THE Philippines is pushing to accelerate climate financing of gender-responsive and nature-based solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss at the ongoing 28th Conference of Parties (COP) Meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Climate finance is a key enabler to advance the understanding and implementation of nature-based solutions in the Philippines, DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuleta-Teh said in a statement.
As one of the countries most affected by climate change, the Philippines advocates a demand-driven and needs-based financing through a blended approach of grants, investments, and subsidies.
“The Philippines is pushing for accelerating climate finance. To be able to do that, we need to collaborate—the government, all countries, private sector, and philanthropic organizations—and really identify how we can achieve much-needed resources to implement nature-based solutions on the ground,” said Teh during a side event entitled “Reducing the climate finance gap with gender-responsive Nature-based Solution.” held at the Philippine Pavilion last December 4.
Nature-based solutions are approaches that employ natural processes or systems to solve societal problems in a sustainable manner. These may include reforestation initiatives, mangrove restoration projects, sustainable agricultural methods, and the creation of green infrastructure such as urban parks.
According to the World Bank, nature-based solutions can provide up to 37 percent of the emission reductions the world needs by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius.
Nature-based solutions also aid in the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, yet have not been sufficiently adopted, implemented, or financed.
“We should acknowledge that the purpose of nature-based solutions is to deliver affordable and scalable actions at the community level to fight against climate change,” added Teh added.
The DENR official also noted that aside from financing, implementing projects on nature-based solutions for the country should be planned through the lens of disaster preparedness, so that these can significantly contribute to building resilience, mitigating risks, and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
“Aside from the financing barrier, we also need to address the governance barrier. While several initiatives mainstream gender in climate financing mechanisms, the challenge is how we leverage gender equity in climate financing by prioritizing adaptation and mitigation measures or projects that would build maximum co-benefits to the poor and other vulnerable sectors including women.”
As women constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are known to rely more on natural resources for their livelihood, they are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men.
Teh said addressing the knowledge gap is also a must, pointing out that some communities still implement food system practices that can actually harm the ecosystem and the habitat.
“There are several innovations and technologies that would need our communities to be capacitated to be informed so we need to address those gaps to accelerate climate finance.”
Climate finance is one of the major themes in COP 28. According to Article 9 of the Paris Agreement, developed nations are required to fulfill their prior commitments under the Convention by giving developing states financial support for their efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to it. In addition, voluntary extension or maintenance of such support is recommended upon other Parties.
Developments in advancing nature-based solutions in the country have already made progress. In the forthcoming National Adaptation Plan and the Nationally-Determined Contribution Implementation Plan, various sectors and innovative practices supporting nature-based solutions are covered and promoted as means to secure food supply, sustain livelihoods, and restore the natural assets. The DENR also has existing partnerships with the private sector such as the Marubeni Philippines Corporation, Prime Infra, and Shell Pilipinas Corporation to reforest vast hectares of lands in the country to protect the habitats and also serve as carbon mitigation projects. The Philippines is also in the process of formulating the blue economy roadmap and has already issued guidelines on carbon accounting, verification, and certification system of Forest Carbon Projects as per DENR Administrative Order No. 2021-43.
Image credits: AP/Peter Dejong