ADB-funded Marikina River Basin project completed

  • 20 October 2015, Tuesday

Source: BusinessMirror
20 Oct 2015

SAN MATEO, Rizal—A three-year project aimed at transforming Rizal towns along the Marikina River into protected landscapes has been completed, with the research team funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) saying that several projects to mitigate climate change and reduce flooding are being implemented.

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) was commissioned by ADB to conduct the project in close coordination with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the project’s implementing agency.

Searca tapped Ergons Project Marketing Consultants to work in the project along with the local governments of Antipolo City and the towns of Tanay, San Mateo, Rodriguez and Baras.

Officially known as “ADB TA-8111 PH: Climate Resilience and Green Growth in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape: Demonstrating the Eco-town Framework,” the project held a Wrap-up and Project Review Workshop late last month at Seameo Innotech in Diliman, Quezon City, to assess the impact of the project.

The project had four components: Collection of baseline information and assessment of vulnerability to climate change; identification, analysis and prioritization of locally appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures; the selection of pilot demonstration areas and implementation of gender-equitable adaptation and mitigation measures; and the development of knowledge products and strengthening of stakeholder capacity.

At the wrap-up workshop, the results and impacts of the project and key continuity and sustainability programs were presented by project team leader Elmer Mercado.

“Our hope is that local governments will be able to use and maximize the results of this project in updating their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plan and in preparing local climate- change action plans,” said Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., Searca director, in a message delivered by Searca Deputy Director for Administration Virginia R. Cardenas.

Ancha Srinivasan, principal climate change specialist at the ADB, said green growth and resilience measures piloted by the project included bio-charcoal briquetting for the five localities; pioneering species establishment and rehabilitation in Tanay, Rodriguez, and Baras; and check dams in San Mateo and Antipolo City.

“This is not to say that these are the only measures that could be implemented, but within the time and budget constraints, these are just the pilot demonstration activities…. If we can identify adaptation and mitigation measures, there are funding from international sources,” Srinivasan stressed.

The major outputs of the project include: Baseline information, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, and sectoral vulnerability assessments covering agriculture, water, health, forest, roads and bridges; natural resources accounting and economic valuation; and greenhouse-gas (GHG) inventory.

In addition, more than 2,000 stakeholders in the protected landscape benefited from training activities and workshops conducted by the project.

These included training on GIS, natural resource management and benefit-cost analysis, adaptive capacity, GHG emissions inventory and payment for environmental services.

Officials and staff of the local governments were apprised of the process, methodology and outputs-results of the technical assistance.

Among the most tangible outputs of the project were the baseline information and maps on climate-change impacts, as well as tool kits and quick guides on conducting GHG inventory,
vulnerability assessments, benefit-cost analysis and GIS for
local governance.

Forester Alexis Lapiz of CCC thanked the local governments and all the sectors involved in the project for their active participation. He reiterated that climate change is a global phenomenon that must not be taken for granted but rather, there is a need to prepare for it and plan at the local level so that adaptation and mitigation strategies can be properly implemented.

Aside from Mercado, the other members of the Technical Assistance Team are Maria Victoria Espaldon, capacity building and gender specialist; Florencia Pulhin, GHG specialist; Esteban Godilano, GIS specialist; Nicomedes Briones, Natural Resource Management specialist and Rey Alo, Knowledge Management specialist.