Davao City – Making their partnership for resilience building official, the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding in this city on Tuesday, August 15.
Signing the agreement are BPDA Director General Mohajirin T. Ali and UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrié in behalf of SHIELD.
First Secretary, Development, Paul Harrington of the Australian Embassy, BPDA Planning and Policies Bureau Director Melanie Indar, UN-Habitat Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator for Climate Change and Urban Environment Laids Cea, and UNDP SHIELD Programme Manager Mavic De Guzman bore witness to the signing, along with other key officials of the region and representatives from the SHIELD consortium.
Supported by the Australian Government, SHIELD aims to accelerate resilience-building through collaborative partnerships, risk-based planning, value-chain interventions, and business continuity measures to foster resilience against disasters and climate change.
SHIELD is implemented by UNDP Philippines together with 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.
Developing the BSDF
Under the SHIELD partnership, UN-Habitat takes the lead in providing technical support with the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) to craft the Bangsamoro Spatial Development Framework (BSDF) 2024-2050, a priority policy document that serves as a comprehensive strategy designed to support and guide the physical and sectoral development of BARMM.
On the same day of the signing ceremony, BDPA, together with UN-Habitat and the BARMM Regional Land Use Committee (RLUC), spearheaded a technical workshop to continue with the next steps of formulating the BSDF 2024-2050. The technical workshop mobilized 66 planners and policy officers from 18 BARMM ministries and agencies.
Director Melanie Indar of BPDA, during her opening message, emphasized the importance of formulating the BSDF in lieu of the challenges that the Islamic region has been facing.
“For quite a long time, our region faced difficulties when it comes to spatial planning due to some challenges such as ineffective use of land control measures as well as weak enforcement of land use and environmental-related laws and policies associated with the rising population and growth of informal settlements in the region,” said Indar.
Indar further noted that the BSDF formulation is a necessary initiative to guide the long-term direction of BARMM toward rationalizing the allocation and utilization of land and other physical resources for maximum economic benefits and enhancing resiliency and disaster preparedness.
“BPDA is very much thankful to our partners from the SHIELD consortium for providing their technical expertise and assistance in making this plan to achieve our goal of an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable Bangsamoro region,” expressed Indar.
UN-Habitat National Project Coordinator for SHIELD also welcomed the participants, delivered the recap from the previous BSDF formulation workshop, and laid out the scope of the three-day activity.
During the first day, Laids Cea led the presentation of the initial results of the Matrix of Functions, a tool for regional spatial planning developed by UN-Habitat. She likewise presented the first portion of initial data and analysis on the region’s risk and spatial assessment.
Other activities for the succeeding days of the workshop include structuring data collection tools, discussion on emerging spatial structure and growth trends, workshop on spatial multi-criteria evaluation, and action planning for the next steps.
The BSDF formulation is expected to be completed by the end of December 2023 and it is envisioned to guide the long-term development roadmap of BARMM that is inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.