Cities of Naga and Santa Rosa renew partnership with GIZ Urban Nexus and ICLEI SEAS
Mayor Mark Pacalioga of the Municipality of Dumingag (center) joined by ICLEI SEAS and several workshop participants
 

Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur - ICLEI SEAS conducted a Climate Change Workshop for the local government unit of the municipality of Dumingag and a back-to-back Teachers’ Training on Educating the Youth on Climate Change last 21st to 22nd September 2016 . The three-day workshop, held in partnership with the local government of Dumingag, was attended by a total of 160 participants consisting of executive committee officials; barangay officials; representatives from the environment, agriculture and health departments; civil society organizations (CSOs); and the academe.

The workshop proves relevant and timely to the needs of the municipality as it aimed to provide a deeper understanding to the key stakeholders and decision makers on climate change, basic scientific concepts, their vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, as well as international and national policies. It also equipped the participants on conducting vulnerability assessment through a workshop using the Asian Cities Climate Change Network (ACCCRN) process. The participants were guided on the identification of perceived climate impacts to the following priority urban systems – agriculture, water, infrastructure, education, and health. The identified climate risks were then prioritized according to their corresponding likelihood of occurrence and consequence. This was followed by an actors analysis wherein each key and relevant stakeholder group was assessed on their capacity to organize and respond, availability of resources, and access to information.

The participants were then asked to identify potential climate resilience interventions and how these can be integrated into existing municipal plans. These interventions were further assessed on its feasibility (technical, political, cost) and impact (short-, medium-, and long-term). Among the interventions identified for the four priority urban systems include the following: (1) scheduling of planting crops considering observed changes in local climate; (2) acquisition of additional agricultural machineries (e.g. harvester, corn miller) for every barangay to increase productivity; (3) seek financial support for solar dryer construction; (4) strengthening and capacitating farmers’ cooperatives and community health workers; (5) school-based gardening of resilient crops; (6) integrating DRR in academic curriculum; (7) implement the shift in academic calendar to avoid typhoons; (8) strengthen advocacy on environmental health and sanitation; and (9) use of solar energy to augment electricity needs.

This exercise can serve as a guide in the formulation of the municipality’s Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), one of the pre-requisite documents of local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines to be able to access the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), a special fund in the National Treasury that will augment the finance needed for climate change adaptation programs and projects of LGUs.

In terms of climate mitigation, ICLEI also led an initial activity data assessment using a template devised to address the data requirements of the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GPC). This exercise can serve as a guide for the LGU in conducting its GHG inventory.

A back-to-back teachers’ training on educating the youth on climate change followed on the 23rd of September 2016. A total of 69 elementary, high school and college teachers from the municipality actively participated in the training.

The training assisted the participants in developing participatory teaching approaches and methods to actively involve students and provided them with necessary skills to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) and DRR actions within their school and community. During the workshop, the teachers identified entry points for climate change education in their existing curriculum and activities. Several of the examples cited include the following: use of climate concepts in math and word problems as well as in public speaking exercises (e.g. debates, extemporaneous speaking); promotion and use of organic farming in the subject, Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP); tree planting during Girl and Boy Scout camps; and clean up drives.

A Teachers’ Handbook on Climate Change was distributed to the participants and the LGU. This handbook is designed to reinforce the knowledge of teachers on climate change, their capacity in organizing schools-based environmental education programs and activities related to climate change and enrich understanding of students on the imminent threats posed by climate change. It also provides a framework for the delivery of the lesson on the basic concepts of climate change, This material can also be used by trainers who will take opportunity in facilitating climate change education to the youth and their local community.

The UNESCO highlights the immense role of teachers in pushing forth climate change education and influencing the youth to take a proactive role towards addressing climate change.In the Philippines, several policies have been passed to reinforce the need for integrating climate change into the school curricula. These policies include the Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729), the National Environment Awareness and Education Act of 2008 (RA 9512), and Department Order No. 55 of 2007 that mandates the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in both structural and non-structural components of the school system.

Dumingag, an ICLEI member since 2013, is a second class municipality in the province of Zamboanga del Sur. Relying heavily on agriculture, the residents’ main source of livelihood remains vulnerable to impacts of climate change which threaten their main goal of alleviating poverty as guided by their Genuine People’s Agenda. The local government has already undertaken several measures to adapt to these experienced impacts of climate change such as intensifying organic agriculture; conducting biodiversity restoration program and lowland reforestation with native trees; issuing policies to address illegal logging and kaingin.

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