SAN VICENTE, Philippines – March 5, 2015 – A top level delegation composed of members of the Danish Parliament visited the Philippines recently to see the advances the country has made in its efforts to prepare local communities against the adverse effects of climate change.
Led by Danish Parliament Speaker Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, the group flew to the Municipality of San Vicente in Palawan, one of the sites of Ecotown Demonstration Framework Project in the country, a joint project between the Global Green Growth Institute and The Climate Change Commission (CCC), who are collaborating on the implementation of the Ecotown project to promote climate change adaptation and green growth.
According to Mr. Hyo Youl Kim, GGGI Philippines Country Representative, the members of parliament came to learn about the Ecotown approach and look into the renewable energy potential of San Vicente.
Under the Ecotown Project, GGGI and CCC provided technical assistance in the conduct of studies and researches that assessed San Vicente’s natural resources, examined vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and identified the corresponding climate change adaptation measures. The results of these scientific and participatory exercises are being incorporated in the local development plans of the municipality.
“The results of these studies enabled the formulation of science-based recommendations to guide the local leadership in making decisions on how the municipality can better prepare against climate-induced calamities,” said Mr. Kim.
“Basically, it tells them how they can better preserve and enhance San Vicente’s natural resources to enable it to continuously provide for the needs of the local populace and at the same time pursue green, sustainable development in the face of climate change,” he added.
The members of the Danish Parliament were taken on a tour of the various climate-change related initiatives in San Vicente. The group visited the site of coral reef rehabilitation project where corals are replanted to enhance existing stock and promote fish growth given that the Municipality is primarily a fishing community. They were shown an agricultural demonstration farm where climate change resilient crop varieties are being propagated to support the income of local farmers. The delegation was also provided an orientation of the functions and facilities of the Rural Health Unit, which is an essential adaptation measure given the health impacts of climate change, particularly among the poor.
Mr. Lykketoft said that there is a need to prepare the people against climate change. He also said that people have to be equipped with necessary measures to get the best out of climate change.
“At the same time, we must be very committed to try to stop (climate change) before it (global temperature) goes over the (projected) 2 degrees temperature increase that can create real insurmountable problems to all of us,” he stressed.
“What we are doing here is a very good example of the necessary action on the ground,” Lykketoft said.
The Climate Change Commission, represented by Alexis D. Lapiz, Ecotown Project Coordinator, briefed the visitors on the concept of Ecotown Demonstration Framework. Rhoel Bernardo, GGGI Sr. Economic Development Specialist, briefed them about the upcoming Ecotown Scale-Up (Phase 2) Project, which is called Climate Resilient Green Growth (CRGG) planning at the provincial level. The project is expected to be implemented by CCC, GGGI, and the Provincial Government of Palawan over a three-year period from 2015 to 2018.
The other members of the Danish Parliament who joined Lykketoft are 1st Deputy Speaker Bertel Haarder, 2nd Deputy Speaker Pia Kjaersgaard, 3rd Deputy Speaker Lone Loklindt, 4th Deputy Speaker Per Clausen, Parliament Secretary General Carsten U. Larsen, Press Secretary Peter Krab, Protocol Officer Dorte Andersen, and Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen.
Read more about GGGI’s project in San Vicente here.