U.S. climate change aid for PHL reaches USD 28M

June 24, 2015 10:03 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, June 24 — Financial support for local climate change initiatives from the United States has reached USD 28.16 million as of this year, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The total investment is a combination of contributions from the U.S. private and public sources to raise the country’s capability to address impacts of climate change, said Joe Foltz, deputy chief, office of environment, energy and climate change of USAID Philippines.

Philippines is vulnerable to climate change impacts, particularly the agriculture sector. We address climate change by promoting low emission development strategies and building community resilience,” Foltz said in a press briefing.

Environmental protection programs, which has been backed by the U.S. for several years now, has covered 880,821 hectares of lands and bodies of water under improved natural resource management.

Different activities have resulted to reduction of 658,632 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The reduction “has long term impacts on slowing climate change and has strong ancillary benefits for pollution, security and health.”

Total number of hours of U.S.-led climate change-related trainings has reached 145,959 involving 43,657 stakeholders and 190 institutions.

“Institutions with improved capacity will be better able to govern, coordinate, analyze, advice, or make decisions related to adaptation, clean energy, or sustainable landscapes,” Foltz explained.

The U.S. government has scaled up its climate change-related support to the country after super typhoon Yolanda ravaged communities in central Philippines.

“One major activity last year was the presentation of storm surge study and its impact to the local government units of Leyte and Samar. Everybody has stories, but to see the science behind it, this is the first time,” Foltz added.

“We’re bringing again further the next month or so in terms of climate change and what does it mean to agriculture, the important drivers of local economy. It’s going to be important for people to understand how the climate is changing. We will continue that kind of assistance.”

As one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines typically loses up to USD 5 billion each year to natural disaster-related causes, according to USAID.

Among the U.S. government’s ongoing projects are increasing the country’s capability and quality of modeling technologies to manage storm surge and hydrometeor logical risk, extending adaptation tools to local governments for disaster risk reduction initiatives, and increase climate resiliency of water and sanitation facilities. (PNA)



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