PHL conference highlights best practices, ‘holistic’ approach to resilience-building
Located in the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Malabon Command and Control Center monitors traffic and potential hazards like flooding.

(All photos from the ACCORD Facebook page)

MANILA – Attended by nearly 200 representatives from local government units (barangays, municipalities, and cities), national government agencies, and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), the second annual “Ugnayan at Bahaginan: The Partners for Resilience Philippine Experience” national conference was held on July 21-22 at the City Garden Hotel in Manila, Philippines. The event served as a culmination of the five-year resilience building efforts targeted at several barangays in the Philippines. The program was led by the Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development, Inc. (ACCORD) and the Philippine Red Cross under the Partners for Resilience (PfR) project, in cooperation with CARE Netherlands and Netherlands Red Cross.

The first day of the event was allotted to field visits to two local governments in Metro Manila – Malabon City and Valenzuela City. Barangay and community leaders shared processes undertaken for a systematic response to flooding and other disasters. They presented community maps, water level scales, alarms, rescue boats, and bio-intensive gardens. The city government also presented hard and soft disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives.

On the second day, local officials from Metro Manila, the Caraga region in southern Philippines, and the Cordillera region in the north presented best practices, lessons, and challenges encountered in resilience-building in their localities. The event was successful in showcasing initiatives such as mainstreaming climate change adaptation (CCA) and DRR into local plans and programs, formation of DRR institutions, development of contingency plans and community vulnerability maps, conduct of community drills, installation of early warning systems, diversification of livelihood, and awareness-raising for households.

The event highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to resilience building – incorporating CCA, DRR, and ecosystem management and restoration. Success stories revealed four enabling factors (4 P’s) for effective resilience building – partnerships, political will, persistence, and public participation.

ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat, with support from the ICLEI European Secretariat and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), has assisted the PfR-implementing organizations in developing case studies (termed ‘inside stories’) focused on the project experience of Malabon and Valenzuela. This was conducted under the CDKN-ICLEI Sub-national Learning Programme on Climate Compatible Development (CCD). The learning programme aims to capture and disseminate key lessons from CDKN’s experience on the success factors and preconditions, drivers and barriers to sub-national CCD from selected CDKN projects globally.

CDKN defines CCD as a ‘development first’ approach that ‘minimizes the harm caused by climate impacts, while maximizing the many human development opportunities presented by a low emission, more resilient, future.’ The PfR project has anchored its activities on these principles as showcased during the two-day event.

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Bio-intensive gardening inside Potrero Elementary School serves the school canteen as well as evacuees who take refuge in the school during emergencies.
Community risk maps are displayed in strategic locations to inform residents of flood-prone areas, evacuation routes and safe areas.
Conference participants (clockwise from top, click on each photo to view): Agusan del Sur; Cordillera; Surigao del Norte; Valenzuela; keynote speakers and Dutch CSO partners; CSOs and government agencies; CSOs and event organizers.
 
 
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