their degradation as well as to the animals that rely on these habitats for survival. Its ability to sequester carbon and act as a natural coastal defense is also compromised. “Recognizing the benefits of mangroves, we must understand that enhancing our environment for improved climate resilience demands cross-sector collaboration,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. To mark the National Cleanup Month this September, a coastal cleanup drive was conducted at Tanza Marine Tree Park, Navotas City, led by Nestlé Philippines. Tanza Marine Tree Park, also known as "Isla Pulo," stands as the guardian of Metro Manila's last naturally grown mangrove forest, stretching over 26 hectares along the Manila Bay coastline. A total of 1,320 kilograms of waste composed of PET bottles, sachets, styrofoams, and rubbers, were collected by 140 volunteers from the CCC, Nestlé, GMA Sparkle, Pure Oceans, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and local community members. “As we clear these shores of debris, let us also gather hope, determination, and a renewed sense of purpose. Let us leave knowing our potential to shape a brighter, greener, and more sustainable future,” Borje added. In observance of National Cleanup Month, the CCC encourages individuals and communities to organize and partake in cleanup activities and similar initiatives to protect and conserve not only mangroves but all ecosystems, moving towards a future free from plastic pollution and resilient against climate change. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
September 08, 2023 Friday
From left to right: Mr. Dindo Campilan, IUCN Regional Director for Asia and Oceania Hub; Climate Change Commission Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera; Ms. Bedoshruti Sadhukhan, ICLEI South Asia Senior Programme Coordinator; Ms. Claudia Binondo, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Project Development Director; Mr. Naseer Gillani, Planning Commission, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Chair, Development Finance SDGs; and Mr. Zuhair Ahmed Kowshik, Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP, Global Focal Point   Incheon, South Korea, 1 September 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the need to optimize efforts addressing interrelated issues of climate change and biodiversity during the 8th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum Third Plenary Discussion held on 31 August 2023 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The Philippines is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, housing 70-80% of the world’s animal and plant species and accounting for two-thirds of the world’s biodiversity, but it is also considered a biodiversity hotspot. Conserving and restoring natural spaces on land and in water is crucial to curbing emissions and adapting to a changing climate. “Environmental protection and climate action are among the top priorities of the Philippine government, and we have a wealth of policies that reflect this agenda,” CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera said during the plenary session on Maximizing the Benefits of the Climate and Biodiversity Nexus. “We recognized early on, due to losses and damage from climate linked disasters, that the work to address climate change strikes across many governmental functions. Consequently, in 2011, we created our Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) to serve as the main coordination mechanism for government agencies to incorporate climate and disaster risks in government programming,” Herrera explained. Through this Cluster, a program convergence budgeting and planning approach was developed as an innovative way to enable government agencies to move as one and optimize impacts on projects and programs. This has given birth to the flagship program called the Risk Resiliency and Sustainability Program (RRSP), which aims to deliver adaptation outcomes and strengthen the resilience of natural ecosystems. Climate-vulnerable areas in the Philippines, which are highly susceptible to hazards, situated in critical watersheds, and with high poverty incidence, were able to develop resilience roadmaps under the RRSP. These roadmaps, with investment portfolios for risk resilience, incorporated ecosystem and biodiversity protection and participation from local stakeholders. The program investment areas include integrated water resource management, coastal protection, community livelihood, seismic resiliency, and climate information services. Joining Herrera in the discussion are Ms. Bedoshruti Sadhukhan, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) South Asia Senior Programme Coordinator; Ms. Claudia Binondo, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Project Development Director; Mr. Naseer Gillani, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Chairperson on Development Finance and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and Mr. Zuhair Ahmed Kowshik, Children and Youth Major Group to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Focal Point. The session was moderated by Dr. Dindo Campilan,  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Regional Director for Asia and Oceania. The session highlighted the value of  ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions in supporting both adaptation and the restoration of ecosystem services. These issues are recommended to be undertaken together in global agendas, national strategies, and local actions. “We’re seeing more and more initiatives on the nexus to maximize the multiple co-benefits. Solutions that promote collaboration and produce benefits to a range of concerns can optimize the very limited resources that we have now compared to what is needed to adapt. We have to keep in mind that we are in this urgent decade to take action, which is why we must optimize the nexus. Every percent of biodiversity loss reduces our capacity to adapt and increases the cost to tackle climate change,” Herrera emphasized. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPHL.
September 01, 2023 Friday
The Climate Change Commission conducts a tree-planting activity in Lucban, Quezon, in partnership with the Southern Luzon State University LUCBAN, QUEZON, 31 August 2023 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC), together with the Southern Luzon State University (SLSU), conducted a tree-planting activity as part of the agency’s thrust to engage state universities and colleges (SUCs) in addressing climate change through nature-based solutions. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, the CCC’s Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, expressed his gratitude to the Southern Luzon State University, particularly to SLSU President Dr. Doracie Nantes, who was likewise present, for organizing the tree-planting activity. “Reforestation is vital to our goal of sequestering greenhouse gases that will enable us to maintain our threshold of 1.5 degrees. We need to make use of every opportunity there is to plant and grow trees. The CCC is grateful to Dr. Nantes and the SLSU for allowing us the opportunity to plant these valuable white Lauan seedlings and supporting the CCC’s Net Zero Challenge,” Borje said. The CCC planted 30 white Lauan seedlings at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Lucban, Quezon. This species is endemic to the Philippines, and while it contributes to carbon dioxide absorption, the white Lauan is being threatened by illegal logging activities and habitat destruction. “A 35-year-old white Lauan tree can sequester up to 386 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually. The Shorea concorta, or the white Lauan, has higher carbon sequestration potential than most other species,” explained Dr. Francisco Beltran, a professor at the College of Agriculture at SLSU. Net Zero Challenge Prior to the tree-planting activity, the CCC recently launched its Net Zero Challenge (NZC), the agency’s carbon offsetting program, at the Caliraya-Lumot Watershed, where 625 Narra and Molave seedlings were planted. The concept of "net zero" emphasizes the need to offset carbon emissions through initiatives that absorb and reduce these emissions. With the NZC, the CCC invites all individuals, communities, and sectors to unite and do collective action—a commitment that President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. has emphasized in recent statements, particularly in the State of the Nation Address. "When we approach climate change, we must understand it simply not as a problem, but rather a challenge for which we, human beings, have the solutions. However, individual actions alone will not suffice. We must pursue collective action, and the organizations and institutions will serve as the catalyst for this action—hence, the launch of this collaborative program," Borje expressed. The NZC is designed to harness the collaborative power of community partners, exemplified by the collaboration with the Paete Sagip Sigla Palay Farmers Association, Inc. This approach ensures that communities are given meaningful roles as partners, reaping equal benefits and shared responsibilities. The Embassies of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines, National Power Corporation, Local Government of Paete, Laguna, Department of Agriculture-Laguna, Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency, Philippine Information Agency IV-A, Philippine Red Cross Laguna Chapter, Professional Regulation Commission, University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, Laguna Wind Corporation, Nestle Philippines, Manila Observatory, Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc., Katoto Project, Green Convergence, and Net Zero Carbon Alliance participated in the NZC launch event. The CCC lauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 8568, which seeks to amend various sections of Republic Act (RA) 10176 or the Arbor Day Act. The revised Section 2 of RA 10176, as proposed by HB 8568, states that “there is a need for a corroborated effort between the State and its citizenry to combat the loss of our natural resources and rejuvenate our environment by rehabilitating degraded forest land areas, improving soil fertility and land productivity, and reducing soil erosion especially in the rural and upland areas, undertaking nationwide tree-planting activities and providing effective measures for their maintenance and sustainability." Borje emphasized the key roles of the government, private sector, academe, civil society, non-government organizations and international organizations to further strengthen collaboration, foster innovative and sustainable solutions and exhibit cross-sectoral and cross-national accountability. “Our collective resolve will allow us to do more to save lives and protect the livelihoods of the present and future generations,” Borje said. From February 2022, the CCC has engaged various stakeholders in a total of eight tree-planting and growing activities that express a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in addressing climate change. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPHL.
August 31, 2023 Thursday
Incheon, South Korea, 30 August 2023 - The Climate Change Commission, headed by Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera, participated at the opening session of the 8th Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) Forum on 30 August 2023 at Songdo Convensia, Incheon City, Republic of Korea. The APAN Forum is considered Asia-Pacific’s largest and longest-standing gathering of adaptation practitioners to share information, knowledge and best practices in adaptation and resilience-building. The event was formally opened with messages from Ms. Marlene Nilsson, Deputy Regional Director of the UN Environment Programme for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vice Minister of Global Environmental Affairs of Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Jeong-bok Yoo, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, Dr. Sang-Hyup Kim, Co-Chairperson of the Korean Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth, and Dr. Tae-Sung Choeng, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Coordinating Lead Author and Senior Research Engineer at the National Disaster Management Institute of Korea. The session was moderated by Ms Antoinette Taus, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador. With the theme “Resilience for all: Enabling transformative implementation”, the speakers highlighted the importance of transformative approach to accelerating and enhancing adaptation efforts. The 8th APAN forum,  which will run from 30 August to 1 September 2023,  is hosted by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Korea Environment Institute – Korea Adaptation Center for Climate Change and Incheon Metropolitan City, and co-organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UNEP.
August 30, 2023 Wednesday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje addressing the governors and representatives present at the 5th General Assembly of the League of Provinces of the Philippines MANILA, 29 August 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) reaffirmed its commitment to enhance the country’s climate resilience particularly through collaboration with all provincial local government units (LGUs). Speaking at the 5th General Assembly of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director (VCED) Robert E.A. Borje underscored the need for unified action in response to the widespread impacts of climate change. “Climate change is, without a doubt, the global governance challenge of our generation. It transcends borders; no nation or locality can combat it in isolation. It's systemic, with each component as vital as the whole, and historic — the culmination of past inaction and neglect,” he articulated. The recent announcement by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) on the onset of El Niño further underscored the need for strengthened climate adaptation measures. VCED Borje highlighted the 22 provinces identified by the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) as most vulnerable to climate change. These provinces face high poverty rates, critical watersheds, and susceptibility to climate hazards such as flooding, landslides, and droughts. “How can our LGUs, the real frontline warriors, amplify these climate actions? Our policies serve as roadmaps for LGUs, steering them towards resilience. To this end, the CCC and the Department of Interior and Local Government actively champion the Local Climate Change Action Plans or the LCCAP,” VCED Borje stated. The LCCAP provides actions and measures tailored to address the unique needs and vulnerabilities of each locality. The CCC is actively supporting LGUs in creating high-quality LCCAPs, which serve as crucial investment references for domestic financing mechanisms such as the People’s Survival Fund. Furthermore, through initiatives like ACT Local (Accelerating Climate Action and Transformation for Local Communities), the CCC fosters collaboration with LGUs. VCED Borje stressed the need to capacitate LGUs with tools, knowledge, and financial resources to enhance climate adaptation and mitigate the risks. He outlined three key strategies for LGUs to amplify climate actions: capacity building, access to climate finance, and multi-sectoral collaboration. VCED Borje concluded by emphasizing the need for robust planning based on the best available science, indigenous and local knowledge, and up-to-date methodologies to project future changes and impacts. He reaffirmed the CCC's commitment to supporting LGUs to protect the lives, livelihoods, and the future of Filipinos from the impacts of climate change. “The Commission, with its partners in the government and non-state stakeholders, will be ready to extend the necessary technical support to LGUs towards achieving the desired level of climate resilience, from national to local, and across all sectors of our society,” VCED Borje concluded. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.
August 29, 2023 Tuesday