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Championing NAPs: Advancing National Adaptation Plans

November 13, 2017

Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
Championing NAPs:
Advancing National Adaptation Plans
13 November 2017 | Press Room, Bula Zone 3
Bonn, Germany

 

My country, the Philippines, while being an archipelago of 7,641 islands that boast of fertile, arable lands with rich natural resources and diverse flora and flauna, is also one climate vulnerable country that is perpetually degraded by climate change.

 

The need for a comprehensive adaptation plan that will enhance the resilience of our nation has always been a priority for us in order to protect the quality of life of our people and our environment, upon which the livelihoods of millions of Filipinos depend.

 

In 2009, the Philippine government enacted Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009—a law that I principally sponsored and authored in the Philippine Senate—which created theNational Framework Strategy on Climate Change, anchored on adaptation as the strategy.

 

Within this framework, the country developed the National Climate Change Action Plan or NCCAP, which outlines long-term programs and strategies for adaptation and mitigation.

 

Adopted in 2012, the NCCAP enhances the adaptive capacity and resilience of communities and natural ecosystems to climate change in seven thematic priority areas, namely: food security; water sufficiency; ecosystem and environmental stability; human security; climate-smart industries and services; sustainable energy; and knowledge and capacity development.

 

The NCCAP is aligned with our national development plans for achieving the sustainable development goals. The NCCAP also serves as the basis of different climate reports that the Philippines will communicate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), such as the National Communication, Biennial Update Report, and Nationally Determined Contributions.

 

This will ensure that Philippine climate reports, as part of our international commitments, are aligned with the country’s priorities and reflective of national strategies.

 

The Philippines has yet to communicate its own National Adaptation Plan; however, the Philippine approach to the NAP process is considered advanced because of our NCCAP. The process of updating of the NCCAP, as mandated by the Climate Change Act, coincides with elements of the NAP process.

 

The Climate Change Commission (CCC), our lead policymaking agency for climate change in the Philippines, ensures that the Philippine NAP process is nationally driven by involving stakeholders from concerned national government agencies, local government units, the academe, business sector, civil society, and development partners.

 

The NAP process is an important exercise that provides us a systematic approach to revisiting our NCCAP, while ensuring that our efforts are in line with the achievement of targets in international commitments, such as the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; and national and local development plans.

 

It also provides an opportunity for us to synthesize fragmented adaptation actions into an integrated and cohesive action plan or ensuring the horizontal and vertical integration of climate-resilient planning, programming, and budgeting on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction—a priority that is articulated in our Philippine Development Plan.

 

Ways Forward

In order to further develop the Philippine NAP, our Climate Change Commission is leading the development of a nine-point agenda that will:

  1. Cascade the NAP process to significant agencies through multi-sectoral sessions;
  2. Expand stakeholder engagement in assessment, design, and implementation of adaptation plans;
  3. Assess the institutional framework for adaptation planning and implementation for multi-sectoral accountability;
  4. Identify climate risks and prioritize equivalent adaptation measure or undertake cost-benefit analysis;
  5. Integrate budget plans for each of the identified climate adaptation measures;
  6. Enhance analytical capacity for integrated approaches to adaptation planning that helps define adaptation and mitigation synergies;
  7. Conduct policy analysis and action towards integrating adaptation strategies into the Philippine Development Plan objectives and existing sectoral policies;
  8. Define monitoring and evaluation indicators that can be processed for expenditure analysis; and
  9. Develop sustainable solutions for adaptation planning and implementation funding geared towards building strong institutions and capacity.

 

Adaptation Issues in the Negotiations

Adaptation is at the very core of the Philippines’ climate change strategy. Like any other climate vulnerable country, we should be able to realize our full capacity to adapt to climate change.

 

We have been championing for a more pronounced commitment from developed countries to finance adaptation in climate negotiations, as part of our demand for climate justice.

 

We maintain that adaptation should be placed on equal footing with mitigation. We need scaled-up, continuous, predictable, and adequate financial support for adaptation.

 

The Adaptation Fund, as constantly evolving to fulfill its functions, has already been serving the purpose of the Paris Agreement.  The review of the fund should aim at ensuring its inclusion as an integral part of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC that also serves the Paris Agreement.

 

There are still multiple challenges that developing countries face in accessing financial support for the development and implementation of NAPs from the Green Climate Fund, and we also therefore call for easier and simplified procedures from the GCF, especially for its readiness and preparatory support for establishing NAPs.

 

Moreover, the Philippines is in the position to include adaptation in the Nationally Determined Contributions or NDC. Adaptation is the anchor strategy of the Philippines in developing the NDC and mitigation will be pursued as a function of adaptation. Including adaptation as a component of NDCs will further support and address our climate vulnerabilities and needs.

 

Thank you very much.