Two dialogue events were recently conducted with representatives from key national agencies with mandates on planning and select local government units (LGUs) to emphasize their roles in achieving national climate change targets. The events, entitled: “Climate Change Actions: Mitigation 101 for the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Local Government Academy (LGA) towards Strengthened Capacity and Partnerships in Planning and Coordinating Climate Change Actions”; and “Forum on Strengthening Capacities of Local Government Units on Climate Change Actions: Mitigation 101 with Cities, Municipalities and Provinces”, were conducted on November 28 and December 14, respectively.
Spearheaded by the UN-Habitat, in partnership with adelphi Research and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), under the V-LED (Vertical Integration and Learning for Low Emission Development) project, these learning events were part of series of consultations and dialogues with relevant national agencies and LGUs in pursuit of sustainable urban development and poverty reduction.
Government authorities strengthen capacity and partnership for planning and coordinating climate change actions
The first event was conducted for national agencies to support their initiatives on climate change and in aligning their targets and programs with the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. It also provided a platform for discussing their roles in rolling out the Nationally Determined Contributions and in linking national governance bodies with subnational authorities who implement climate change actions at the local level.
The national government agencies appreciated the discussions on the different ways they can support the mainstreaming of climate resilient low-emission development into the local planning processes and schemes, given their mandates on planning and coordination of climate change actions. “The V-LED Project facilitates this exchange of information and the different agencies’ coordination so that we could fulfill our roles in supporting local governments to integrate adaptation and mitigation initiatives into their development planning”, said the DILG participant from the region.
Strengthening Capacities of Local Government Units on Climate Change Actions
Meanwhile, the second forum was conducted on December 14, 2016 and participated in by different local government units and leagues of local government who learned from lectures and presentations on mainstreaming low emission development into the Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP). They also had the opportunity to learn from other LGUs’ experiences of implementing mitigation actions. The cities of Batangas and Makati shared their initiatives in mainstreaming GHG inventory in local planning with support from the USAID/B-LEADERS project. Quezon City shared its project on Biogas and methane gas extraction from Payatas dumpsite and its conversion to electricity.
The Philippine Local League of Environment and Natural Resource Officer guided the participants on calculating GHG emissions at the entity level.
The event also provided participants with opportunities to define avenues on how to strengthen linkages with oversight agencies, such as the DILG, HLURB and LGA. According to CCC Division Chief Sandee Recabar, in bridging the gap between the LGUs and higher levels of governance, the V-LED Project paves the way towards ensuring that the policies formulated by national government agencies are informed by experiences, learnings and feedback from the ground, from the local government units themselves.
To address concerns over the need to simplify and harmonize the various master plans and different reporting templates required by oversight agencies in relation to climate change actions, the V-LED team shared with the group its upcoming activities which include, among others,: (1) the conduct of dialogues to facilitate access to data for conducting entity-level greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory; (2) support to the Climate Change Commission in its advocacies in linking local climate change actions to financing and; (3) the ongoing effort to enhance LCCAP planning through the LCCAP Manual Book 3 which shall incorporate the Community Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA), among other planning tools.
The two learning events were part of a series of five dialogue sessions conducted this year by V-LED, which were all aimed at gauging both the national and LGUs’ level of awareness on their roles in pursuing resilience and climate change responsiveness through development programmes and projects.