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Adaptation critical in fight vs climate change—CCC

As the country braces for the possible arrival of stronger typhoons this year, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said adaptation is the “critical aspect" in the fight against climate change. CCC, the government arm tasked to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, said it will forge an agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that aggressive adaptation measures will be advocated in all levels of governance. CCC vice-chairman Secretary Heherson Alvarez said the CCC will sign this month a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DILG and the Centre for Initiatives and Research in Climate Change Adaptation (CIRCA) of Albay province. The other party to the planned MOU will be the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines, through its Resident Coordinator Jacqueline Badcock, also the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative. “The battle plan to address and confront the challenges of global warming and climate change in the Philippines, being highly-vulnerable to climate-related hazards, is a two-pronged approach," explained Alvarez. The chairman of the CCC is President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy" Aquino III himself. According to Alvarez, the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC) recognizes the need for the country to take up mitigation efforts. It also highlights the need for adaptation measures which are critical in the fight against climate change. “The Philippine archipelago, with population of over 90 million people, now faces threats from more intense tropical cyclones, drastic changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise, and increasing temperatures," he said. "Climate-resilient" To help all sectors become “climate-resilient," Alvarez said adaptation must be translated to all levels of governance starting from the national government. “As our adaptation blueprint, the Albay experience will be replicated in all provinces. It exemplifies the effectiveness of local governance for addressing adaptation and disaster risk reduction needs brought on by natural hazards and climate change." Albay is locally and internationally recognized for addressing climate change through its “Capacity Development for Better Governance Approach," a program for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. “It is generally accepted that policies and response measures for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are highly local and are, therefore, best shaped by local actors, especially local governments, which can, in turn, focus such on the most vulnerable social groups," Alvarez emphasized. “Consequently, the pertinent actions for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction need to be centered at the local level. We must prepare our communities against climate disasters as if we are preparing to go to war," he added. In the international arena, Alvarez said the Philippines has called for a “deep and early cut" in greenhouse gas emissions of industrialized nations as part of the mitigation strategy. At the same time, Alvarez said the Philippine government is seeking financial assistance in the global negotiations to help domestic adaptation efforts against climate change. –VVP, GMANews.TV