DENR, GTZ will embark on climate change projects

June 26, 2009 8:05 am 

MANILA, June 26 — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is embarking on two major projects that would help address climate change, with funding support of some EUR4,430,000 from the Republic of Germany through Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).

The projects, whose implementations were recently approved by DENR Secretary Lito Atienza and GTZ’s Director and Principal Advisor Walter Salzer and Project Manager Dr. Uwe F. Scholz, are the “Adaptation to Climate Change and Conservation of the Biodiversity in the Philippines (ACCCBIO)” and the “Support Program for Solid Waste Management for LGUs (SWM4LGUs) Phase II”.

“Both projects are in line with the program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to address the problem of global warming and climate change. We would like, therefore, to thank our benefactors and partners, the GTZ in particular, for these very significant agreements we have forged with them,” Atienza added

Atienza said the grant coming from the GTZ will greatly help the DENR in implementing government projects aimed to mitigate the impact of climate change especially that the country has been identified by scientists as among the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change.

Atienza said the first project “Adaptation to Climate Change and Conservation of the Biodiversity in the Philippines” (ACCCBIO), is aimed at developing and implementing relevant adaptation strategies to compensate the effects of climate change and loss of biodiversity in selected areas in the country. Said project will run for three years, with funding support of EUR 2.43 million.

Specifically, said Atienza, the project seeks to strengthen the Inter-agency Committee for Climate Change, which recently has been upgraded to Climate Change Office (CCO) by virtue of DENR Administrative Order No. 2009-04.

Under the order, the CCO shall serve as the coordinating mechanism internally among DENR offices, as well as externally, with other national government agencies, non-government organizations and local government units, in the development and implementation of climate change strategies, programs and projects.

ACCCBIO will also provide support to the implementation of measures that will protect and keep the unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity of the country, including the enhancement of public awareness on climate change and other environmental issues, Atienza added.

According to the DENR chief, the country’s natural wealth of flora and fauna, comprising 52,177 species, stand to be adversely affected by climate change. Thus, he said, under the ACCCBIO, the DENR will provide funding to micro projects intended to protect biodiversity such as management of protected areas, rehabilitation and protection of sea-grass beds, coral reefs, upland and coastal forests, including mangroves. It is also targeting the poorer segment of Philippine population, particularly small-scale farmers and fisherfolk in the buffer zones of protected areas as beneficiaries.

The other project, “Support Program for Solid Waste Management for LGUs (SWM4LGUs) Phase II”, is a 3-year, second phase of a project intended to assist selected local government units in the effective and efficient implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act No. 9003). It has a funding support of two million EUR 2-million from GTZ.

“The idea under this project is to enable municipal administrators to operate integrated waste management systems in a correct and economically efficient manner so that we will be able to reduce the emission of methane gas from garbage into the atmosphere,” Atienza said.

Furthermore, the project seeks to "capacitate" the regular staff of the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR in the field of solid waste management, particularly in regions 6, 7, 8 and 13.

Among the LGUs proposed to become partners of the DENR under the project include the cities of Iloilo, Roxas and Sipalan and the town of Buenavista, Guimaras, all in Region 6; cities of Bayawan and Dumaguete in Region 7; the cities of Maasin, Ormoc, Baybay, cluster municipalities of San Juan, St. Bernard, Anahawan and Hinunangan, and cluster municipalities of Palompon and Isabel, and the town of Liloan, Leyte, all in Region 8.

Based on the agreement signed earlier, the GTZ will allocate EUR 20,000 from its total contribution of EUR 2 – million for use in the establishment of small, selected pilot projects and activities. (PNA) /V3/utb/

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