Philippine urban actors share city climate solutions with global audience at Innovate4Cities

Urban actors from the Philippines shared some of the country’s city climate solutions at the Innovate4Cities (I4C) held on October 11-15, 2021. The virtual global event brought together science and innovation, policy and practice united by a common objective: enabling cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action. I4C was a follow up to the 2018 Edmonton Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, where the scientific community gathered for the first time and recognized the role of cities in climate action. It was also a lead-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) happening on November 2021.

Representatives from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI), and UN-Habitat joined practitioners, researchers, policymakers, the private sector, and other urban innovators from across the globe to share knowledge and insights on the Philippine experience in building climate-resilient cities.

In the plenary session, “Adaptation and Resilience as Integrated Approaches to Tackling Climate Change,” Undersecretary Marylin Pintor of DHSUD provided the Philippine context and highlighted the need for systems approach in building resilience of cities through the guidance of the national government.

She also shared the agency’s key lessons learned in promoting climate-resilient urban settlements which include the need to improve climate science for evidence-based policy development, unlock climate finance, integrate climate targets with expected economic rebound through green recovery, and provide incentives for local governments.

In the parallel session “Policy Integration and Mainstreaming for Multi-Level Governance”, Roland Dane Carreon of DHSUD presented “The Role of National Government in Resilience Building through Local Climate-Resilient Urban Plans and Designs.”

Carreon shared DHSUD’s roadmap of city resilience building from risk-based planning and design, project structuring, policy development, and financing which has been implemented in the agency’s with local governments in their respective spatial and sectoral plans.

In another parallel session, titled “Planning for Resilience in Vulnerable Communities in the Philippines”, Aiah Santos of TAMPEI and Bhen Aguihon of UN-Habitat focused on pandemic impacts and recovery. Santos presented the results of their Adaptive Capacities Research which painted a picture of Philippine communities’ different conditions, existing coping mechanisms and the opportunities to co-create possible solutions with communities.

Aguihon presented “Understanding COVID-19 Impacts and Approaches to Resilient and Green Recovery: The Case of Ormoc City” highlighting Ormoc City’s efforts in addressing the combined risks of climate change and pandemic to propel socio-economic recovery following a resilient and green development framework and trajectory as seen in their redesign of the built environment.

The presentations drew from the experience and support of the Building Climate Resiliency through Urban Plans and Designs, a project jointly implemented by DHSUD and UN-Habitat Philippines.

Innovate4Cities is organized by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM). To know more about the conference or session replays, visit https://www.innovate4cities.org/.

The conference coincides with Urban October. For more information on local events, click here, or visit the global Urban October website here.

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