Adaptation to Climate Change and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Philippines
With more than 7,000 islands and 36,000 km of coastline, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Climate data for the past 50 years show trends of rising temperatures,changes in rainfall patterns, and an increasing occurrence of typhoons, flooding and drought. The impacts of climate change are felt by urban dwellers, farmers and fishing communities alike; everywhere, the most vulnerable are the poor.
Climate change is heightening the risk of natural disasters, and undermining the capacity of people and the natural environment to recover from such events. Without adequate capacities and adaptive measures, people and natural environments become even more vulnerable.
Adaptive capacity means the ability to cope with, mitigate or offset the potential damage caused by climate change. It also means taking advantage of the associated opportunities. Resilience against disasters and the impacts of climate change is enhanced through good governance, the protection of ecosystems and greater knowledge of adaptation technologies.
The German Ministry for Environment for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) launched its International Climate Protection Initiative as an effective way to help developing and emerging countries to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. This is a new form of environmental cooperation, intended to complement Germany’s existing development cooperation.
Government agencies, local government units and local communities pursue strategies for adapting to the impacts of climate change and for the conservation of biodiversity. A national vision exists of a Philippines that is resilient in the face of climate change, and which enjoys sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
The project supports the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as well as other national agencies, local government units and non-governmental organisations as they develop and implement strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity in the Philippines. Activities include advisory services and training to strengthen the partner institutions in areas relevant to climate change. Measures are being carried out to help conserve biodiversity, such as improving the controls over protected areas and assisting in the rehabilitation of mangroves. The project is also helping DENR and other partners to share knowledge and raise public awareness about climate change and environmental issues.
Results achieved so far
Adaptation strategies developed with support of the project have been integrated into sector planning. This will help shape local development plans and programmes, and benefit vulnerable people who depend on natural resources.
GIZ (formerly GTZ) supported DENR in using a participatory multi-stakeholder approach when it formulated the Philippine Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation 2010-2022. This is designed to prepare the country’s institutions at national and local levels for the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change in the next 12 years. After a consensus-building process lasting more than 18 months, the strategy was submitted to the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines in 2010. The document was then incorporated into the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change, and was officially launched in August 2010.
The project has provided training in climate proofing which has enabled dozens of local experts to make their development plans and programmes, and their local investments more resilient to climate change. It also helped DENR to make its Climate Change Office a model ‘green’ office, whose energy-efficient and climate-friendly equipment, facilities and internal procedures have reduced both operational and environmental costs.
2008 – 2011
Universities are increasingly stepping up for locally-led adaptation and resilience action: what are some of their critical success factors when partnering with communities?
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