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Understanding Climate Rationale and Developing Climate Change Portfolio with and for CSOs: The FPE Experience

Posted on November 18, 2020

FPE Executive Director Mr. Oliver Agoncillo delivering message during the National GCF Consultation on March 27,2019

Ms. Nazrin Camille Castro of CCC discussing nine Country Program Thematic Areas

The FPE has successfully initiated the learning sessions on climate financing and climate rationale as well as inputs to crafting of project portfolio on climate change for submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as it seeks accreditation as a Direct Access Entity. Through a series of CSO consultations on GCF in 2019, FPE gathered a total of 157 people from National to Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao islands. One hundred thirty three (133) leaders representing 111 CSOs discussed about climate rationale and how one differentiate “traditional” biodiversity conservation initiatives to factor in the new realities brought about by a changing climate.

During the national consultation, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) through Commissioner and National Focal Point for GCF Atty. Rachel Herrera enlightened the FPE partners on the importance of GCF at the international and national levels, the role of CSOs in identification of priority sectors and in voicing its concerns on the performance of National Designated Authorities. The GCF implementation in the Philippines and the nine Country Programme Thematic Areas were explained by CCC Senior Technical Adviser Ms. Nazrin Camille Castro at the National, Luzon and Visayas consultations, and by CCC Technical Officer Ms. Xenia Laderas in Mindanao.

The consultation was spearheaded by the FPE national and regional staff headed by Executive Director Mr. Oliver Agoncillo. The FPE Board Chairman and CEO Dr. Renato Boniao and Board of Trustee (BOT) Member Dr. Jurgenne Primavera motivated the partners to express their project ideas on GCF in relation to FPE’s focus on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. FPE BOT Member Dr. Jonathan Moses C. Jadloc imparted the basic science of climate change and its global and local impacts to biodiversity during the Visayas consultation. Likewise, former FPE BOT Chair Dr. Lourdes Simpol discussed the climate change realities, challenges and opportunities in Mindanao consultation. FPE Expert Advisory Pool member, Dr. Aillen P. Maypa joined as a resource person in Visayas.

GCF consultations and its objectives
The CSO consultation on GCF was first convened for the National CSOs on March 27, 2019 at Verjandel Hotel in Quezon City. It was followed by the Luzon CSOs on August 31, 2019 at Eurotel Hotel, in Baguio City. Visayas CSOs had it on September 11-12, 2019 at Big Hotel in Mandaue City. The last leg of the consultation was done by Mindanao CSOs on September 25, 2019 at Covadonga Center for Culture and Spirituality in Cagayan de Oro.

Dr. Jonathan Jadloc, FPE BoT member, discussing the science of climate change

Various CSOs were informed with the overview and ongoing GCF Country Programme and related efforts and activities of the CCC as the National Designated Authority (NDA) on GCF. The participants shared better understanding on the climate change challenges, risks and actions at the national, regional and local levels. They discussed ways on how FPE can be prepared for a better future. In a collective effort, the participants identified opportunities and showcased community actions, initiatives and solutions that address the different impacts of climate change and disaster risk reduction management which need scaling up. As a result, the participants had identified possible project concepts and collaborations among participants; which provided inputs in the ongoing formulation of project portfolio on climate change, disaster risk reduction management focusing on eco-systems and community resilience.

Participating Visayas CSO with FPE Management and Staff and CCC

Relevance of the CSO Consultation to FPE, its Partners and communities
FPE is geared as a dynamic, relevant and growing organization. It leads in actions for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development (BCSD) towards resilient communities with healthy ecosystems. Getting the partners and stakeholders to participate in sessions to articulate climate rationale of their existing and future programs and projects, fleshing out climate solutions to address climate and disaster related problems, is part of FPE’s intentions to conduct the consultations, working closely with the CCC and the CSOs.

During the consultations, it was reported that the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has warned nations of the unprecedented impacts of global warming due to the current trajectory of Green Houses Gases (GHG) emissions. Average global surface temperature could increase by 4°C by the end of the century and bring catastrophe. Under the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, temperature increase targeted from pre-industrial era is supposedly below 2°C to avert irreversible damages.

Participating Luzon CSO and RAC with FPE staff and CCC during the Luzon GCF Consultation on Aug. 31, 2019

Based on climate projections of PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), the mean temperature all over the Philippines is expected to rise by 0.9 to 1.1°C in 2020 and by 1.8 to 2.2°C by 2050. This indicates reduction in rainfall during summer and vulnerability to drought and El Niño.

FPE believes in the realities and impacts of climate change. The most vulnerable are the marginalized communities who bear at first instance the brunt of hazards and dangers and suffer longest from climate risks. FPE cannot agree on putting more lives, natural and environmental resources at risk by the inaction of climate deniers.

In her keynote during the national consultation, Dr. Primavera pointed out that the challenge of a New World Order of a Changing Climate” is to break away from the “business-as-usual” mode in all spheres of life. Greater alliance and partnership among development actors is crucial to enhance resilience of people and environment. Thus, the CSO consultations on GCF is an answer to address the climate crises requiring collective action.

From L to R: Mr. Jerome Evangelio Ilagan, CCC Chief of Policy Research and Development Division; Mr. Noel Resurreccion, HaribonFoundation- Site Action Department Manager and Board member; and, Datu Jem Periño, FPE Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) Coordinator for Mindanao, during the discussion and Open forum during the National consultation

Overview of the GCF and Updates from CCC
The Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) is the national authority to the Green Climate Fund. According to Atty. Herrera, the CCC must be prepared to take advantage of what developing countries can access starting 2020.

GCF is a global fund, the largest financing mechanism for developing countries to support paradigm shift towards low emission and climate resilience development pathways. It was established in 2010 by the 194 parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC). It aims to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation serving the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement – which commits countries to limit global temperature rise well below 2°Celsius while pursuing efforts to limit it further to 1.5°C.

Last October 24-25, 2019, the urgency of addressing climate change moved 27 countries pledging to replenish the GCF by USD 9.78 billion equivalent for the next four years. As of July 31, 2020, the GreenClimate Fund has raised USD 10.3 billion equivalent in pledges from 49 countries/regions/cities including 9 developing countries.

The fund replenishment was promised in in 2009 and reaffirmed in PCA 2015. It will help developing countries in adaptation and mitigation projects to address the negative effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels, record temperatures, prolonged drought, and more frequent and severe weather events.

CCC reiterates the importance of CSO participation as recognized by the GCF Board. The GCF Watch, a Southern CSO-led initiative monitors, collates and analyses information on project funded by GCF. It calls on CSOs to ensure that the GCF fulfill its role to the maximum benefit of people and the communities

CSOs have the following roles:

  • Identification of national priorities in relation with the GCF at the national and international levels.
  • Advocate for quality of proposals by voicing their concerns towards accredited entities
  • AEs can cooperate the CSOs on implementing GCF project or programmes; CSOs can be recruited as Delivery Partners and apply for GCF accreditation as AEs themselves
  • Enhance transparency and accountability of national GCF authorities for higher credibility of result
  • Use diverse communication channel to raise awareness and various tools to build capacities.

Atty. Herrera of CCC

Ms. Josefina Ramos, CCC, Climate Finance Adviser

The GCF Country Programme CCC in its final stages of development conveys the country’s short and long-term investment priorities, including a pipeline of strategic climate change programs for GCF funding. In the process of programming, CCC partnered with World Agroforestry Center, ICRAF, NGAs, private sector, development partners and CSOs. Its development necessitated a comprehensive review of literature of key climate challenges, current socio-economic status, existing national frameworks – laws and policies– before defining focus areas.

Towards the formulation of country programme, the CCC considered the National Climate Change Action Plan’s (NCCAP) seven thematic areas as well as the focus sectors of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). Nine thematic areas were identified on the criteria of country ownership, development potential and paradigm shift.

The Direct Access Entities (DAE) are important to channel climate finance directly to the Philippines, exercise of country ownership, and ensure their integration in the national climate strategies. Through the GCF Readiness Programme, CCC supported the accreditation of the Land Bank of the Philippines as a Direct Access Entity (DAE), which now serve as a conduit to access the Fund. CCC is supporting the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and later on, the FPE, its accreditation as DAE as a CSO, after a competitive process. CCC observed FPE’s high commitment in the process and its genuine approach to develop the GCF project portfolio through consultation with CSOs.

Source: Draft Philippine GCF Country Programme.

Relevance of GCF consultation to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development

Mr. Oliver Agoncillo highlighted that FPE’s achievements and on-going efforts in six priority sites and 21 conservation areas are consistent with its vision of healthy ecosystems and resilient communities. In pursuit of BCSD, FPE relies on the strategies of partnership building, knowledge management, policy advocacy and fund resources generation. FPE, over the years, has been supporting groups, projects, and initiatives that are related to climate change adaptation and mitigation and disasters. In 2017, FPE adopted the ecosystem-based biodiversity risk reduction and management (EBRRM) framework which emanated from its 2013 Typhoon Haiyan response. Mr. Agoncillo pointed out that the 27 years of experience and partnership with CSOs on environmental causes serve as the inspiration for the FPE to seek accreditation as a Direct Access Entity to the GCF.

FPE Expert Advisory Pool Member Dr. Aileen P. Maypa during her talk on coral reef recovery

Romeo Dizon and sharing local initiatives on climate change adaptation

1. Upscaling Climate Resilient Indigenous Communities in the Philippines by Tebtebba Foundation.

2. Sustainable Resilient Ecosystems in Bantayan Island by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

3. Community-Based Mangrove Rehabilitation in Aringay, La Union by KADUAMI,Inc.

4. Improving Coral Reef Resilience Amid Climate Change by College of Science, UP Baguio and Marine Science Institute – UP Diliman.

5. Enhancing Biodiversity through Social Enterprise- The Star Trek Project of Palawan Center for Appropriate Technology (PCART)

6. Permaculture in Tubao, La Union by the Pitak Project.

7. A Viable Coral Reef Recovery Model in the Philippines: A Tool for Climate Resilience that Supports Food Security- Project ISDA by Dr. Aileen P. Maypa, Silliman University.

8. Mangrove Planting/ Forestation and Community Mobilization by Xavier Agricultural Extensions Services Foundation, Inc (XAESFI) and Coalition of Municipal Fisherfolks Association in Zamboanga Sibugay (COMFAS)

9. I-RePAIR Project Using the Naci Technology by Tribal Leaders Development Foundation, Inc. (TLFDI)

Ms. Gallares facilitating the Visayas consultation

Participants during the FPE GCF National Regional consultations

Summary of the results of consultation
The CSO consultations on GCF generated some 167 potential project ideas distributed in all the nine Country Program Thematic Areas. In keeping with the priorities observed by the participants, the following project ideas identified below. Participants were encouraged to continue interactions with their workshop groups to develop further these concepts; as FPE continues to work on its portfolio for possible funding with other climate financing institutions like GCF, PSF, or FPE.

Thematic Area 1:

  • Endowment fund for ancestral domains to combat ill-effects of climate Change (Mindanao)

Thematic Area 2:

  • Climate change impact affecting the productivity of agricultural farming system from ridge to reef ecosystem (Luzon).

Thematic Area 5:

  • Building sustainable cities and communities in Mindanao

Thematic Area 6:

  • Integrated Approach to Recovery of Degraded Coastal Marine Ecosystems towards Climate Change Resilient Communities (National)
  • Resilience Building Program for Watershed Eco-systems (National)
  • TIGASIN ang PINAS – The West Philippine Sea-board Project: The Ilocos Geographic Area: Strengthening against the Impacts of Natural disasters (Luzon)
  • Ensuring sustainable and resilient Visayan ecosystems and communities from climate hazards
  • People-led climate innovation for resilient Western Visayas
  • Building resilience of natural eco-systems through effective governance and upgraded community engagement (Mindanao)

Thematic Area 7:

  • Development of Integrated Social Enterprises in Vulnerable Areas – (DIVAS) National Improved Resilience in Climate Vulnerable Communities (Luzon)
  • Building resilient coastal and terrestrial ecosystems in Eastern Visayas Region: Enhancing community resiliency through effective conservation and protection of ridge to reef ecosystems
  • Building resilience on climate change of vulnerable communities within forest corridors and coastal areas (Mindanao)

Thematic Area 8:

  • Provision of climate information services knowledge management (Mindanao)

Thematic Area 9:

  • Upscaling Climate Resilient Program for Indigenous Communities in the Philippines (National)
  • Building Climate – Smart Indigenous Communities through Landscape to Seascape Approach (Luzon)
  • Building resilience of ancestral domains to climate change (Mindanao)

The next steps for FPE
The CSO consultation results will be used to feed into the formulation of FPE’s project portfolio. The initial portfolio will be presented to the National RAC-Partners- EAP Meeting on March 2020 to be validated with the CSOs. FPE will share the project ideas to the Climate Change Commission and other national agencies to further develop these ideas into project Ms. Gallares facilitating the Visayas consultation Participants during the FPE GCF National and Regional consultations proposals for GCF funding.

FPE aims to come up with a robust line-up of projects for GCF funding.This will be made accessible to its partners through the FPE website. FPE will seek continuous sharing of local experiences and collaboration with CSOs to formulate climate rationale in the development of concrete actions.

Meanwhile, the FPE Regional Advisory Committee will attempt to integrate the climate related project ideas in their respective Regional Environmental Agenda. Conservation and protection of ridge to reef ecosystems.

For more stories, please click this link to read the FPE 2020 Annual Report

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