Sorsogon City reviews its climate change program in a joint executive-legislative assembly

Sorsogon, March 12 2010 — Showing that it is serious in pursuing its climate change initiatives, Sorsogon City convened on March 12, 2010 a special session of the Executive-Legislative Assembly (ELA) led by City Mayor Leovic Dioneda and the city councilors to monitor the status of the program and review the proposed demonstration projects developed by four issue working groups (IWGs) that focused on the identified priority issues of environment, shelter, livelihood and disaster risk reduction. This is the second time that the joint ELA was convened for the climate change project. The first time was for the project orientation after which the city formally decided to partner with UN-HABITAT on the project through an agreement of cooperation in April 2009. The Sorsogon demonstration projects are components of the MDG-F 1656:  Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change, an MDG Achievement Fund project funded by the Government of Spain.

Engineer Honore Jordan, Sorsogon City project manager, presented the status and updates on the project. He reported on the successful completion of the city’s vulnerability assessment and the identification of five “hot spot” priority barangays where focused interventions will be implemented. Laids Mamonong, UNH project coordinator for climate change, explained that the demonstration projects were identified through multi-stakeholder consultations and were based on identified priorities. Bearing in mind that demonstration projects provide the means to introduce and experience innovative ideas and approaches and prepare the way for replication and up-scaling, the four IWGs developed projects that were small scale and covering short implementation periods to produce immediate results which the city can learn from.

Sorsogon City reviews its climate change program in a joint executive-legislative assembly

Showing that it is serious business in pursuing its climate change initiatives, Sorsogon City convened on March 12, 2010 a special session of the Executive-Legislative Assembly (ELA) led by City Mayor Leovic Dioneda and the city councilors to monitor the status of the program and review the proposed demonstration projects developed by four issue working groups (IWGs) that focused on the identified priority issues of environment, shelter, livelihood and disaster risk reduction. This is the second time that the joint ELA was convened for the climate change project. The first time was for the project orientation after which the city formally decided to partner with UN-HABITAT on the project through an agreement of cooperation in April 2009.  The Sorsogon demonstration projects are components of the MDG-F 1656:  Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change, an MDG Achievement Fund project funded by the Government of Spain.

Engineer Honore Jordan, Sorsogon City project manager, presented the status and updates on the project. He reported on the successful completion of the city’s vulnerability assessment and the identification of five “hot spot” priority barangays where focused interventions will be implemented. Laids Mamonong, UNH project coordinator for climate change, explained that the demonstration projects were identified through multi-stakeholder consultations and were based on identified priorities. Bearing in mind that demonstration projects provide the means to introduce and experience innovative ideas and approaches and prepare the way for replication and up-scaling, the four IWGs developed projects that were small scale and covering short implementation periods to produce immediate results which the city can learn from.

Sorsogon City reviews its climate change program in a joint executive-legislative assembly

The UN-HABITAT team led by Eden Garde (HPM for the Philippines), Chris Radford of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and Bernhard Barth (TCBB in Nairobi) were impressed with the proposals which were developed with the concerted efforts of city stakeholders. They also gave their suggestions for consideration in the further enhancement of the project concepts. Mr. Barth reiterated UN-HABITAT’s support and thanked the city for sustaining and pioneering innovative ways towards making cities climate-resilient.

The city council committed to support the demonstration projects which they will consider in the city’s plans and budget and thanked UN-HABITAT for its continued technical support in realizing a climate-resilient Sorsogon City.

Sorsogon City reviews its climate change program in a joint executive-legislative assembly

 

Los Banos, March 11 2010 — UN-HABITAT in partnership with the Local Government Academy (LGA) brought together 41 participant-trainers from 15 countries for a 4-day Training for Trainers workshop entitled “Cities in Climate Change Initiative (CCCI-Asia and the Pacific) – Creating Climate Change Champions for STEWARDS” at the tranquil Local Government Training Center (LGTC) located inside the University of the Philippines Los Banos campus in Laguna, Philippines. The participants came from CCCI countries in Asia and the Pacific, LOGOTRI-Philippine Networks, LGA and select DILG Offices.

Acknowledging that climate change is one of the most urgent and encompassing development challenges facing humanity today, the training aimed to provide an overview of the role of cities and local governments in addressing climate change. It also aimed to develop a network of local government training institutions across Asia and the Pacific to better support cities in this regard through the development of appropriate curriculum and courses.

For UN-HABITAT, the event is an integral component of the Cities in Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) programme. Mr. Bernhard Barth of the TCBB in UN-HABITAT’S headquarters in Nairobi explained that the training intends to share experiences on climate change related training, test curricula and tools and support the development of tailored/country-specific in-depth courses.

For LGA, the training strengthens its STEWARDS program. LGA Executive Director Marivel Sacendoncillo noted that the undertaking is timely because the Philippines has recently passed the Climate Change Act. She also pointed out the significance of the LGA Training Center’s role in training community development workers and in enhancing the capacity of local and national governments to address the challenges faced by the country, including climate change. Local participants were mainly from the LOGOTRI-Philnet network of local resource institutes (LRIs) of which LGA is the president.

Experts from various fields contributed valuable inputs in the following areas:

  1. Introducing Climate Change to Local Governments discussed by Bernhard Barth, Human Settlements Officer, UN-HABITAT;
  2. Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Development discussed by Bernhard Barth;
  3. Climate Change Training – Experiences of Local Government Training Institutes discussed by the various participants;
  4. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Sorsogon City Experience discussed by Adelaida Mamonong, Project Coordinator, UN-HABITAT Philippines;
  5. Climate Change Footprint discussed by Pamela Oppus, ICLEI;
  6. Carbon Finance discussed by Adnan Aliani, chief of the Sustainable Urban Development Unit, UNESCAP;
  7. Developing Climate Change Plans discussed by Dr. David Dodman, Senior Researcher, Human Settlements and Climate Change Group.

Enriched by the inputs from experts/practitioners and informed by their rich individual experiences on the ground, participants worked on various themes, issues, plans and modules during workshop sessions. Working group outputs were shared in the plenary for maximum cross-fertilization of ideas among the participants.

At the end of the 4-day workshop, participants produced 1) a draft toolkit on Climate Change Adaptation, 2) re-entry action plans and 3) customized training programs.

Participants shared that the workshop has increased their capacities to disseminate knowledge through their own institutions and programs. The camaraderie developed also sowed the seeds of a network of climate change educators and trainers who will further spread the hope that the inevitability of climate change and its impacts will be mitigated through informed social transformation and innovative adaptation responses.

With UN-HABITAT’s CCCI programme presently being piloted in 4 cities: Esmeraldas in Peru, Kampala in Uganda, Maputo in Mozambique and Sorsogon City in the Philippines, the training heralds the replication and upscaling of the CCCI program to more cities in the Asia-Pacific region.