Ten recommendations to improve the regional response to climate change have been agreed to following an international meeting at Manila. Gathering twelve countries from across Asia, the regional event was part of a series of Climate Vulnerable Forum workshops currently being convened in Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and the Middle East.
This Asia meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, an international initiative chaired by Philippines, was organized by the Climate Change Commission with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other national and international partners. Participating Governments included Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, in addition to Climate Vulnerable Forum members Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
The ten recommendations aimed at stimulating national, regional and global advances stemmed from the event’s review of challenges, gaps and success stories in Asia’s experience in dealing with climate change:
1. Strong national coordination among institutions and departments as well as vertically within national structures and at the different governance levels
2. Mobilization of community and civil society in climate action and knowledge exchange between governments, experts and communities
3. Reinforce national institutional capacity and human resources for realizing climate action
4. Increased transfer, exchange and diffusion of technologies and expertise between and among developed and developing countries and South-South
5. Enhanced balance, access to, and coordination of, international climate finance, and institutional capacity for national and international financial responses to climate change
6. Greater regional cooperation and coordination (knowledge sharing, information management, technology transfer and development, policies)
7. Promoting understanding and awareness among communities and the private sector including through an enhanced role of the media
8. Providing more effective enabling conditions for greater private sector engagement in driving climate action
9. Accelerate climate-smart industrial development essential for diversifying vulnerable sectors of economies
10. Enhanced infrastructure, research funding, and capacity for hydro-met and socio-economic data and scenarios for more accurate and robust policy-making
The regional event also held national and international consultations on the creation of a new Centre of Excellence for climate information and services for Climate Vulnerable Forum countries. The Hon. Vice-Chairperson of the Climate Change Commission of Philippines, H.E. Secretary Lucille Sering said: “I’m really happy about this workshop because there were a lot of things we were able to validate. If we stick together there is so much we can do. When we do our own analysis and planning at home we see ourselves looking for expertise mostly outside. We want to improve our capacity because nobody else understands our situation more than ourselves. This is also why with Philippines as the Chair this year, we would like to push for the creation of the new South-South Centre of Excellence.”
Also speaking at the Forum, the Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Philippines, H.E. John Gomes said: “In November 2011 Bangladesh hosted an important gathering of this Forum at Dhaka and we think its influence was felt in Durban afterwards where a new track of climate change negotiations was agreed under the UNFCCC just weeks later. The growing collaboration between our two countries in this Forum and other areas really demonstrates the opportunities and potential value of cooperation between developing countries. We look forward to continuing to work with the Philippines as it takes its presidency forward.”
Mr. Titon Mitra, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme, a Forum partner for the event, commented that: “The issues you have identified resonate strongly with what vulnerable countries from other regions have been saying. This is particularly true for concerns on: awareness, coordination for policy implementation, international finance, human and institutional capacity, private sector engagement and on technology and R&D. This region has a real opportunity to shape a collective orientation in the run-up to and after COP21, and to link regional agendas to global agendas for greater impact. Let me congratulate you on your efforts and achievements.”
The output of the Asia regional event will be presented in the global consultation of the CVF to be held in June 2015 in Bonn, Germany where the conclusions of all Climate Vulnerable Forum regional meetings held during 2014-15 will be reviewed together and will be considered in the formulation of the CVF Roadmap.
The Climate Change Commission, lead to the Office of the President, is the lead policy-making body of the Philippine government tasked to coordinate, monitor and evaluate programs and action plans on climate change. For more information, check out: facebook.com/CCCPhl