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            The United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) defines climate change as an
unusual change in global or regional climate patterns. This, for most parts,
can be directly or indirectly attributed to human activity.

 

The Philippines is widely
acknowledged as a center of biodiversity and is naturally endowed with a
variety of ecosystems, species, and natural resources. However, the demands
rising from an increasing population which leads to widespread deforestation,
land degradation, and pollution, combined with lack of institutional
protection, has put the country’s environment and natural resources under
threat.

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            As
an archipelagic country, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to the effects of
climate change. There has been an obvious change in rainfall pattern over the
years. When it shouldn’t be raining in the dry season, the country is still hit
by massive cyclones, and widespread flooding. Additionally, according to the
Philippine Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA)
climate data over the past fifty years, there has been a 0.648°C rise in temperature, with an average increase of 0.0108°C
annually.

 

According to Roberto
Verzola (2011), former Secretary-General of Philippine Greens, the
environmental problems of our country may be sorted into three categories:

1)    problems
associated with the overexploitation of our natural resources from land or
water;

2)    problems
associated with newer technologies used for production and their side effects;
and

3)    problems
associated with international activities.

 

Verzola further wrote
that the first problem usually occurs in rural communities, while the second
one in highly urbanized communities. However, it is not impossible that these
types of problems may complicate and overlap with one another.

 

            Past
and current administrations have been taking steps to aid in combatting climate
change and its effects. Examples of which are the National Greening Project (NGP) of 2011, which aimed to plant 1.5 Billion
trees in most public domains for a period of six years; the Strengthening
Coordination for Effective Environmental Management (STREEM) of 2009 which looked at the restraints in the
implementations of other sustainability conventions; and more recently, the
current administration has signed the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change which calls for the reduction of carbon emissions.

 

Objectives

            In a span of five
years, this plan aims to:

1.    
consolidate all efforts to mitigate the
effects of climate change, and reduce its possible impacts;

2.    
build a citizenry that is both resilient,
and adaptive to climate-related natural disasters, and critically conscious to
the effects of climate change; and

3.    
generate consistent national policies, and
strategies that are effective, efficient, and, appropriate for the national
situation.

 

Proposed
Workplan (Programs, Projects, and Activities)

With its aim to develop
the capacity of highly vulnerable communities in terms of resilience, and
adaptiveness, the first implementing
year of this plan will focus on engaging its stakeholders. Concentrated
dialogues will be conducted to get everyone involved. This aims to establish
accountability early on: who will do what, who will ensure that it gets
implemented well, and who will benefit from it.

This document acknowledges
that empirical data and information is needed in the designing process of this
plan. As such, the second to third implementing year will delve more
on research and development programs. Here, baseline data on carbon emission
levels, rates of deforestation, and land degradation. Focal areas, or “hotspots” of these activities, shall
also be pointed out. Concurrently, programs for capacity assessment would also
be implemented in communities, again, putting great emphasis on communities
that are more vulnerable to climate-related hazards. This will also serve as a
national, multi-sectoral consultation to create a strong backbone for more
appropriate sustainability policies in the future.

The fourth implementing year will revolve around building upon these
capacities. Critical consciousness-raising seminars, and workshops will be
given to highly vulnerable communities.

Finally, the fifth implementing year will evaluate
the effectivity of this plan in response to climate change.

 

Indicators

            Consequent
progress of this plan may be tracked through these indicators:

·      
The environmental state of the country has
significantly improved since the implementation of this plan.

·      
Highly vulnerable communities are now well-equipped
in terms of early warning, and disaster preparedness.

·      
A more effective, efficient, and
appropriate national policy on environmental sustainability has been approved,
or at the very least has been, or is being lobbied.

·      
Local Government Units (LGU’s) shall have
a more responsive, and duly committed Community-based Risk Reduction and
Management Council (CBDRRM).

 

Stakeholders

            The stakeholders
of this plan will be those that will be implementing the plan, those who will
benefit, those who will manage and see through that the plan will be
implemented accordingly, and other contributors who can affect the success of
the plan.

            More
specifically these will come from:

1.    
community development workers who shall
act as designers, educators, facilitators, and managers;

2.    
highly vulnerable communities, where most
of the participants, and volunteers will come from; and

3.    
people’s organizations and private
individuals who are willing to take part in this cause.

 

References

Current
Climate Trends in the Philippines. (2010) https://www1.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/index.php/93-cad1/471-current-climate-and-observed-trends#current-climate-trends-in-the-philippines

Verzola,
R. (2011. National Ecological
Situationer: A Framework for Analysis. Retrieved from www.rverzola.files.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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