PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) wants to help cities address the climate crisis in vulnerable communities by increasing access to climate financing and building resilience of villages and the natural ecosystems.
Under the USAID’s 5-year $15 million climate resilient cities project, this seeks to improve resilience by strengthening the capacities of cities to adapt, mitigate, and manage the impacts of climate change.
The project activities had been designed by experts to enhance stakeholders’ knowledge on climate information for planning and decision-making; improve capacity to access and manage climate finance; and broaden the adaptation and mitigation interventions through implementation of natural climate solutions.
Further, the project focuses on building climate resilience in urban areas, which contributes to the achievement of the Philippine National Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2028, the Philippine nationally determined contribution, the Philippine National Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Road Map 2018-2022, and to the goals of the United States government in tackling the climate crisis abroad.
The USAID project supports local government units and other stakeholders in improving their capacity to understand, use, and communicate climate information which includes vulnerability, risk data and hazard mapping.
As the frontline agencies addressing climate adaptation and mitigation, the USAID underscored that local government units are mandated to formulate, plan, and implement their local climate change action plans.
Moreover, the local governments are expected to mainstream climate adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction actions in their respective local land use plans, local development plans and zoning ordinances.
The project also supports cities and non-governmental organizations to increase access to climate financing. Improving access to different finance mechanisms such as the Philippines’ People’s Survival Fund, The Green Climate Fund, among others, will benefit and empower cities to increase community resilience and drive economic and social development.
The projects work to promote and broaden the adaptation of mitigation interventions of climate actions to expand reach and impact. Cities need water, energy, shoreline protection and flood control offered by mangrove and upland forests, respectively. Allowing nature to sustain its ecological services increases the resilience of cities to climate change impacts.
At present, the project areas are now existing in Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Borongan, Cotabato and Zamboanga.
The said project is being implemented by the Catholic Relief Services in collaboration with Conservation International, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, University of the Philippines Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute.