PH provinces boost disaster and climate resilience with SHIELD partnership

In a step towards strengthening the resilience of communities, the provincial governments of Agusan del Norte and Albay have recently forged a partnership with the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Program.

Governor Angelica Amante of Agusan del Norte and Governor Edcel Greco Lagman of Albay, in May 2023, individually signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the SHIELD Program, represented by UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrie.

Supported by the Australian Government, SHIELD aims to expedite resilience-building efforts in these provinces through collaborative partnerships involving multiple stakeholders. The program employs risk-based planning, improves value chains, and ensures business continuity to foster resilience against disasters and climate change.

As one of SHIELD’s consortium partners, UN-Habitat takes the lead in working with provinces to prepare risk and resilience-informed plans, allowing LGUs to build investment programs and access financing that strengthen disaster and climate resilience.

Exploring resilience focus

Situated along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, the provinces of Eastern Samar, Davao Oriental, and Quezon are taking decisive action to address risks posed by climate-related hazards such as typhoons, landslides, flooding, sea-level rise, and increasing temperatures.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben P. Evardone met with SHIELD representatives including UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Australian Embassy in the Philippines Counsellor Thanh Le, and UN-Habitat Philippines Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo. “The SHIELD program must prioritize the most vulnerable families and communities to make resilience building relevant,” stressed Gov. Evardone during the courtesy meeting aimed at setting the directions for the SHIELD program in Eastern Samar.

In the provinces of Davao Oriental and Quezon, separate discovery workshops were held to explore points for collaboration in strengthening the resilience of the two provinces.

Participants of the workshop composed of representatives from the provincial government, academe, peace and security sector, and civil society organizations identified programs and pressing issues where SHIELD can focus on.

Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, in a separate meeting with SHIELD staff, emphasized that she is keen on reinforcing resilient agriculture and tourism in the province, allowing communities to recover better in times of disaster.

Risk-informed planning

As part of UN-Habitat’s initiatives to work with Northern Samar and Agusan del Sur in strengthening their risk-based planning, separate workshops on the Provincial Climate Risk Diagnostics (PCRD) tool were held for representatives of LGU offices and other stakeholders in the province.

This workshop enabled the provinces to process various hazard, exposure, and vulnerability data for PCRD tool encoding; and capacitated them on risk analytics interpretation using the PCRD Tool and provided technical inputs in updating their Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans (PDPFP).

Developed in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the PCRD tool serves as a vital instrument to support LGUs in climate and disaster action planning and risk analytics, fostering the development of sustainable and resilient communities.

Similar PCRD workshops are scheduled to commence in other SHIELD partner provinces throughout the year. Additionally, SHIELD anticipates establishing partnerships with a total of 11 provinces and two regions, including Metro Manila and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

*SHIELD is a program supported by the Australian Government and is being implemented by UNDP Philippines and its consortium partners: UN-Habitat, Philippine Business for Social Progress, National Resilience Council, and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, with the Department of the Interior and Local Government Philippines as the lead government agency.

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