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UN Special Rapporteur to review PH's climate change policy

A UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change is currently in the country to review the Philippines' climate action policy. 

UN Special Rapporteur Ian Fry arrived in the Philippines on November 6, 2023 to conduct a review of the framework, policies, and implementation on climate action of the country until November 15.

The Climate Change Commission is hoping that Fry's review will help the Philippines get additional help in mitigating possible disasters. 

“Kitang-kita naman, we’re number one sa countries who are at risk. It’s something because we’re the least responsible but we suffer the most. Ibig sabihin, something is wrong... it’s becoming really real for us at we need exact more commitment from other countries," said Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje at a public briefing on Wednesday.

(It's obvious, we're number one among the countries who are at risk. It's something because we're the least responsible, but we suffer the most. That means something is wrong... We need exactly more commitment from other countries.)

Fry will travel to Metro Manila, Leyte, and Iloilo to meet with communities affected by climate change and several government officials and representatives from civil society.

The special rapporteur will focus on loss and damage and the impacts of climate change on human rights; climate change legislation, litigation, and intergenerational justice; protection of environmental human rights defenders; and gender responses to climate change.

“On those five points, layunin ng ating pamahalaan na ipakita na there is a strong frameork, policy and implementation pagdating sa areas na ito. Hindi naman natin sinasabi na tayo perpekto, but its part of the nation building na ginagawan natin ng paraan,” Borje said.

(On those five points, our government aims to show a strong framework, policy, and implementation in these areas. We don't say that we are perfect, but it's part of the nation-building that we are resolving.)

Fry will hold a press conference in Manila on November 15 at the United Nations House in Mandaluyong City. He is set to present his report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2024.

Disaster Response

Borje, meanwhile, mentioned that the government aims to improve and institutionalize disaster response measures to provide safe communities to Filipinos.

"Tayo ay magkakaroon na ng National Adaptation Plan for the first time, ito ay mangyayare. Tayo din ay hard at work para sa implementation plan, ibig sabihin ito ay plano para mareduce ng PIlipinas by 75% ang ating greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

(We will have a National Adaptation Plan for the first time, this will happen. We are also working hard on the implementation plan, meaning it is a plan for the Philippines to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.)

Among the programs are the National Climate Change Action Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan, and National Framework Strategy for Climate Change.

“When you talk about climate change, ito ay buhay, kabuhayan, at kinabukasan ng ating mamamayan. So importante na malaman ang impacts nito sa ating society,” Borje reminded the public.

(When you talk about climate change, it is the life, livelihood, and future of our people. So it is important to know its impacts on our society.) —Sherylin Untalan/ VAL, GMA Integrated News