Philippines: Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change


The Philippines are particularly vulnerable to climate change, which is threatening to hamper attainment of the MDGs. This Joint Programme's goal was to improve the country's capacity to plan and implement projects to mitigate the impact of climate change, with a focus on the most disaster-prone eastern seaboard.

The programme brought together eight UN agencies, the Interagency Committee on Climate Change, donors and other partners over a period of more than three years to complete the country’s knowledge base and strengthen institutional capacities to manage climate change risks.

The three targeted outcomes were:
  1. Mainstreaming climate risk reduction into key national and local development, planning and regulatory processes;
  2. Enhancing capacities of key national agencies, 43 local governments, academia and communities to undertake climate resilient development; and
  3. Testing six integrated adaptation approaches with the potential to be scaled up.
Main achievements included:
  • Climate change was integrated broadly into the Philippine Development Plan. Environment and climate change were identified as one of the five priority areas for budgeting, and a new cabinet cluster was created within the Office of the President on "Integrity of the Environment and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation."
  • The Philippines Meteorological Bureau produced a vulnerability and adaptation assessment of 43 provinces and a national framework for action was developed to respond to climate change-related health challenges.
  • The programme worked with partners to mainstream climate change concerns in sectoral plans, including mentoring and coaching of provinces on conducting vulnerability assessments. Some 70 Climate Change Adaptations were established to address agricultural adaptation options. Pilot testing of an early warning surveillance system was completed in two areas.
  • Climate Change Vulnerability and Assessment Tools for the Health, Water Resources, Coastal Resources, and Agriculture/Forestry/Biodiversity Sectors were completed. Five Mainstreaming Guidelines were made, and Capacity Assessments were carried out among 13 NGAs and 10 Provincial LGUs.
  • The Innovative Financing Scheme in Agusan del Norte showed impressive results, with more than 800 farmers benefitting from the financing scheme which was coursed through a local co-operative, a rural bank, and Municipal Governments. Beneficiaries reported income increments from their initial harvests, and a Weather Index-Based Insurance (WIBI) System was piloted in the area that paid out indemnities to several hundred farmers.
  • In Albay, 84 Modified Barangay Contingency Plans were finished, which integrate climate change adaptation with disaster risk reduction, and a Climate Change Academy was created to be a learning center on climate change adaptation for government and private sector personnel.
  • In Benguet and Ifugao, 25 Climate Change Adaptation Options were introduced for upland farming in 97 sites. Most of the participating farmers reported positive effects from their production of alternative cash crops and their investment in small-scale infrastructure.
  • An Operations Manual and Web Manual for the Early Warning System (EWS) called BASE/ESRC were developed in the Metro Manila and Albay areas. Strategic studies were also completed, particularly the Study on the Use of Climate Change Variables to Predict Dengue Cases and the Assessment of Vulnerability and Adaptability of Albay and Metro Manila on the Impact of Climate Change on Health. The project also trained health workers through modules for the Training Course for Public Health Workers on Mitigating the Health Effects of Climate Change. A key output in the health sector was the adoption of the Administrative Order on Mainstreaming Climate Change in Health Programs by the DOH.
  • In Sorsogon City, the project showcased the processes and elements of a climate change-resilient human settlement. A Vulnerability Assessment Report with focus on human settlement areas was done. This led to the crafting of a draft City Shelter Plan which has climate change parameters. The design parameters of a climate-resilient coastal settlement/community were also completed. A related output was the retrofitting of 30 houses in 5 sites and the development of a prototype of a climate-resilient housing structure. Alternative Livelihood Training Courses were also conducted to demonstrate greater income options for coastal settlers. 


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in the Philippines.



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 19 Dec 2008 - 19 Jun 2012
Net funded amount $7,969,831
Participating UN agencies FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UNHABITAT, WHO
National partners National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA)
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