recognition: Strengthening Philippine climate adaptation

The Philippines has received recognition for its strong climate change policies and legislations. The country is on the right track in the mainstreaming of climate change, because it looks at issues from national agencies down to local government units, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said during a Climate Vulnerability Forum in Manila. The UNDP cited Republic Act (RA) 10171, the People’s Survival Fund Law that assesses vulnerable communities and how they would be funded for local climate adaptation, integrating land use planning to ensure maximum impact.

Hosted by the Philippine Climate Change Commission (PCCC) on May 20-21, 2015, the forum identified major climate change policies for vulnerable developing countries like the Philippines. PCCC, an independent and autonomous body, was established by Republic Act (RA) 9729, Philippine Climate Change Act of 2009 on October 23, 2009, so the country can better prepare and respond on natural disasters. A National Framework Strategy on Climate Change was drafted for 2010-2022 to strengthen the adaptation of natural ecosystems and human communities to climate change.

Adhering to the Kyoto Protocol ratified on November 20, 2003, the Philippines enacted and implemented major legislation to advance the global community’s agenda on environmental preservation. These are RA 8749 (Clean Air Act of 1999) to mitigate worsening air pollution problem; RA 8435 (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997) that takes into account climate change, weather disturbances, and annual productivity cycles in agricultural and fisheries programs; RA 9003 (Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) providing a comprehensive solution to the garbage problem; and RA 9275 (Clean Water Act of 2004) providing for comprehensive water quality management scheme.

The Philippines and France led the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change launch on February, 2015, which calls on nations to secure a universal and ambitious climate program and support the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy at the UN Convention on Climate Change to be held in December in Paris, France.

The Philippines is at the forefront of the fight against climate change, especially after it was hard-hit in 2013 by super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the most damaging storms in world history. It is still reeling from the devastation, building new disaster resilient homes, improving water and power supplies, and helping people to again make a living.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that countries like the Philippines could become even more exposed and vulnerable to stronger typhoons and extreme weather conditions. It asked governments to take immediate action towards a low-carbon path and curb human and economic losses. Delay would mean not only worse typhoons and hurricanes, droughts, fires, and flood for many nations.

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