The Philippines is an island nation with high vulnerability to climate change. 70% of cities in the Philippines are coastal and many of its industries are highly resource intensive. In response to extreme weather events, to deal with rising concern, and to build a national framework for supporting climate change mitigation efforts in 2009 the Climate Change Act was passed. The Climate Change Act established the Climate Change Committee which combined several agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and roles into one agency that could be the sole policy-making authority on climate actions. This Climate Change Committee reports directly to the president, which elevates climate action to the highest levels of government, but also works directly with local leaders to Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP).
The Climate Change Committee has developed a National Framework Strategy on Climate Change in 2010 and a National Climate Change Action Plan in 2011. These plans focus on seven priority areas deemed of high importance that include: Food security, water sufficiency, ecosystem and environmental stability, human security, sustainable energy, climate-smart industries, and knowledge and capacity development.
Targeting these areas on the local levels yielded many insights and lessons learned that can be transferable between cities and regions in the country. The Climate Change Committee is responsible for disseminating this information and developed a list of key lessons and implications that were found to affect the success of locally run programs. These key lessons include:
- Developing national coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of local programs. National governments are not as efficient in developing locally tailored programs but applying nationally-developed easy-to-use metrics can help local programs reach their goals and spread information about successful methods.
- Maintaining political oversight. Part of the Climate Change Committee’s mandate is to develop annual reports and establish independent oversight committees.
- Distributing resources, planning, and implementation to the local level. One way to do this is to help local jurisdictions establish frontline agencies that can introduce programs and receive feedback efficiently.
- Maintain multiple sources of funding. The Climate Change Act directs a portion of government agency’s budgets to be spent on climate action, but also includes general funds that can be redirected based on locally reported needs. Additionally, outside financing for new projects was a key component in certain programs.
Integrating economic, social, and environment objectives. Strategies such as renewable energy that combine both mitigation and adaptation efforts are most efficient at building support and achieving implementation.
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