Empowering Women and Youth for Community Climate Action

In an effort to further reach out to local governments and present its ongoing sustainability programs, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) hosted two sessions at the 2015 Urban Environmental Accords Summit held in Iloilo City, Philippines, on 15-17 September 2015.

The first session, “Empowering Women and Youth for Community Climate Action,” was held on September 15 and organized for the project, ‘Community Actions and City-to-City Exchange Cooperation on Climate Change in the Philippines’, jointly implemented by ICLEI SEAS and ICLEI Japan Office and financed by the Japan Fund for Global Environment. Launched in 2013, this project aims to catalyze climate action the women and youth of the municipality of Tubigon (Bohol), Philippines, aided by the experiences shared by local governments in Japan and the Philippines on environmental education and disaster prevention.

The second session, “The Urban Nexus: Experiences and Challenges in the Philippines,” was held on September 16 based on the project, ‘Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus.’

‘Empowering Women and Youth’ was attended by more than fifty representatives from local governments, the academe, non-government organizations, and national government agencies. It provided a platform for knowledge exchange on the experiences and initiatives of Japan on groundwater preservation, climate change and environmental education, and collaborative governance, as well as the initiatives and challenges faced by Philippine local governments on climate change and disaster preparedness.

In the session, panelists discussed the need for stronger political commitment to advance policy issuances that serve as backbone to the immediate implementation of climate change and disaster preparedness initiatives. These initiatives must be innovative to sustain the interest of the public. Local governments should further explore multi-stakeholder partnerships as well as vertical and horizontal collaborations to ensure representation, explore opportunities, and deliver results.

While several initiatives are already in place, it was noted, local governments continue to face challenges due primarily to lack of technical expertise and funding. Collaborative relationships and processes remain to be weak; in particular, horizontal collaboration has proven to be difficult for the acquisition of adequate data and information due to unclear processes and overlapping functions.

Nevertheless, capitalizing on building the capacities and potentials of women and youth continues to offer opportunities for ‘realistic, inclusive, and comprehensive’ climate solutions. Through the ‘Community Actions’ project, Tubigon has intensified its engagement with the women and youth sector through a number of initiatives planned, implemented, and monitored by the women and youth themselves.

A highlight of the session was the launch of the training manual, “Educating the Youth on Climate Change: Training Manual for Teachers,” one of the key outputs of the project. A similar document is currently being prepared for the women sector, set to be published by the end of 2015.

For a copy of the training manual, email iclei-sea@iclei.org.

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(From L-R) ICLEI SEAS Regional Director Vic Aquitania, ICLEI Japan Office Senior Program Advisor Michie Kishagami, and Tubigon Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Noel Mendaña present the training manual, “Educating the Youth on Climate Change: Training Manual for Teachers,” a key output of the project ‘Community Actions and City-to-City Exchange Cooperation on Climate Change in the Philippines’, jointly implemented by ICLEI SEAS and ICLEI Japan.
 
 
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