“Navigating” the multilevel governance grid with Laids Mias-Cea, UN-Habitat Climate Change Advisor

A regional workshop, “Enhancing National Urban Policies and Vertical Integration: Governance, Capacities, Finance For Local Climate Action,” was organized by V-LED Asia and the UN-Development Account with institutional partners on 4–6 February 2018, in the run-up to the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Partners of V-LED in the Philippines from national and local government, as well as civil society, made substantive contributions and shared experiential insights at the three-day event.

Sandee Recabar of the Climate Change Commission presented a case study of climate action in the Philippines, highlighting the relevance of integrating climate policies in local development planning and investment. On linking policy to practice, Nora Diaz of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board underscored the importance for lessons on the ground to be harnessed and linked back up to inform policy. Lara Togonon–De Castro of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners expounded on the key role of a city’s values when creating effective designs: “At the beginning of the process, it is important for cities to examine their values and for them to articulate these in their vision; these values must be translated into decisions and investment priorities, ensuring that plans are grounded on reality.”

On strengthening framework conditions and capacities for local climate action, Edgardo Pamintuan, Mayor of Angeles City and President of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), discussed the role of LCP as a platform for sharing best practices and knowledge and how it engages with local governments by bringing the issue of climate change to the fore and fostering city-to-city learning.

Throughout the entire workshop, Rea Uy-Epistola, V-LED Project Coordinator in the Philippines, provided avenues for dialogue to ensure alignment of climate actions being implemented at all levels and by various urban actors.

According to Recabar, the workshop helped the Philippine delegation agree on an eight-point agenda to take back home: 1. strengthen coordination at the national level, and have that united front going to the local level; 2. strengthen the National Urban Development and Housing Framework and communicate it at the local level; 3. encourage local governments to have climate managers/champions in their offices; 4. have a strategy for communicating the need for local climate actions; 5. simplify existing templates used by local government units (LGUs) in planning local climate actions; 6. increase support for LGUs to access climate finance; 7. and 8. are to create a one-stop-shop for LGUs to access information for climate planning, which will be tied up with the monitoring and evaluation and feedback mechanisms at both the vertical and horizontal levels.

Follow VLED on Twitter for live updates on the projects’ work towards local climate action in the Philippines.

VLED is being implemented by UN-Habitat and Adelphi in the Philippines, Vietnam, Kenya, and South Africa. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.