DAVAO CITY—The Climate Change Commission and Mindanao Development Authority is calling for the adoption of climate resilience and "green growth" approaches for the development of Mindanao in a conference held May 9 to 10 at the Grand Regal Hotel in this city.
The Asian Development Bank and a consortium of the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture supported the initiative titled "Climate Resilience and Green Growth in Mindanao: Road Map to Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Development."
In a joint statement read by CCC Commissioner Noel Gaerlan, together with Dr. Ancha Srinivasan, ADB Principal Climate Change specialist, and representatives of Secretary Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto of MinDA and Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA director, they have committed to "pursue holistic and integrated climate resilience and a green growth road map."
This road map is based on principles of ecosystems-based development planning, environmental protection, utilization of green and low emission technology, adaptive infrastructure development, consideration for women, children and indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities, they said.
It also aims to create livelihood options and green jobs to uplift the lives of people in the Philippines in general and Mindanao in particular, the group added.
"There is an urgency to approach local development planning at three fronts: climate and disaster risk preparedness, environmental stability, and economic growth, in the light of the changing and worsening climatic conditions, which are important ingredients in ‘building resilience' and thus saving lives," Gaerlan said.
CCC is aggressively promoting risk- and science-based approach, convergence and integration of various government efforts towards development of climate-adjusted national and local development plans.
On the other hand, Alonto said Mindanao as a food basket is threatened by the impact of climate change, as recent heavy flooding in several areas in Mindanao has claimed lives and properties "and has become a serious concern to everyone."
Alonto said in his keynote address read by MinDA Chief-of-Staff Abul Khayr Amalon Alonto II that MinDA's strategic priorities include climate change adaptation and mitigation, promotion of clean and green technologies, sustainable management of natural resources and critical ecosystems, and promotion of public awareness and capacity building for environmental sustainability.
ADB's Srinivasan also noted that by integrating locally appropriate and gender-responsive climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in comprehensive land use and development plans, Mindanao and its LGUs can lead others in simultaneously addressing poverty and climate change and in achieving sustainable development goals by 2030.
Saguiguit said Mindanao has vast potential for agro-industrial development, which can contribute to our nation's food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation. "However, these potentials are confronted with the adverse effects of climate change."
He said agriculture remains to be the driver of Mindanao's development and a major backbone of the Philippine economy, "and our best option against this challenge is to adapt and heighten the resiliency of agriculture to the effects of climate change."
The conference was supported by ADB and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction-funded project titled "Climate Resilience and Green Growth in Critical Watersheds," implemented by CCC. It was commissioned to a consortium composed of SEARCA as lead organization, CTI Engineering Japan, Woodfields Consultants, Inc., and ERGONS Project Management.