LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – Twenty countries, among them the Philippines, launched recently a global ecosystem program.
Also involved in the recent launch of the Global Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Community of Practice (CoP) in Berlin, Germany were 10 international organizations and institutions.
The countries represented were Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.
The Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety, spearheaded the launch of the EbA-CoP in Germany last June 16.
The other international organizations that participated in the activity were the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization, UN-Environmental Program-World Conservation Monitoring Center, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Conservation International, International Institute for Environment and Development, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Wetland International, World Resources Institute, and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) hosted by the Philippine government in the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.
The EbA-CoP approach is one of the CoPs adopted in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change last December.
The approach basically focuses on the use of ecosystems and biodiversity services as part of an overall strategy to help people adapt to the adverse impact of climate change.
Ecosystem-based adaptation helps reduce the vulnerability to climate change of people through the sustainable management of natural resources and conservation of ecosystems, and using them purposely.
Locally, the EbA concept is part of the commitment of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Paris Agreement or UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on its inclusion in the naturally determined contributions as among the climate change adaptation priority issues that will address ecosystem resilience and ecological integrity.
The Philippine delegation shared experiences on various programs covering ridge-to-reef (mountain-to-sea) approach, greenhouse gas inventory, mainstreaming climate resilience and green growth planning, sector vulnerability and risk assessment, and natural resources accounting and valuation.
All these factors are relevant to ecosystem-based adaptation.
The delegates from the Philippines were Alexis Lapiz, eco-town program officer of the government’s Climate Change Commission; Elizabeth Bardojo, environment planner/geographic information system specialist of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board – Southern Tagalog; Dolores Nuevas, GIZ-Philippines senior adviser; and Ma. Gerarda Asuncion Merilo, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau-Climate Change Office.
SEARCA, hosted by the government through the Department of Education, was represented by Lope Santos III, program specialist.