Climate Policy Team
ICSC’s Climate Policy Team (CPT) works on climate finance and policy focused on access, accountability, and research. These pillars guide CPT’s vision of an ideal climate finance ecosystem where different sectors such as the academe, civil society, national government agencies, and local actors, contribute expertise in building communities that thrive despite new challenges brought about by climate change.
On one hand, CPT sustains ICSC’s gains from leading the passage of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) by ensuring that local government units and various organizations are capable of engaging in PSF. CPT leads technical workshops as well with civil society partners through specific systems of interest to create local-specific climate rationales. On the other hand, as part of ICSC’s vision of a striking balance between access and accountability, CPT leads the expansion of the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI+) to a global community of practice, which has now started with Vietnam and Indonesia.
CPT also leads specific climate research, where findings are then transformed to policy recommendations that would feed to existing development plans. By design, CPT’s research portfolio seeks to bridge the gaps between climate policy development and research.
Continuing the expansion of Climate Finance Accountability
AFAI+ South to South Skillshare with GreenID in Vietnam
One of the goals set by the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI), an international initiative seeking to track climate finance, was to create spaces for collaboration across different recipient countries. ICSC recognizes that climate finance tracking is necessary, however, it can also be daunting for one organization or country to do alone. Hence, the Institute created an Asian community of practice on climate finance tracking and accountability.
The community, executed through Skillshare, promotes learning from south to south countries on the tools and processes needed for climate finance tracking and accountability. The learnings from the workshops in effect are helpful in the climate finance spectrum such as but not limited to, contributor and recipient countries, national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), academe, and, civil society organizations (CSOs). Accordingly, ICSC conducted an AFAI+ Skillshare with Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity), a civil society organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia last 2015. Moreover, another Skillshare was held with Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) last June 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Bangladesh, Nepal, and Laos are some of the countries expected to become part of the community off practice soon.
AFAI+ in COP 24 Katowice—side event on ShiftSEA
ICSC expanded AFAI to AFAI+ by including mitigation finance in its portfolio, specifically contributing in the efforts to shift financial flows to low carbon development in the Philippines. AFAI+ was highlighted as a measurable, verifiable, and replicable (MVR) mechanism that:
- Provides evidence through reported data;
- Raises questions on tracking whether climate finance and funded programs/projects translate to climate action on the ground; and
- Identifies funds that trigger low carbon development.
Partnership between ICSC and the Climate Change Commission in tracking climate finance in the Philippines
ICSC leveraged a partnership with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) in delivering a Philippine-led initiative on climate finance which operates on a common understanding that both contributor and recipient countries are responsible for tracking their climate finance initiatives. ICSC is currently in the middle of discussions with CCC’s Climate Investment Services (CIS) office to operationalize this understanding.
Jumpstarting Slow Onset Events Research in the local level
Local specific/community-based Slow Onset Events (SOE) research in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Santa Fe, Cebu with the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) and Visayas State University (VSU)
As a result of the scoping report on SOE, there is a need to establish consolidated local data on SOE and its impact to affected communities. Adopting this recommendation, ICSC, in partnership with VSU, conducted a community-based monitoring and analysis of SOE and its adverse impact to coastal communities. The research covers studies on the occurrence of sea level rise (SLL), ocean acidification, and sea surface temperature (SST) in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in Cebu, which are considered part of the “Super typhoon Haiyan corridor” or areas where typhoon Haiyan made land fall. At the same time, VSU trained community members to take part in the monitoring using improvised equipment such as tidal gauges.
Analysis is presented through the correlation of primary data from National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) and actual monitoring of SLL, ocean acidification, and SST on specific sites in the community. In conclusion, the research recommends policy actions that can be incorporated by LGUs to their development plans and implementation of climate adaptation initiatives. Furthermore, research agenda aims to expand its coverage within the Typhoon Haiyan corridor, as supported by Cordaid.
Replication of the SOE scoping research with new academic institution partners from the West Flanders’ synergy program
ICSC is leading the climate change cluster of the Province of West Flanders’ synergy program in the Philippines as part of mainstreaming the climate change agenda in the context of sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship. The policy and advocacy agenda of the cluster include the replication of the scoping research on SOE focusing on the agricultural sector.
At the same time, ICSC is working with new academic institution partners from North Luzon (Isabela State University, Nueva Vizcaya State University, and Saint Mary’s University) and South Luzon (Central Bicol State University). The first implementing year of the research focuses on gathering existing literature and data showing historical and current occurrence of SOE, primarily temperature and precipitation, and its impact on the agricultural sector.
Forging new partnerships: Province of West Flanders in Belgium
ICSC helped shape the preparatory phase of the West Flanders Synergy Project from 2017-2018, which resulted to three main thematic components: Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Entrepreneurship. West Flanders, a province in Belgium, sought a multi-stakeholder partnership as part of its long term support to the Philippines. Parties who are members of each thematic component consists of: civil society organizations, higher education institutions (HEI), and cooperatives. ICSC was appointed lead of the climate change thematic group, and steered the formulation of the group’s work plan comprising two parts: (1) capacity-building and awareness-raising, and (2) policy research and advocacy.
Capacity-building and awareness-raising
This component focuses on knowledge-sharing between synergy member CSOs who are working on climate change and locality-based cooperatives. Trainings will be conducted to equip local synergy members on the necessary skills and knowledge to engage LGUs in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR-CCA) planning.
In 2018, the climate change synergy cluster initiated capacity-building and awareness-raising by making an inventory of existing training modules from each member and coming up with a harmonized DRR-CCA training module to be rolled out to pilot communities selected by the Synergy Project. The training module is expected to be finalized in early 2019, while module roll-outs will commence after.
Policy research and advocacy
ICSC, together with Synergy HEI partners—Isabela State University (ISU), Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), St. Mary’s University (SMU), and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) already started the research process on slow onset climate change events, emphasizing its effects on agriculture. Accordingly, the Institute facilitated consultations between HEI research teams and Lourdes V. Tibig, CPT’s climate science adviser, to further refine the research focus of each HEI.
Forging new partnerships: Cordaid Philippines and Partners for Resilience
Turnover of Guiuan’s CCAF and PSF proposal
In August 2018, the Guiuan Recovery and Sustainabile Development Group for Resilience (GRSDGR) accommodated Commissioner Rachel Herrera in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The CCAF is an innovation from the locality that serves as a resource mobilization tool for LGUs, ensuring that climate plans in Guiuan are funded and pursued to their implementation.
GRSDGR TAG Team to pursue resource mobilization
The GRSDGR formed a core group, referred to as TAG team, to continue the process of resource mobilization. The group has representatives from CSOs, LGUs through department heads and the Sangguniang Bayan, local academe, and private sector representatives. Their main objective is to ensure proper execution of local climate plans through a shared responsibility among/between multiple sectors.
Start of ICSC’s partnership with Coron, Palawan and Santa Fe, Bantayan Island LGUs
Last September 2018, the CPT started partnerships with CORDAID and the municipalities of Coron and Santa Fe for local climate planning and resource mobilization. The ongoing partnership involves diving into Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP) development and the formulation of Climate Change Adaptation Framework (CCAF).
Sharing of local planning experience in international conferences (APAN)
The Secretary of Guiuan’s Sangguniang Bayan and representatives from ICSC shared the success story of Guiuan in developing comprehensive local climate action plans in their communities during the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) Conference hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The CPT was able to share the design of a Climate Change Adaptation Framework (CCAF) as an innovative tool to assist in resource mobilization.
Building the Guiuan Bantay Dagat solar-powered, floating guard house
In partnership with Cordaid, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and ICSC, the volunteer marine coast guard, referred to as Bantay Dagat, constructed and launched the very first floating guard house in the country which aims to improve the monitoring of marine protected areas. With the help of the Re-Charge Pilipinas (RCP) Team, Bantay Dagat members also underwent a Solar Scholars Training. As a result, they currently manage a solarized communication and light system on board the guard house which serves as their outpost and potential rest stop and rescue center for fisherfolks.
People’s Survival Fund
Is the representative of non-government organizations (NGOs) in the PSF Board, ICSC steered the critical junctures in board meetings, which resulted to the operationalization of six approved proposals from LGUs amounting to more than Php300 million, as well as the deferment of other proposals that need to be improved. Further to ICSC’s role on the PSF board, they sent several online updates and hosted two webinars on the PSF operationalization, which was widely attended by civil society members.
Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the GCFWatch
ICSC hosted a CSO-launch of GCFWatch, an online platform made by CSOs for CSOs. GCFWatch collects information from three regional nodes in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, which aims to serve as a library of content generated by civil societies and other watchdog organizations following GCF discussions. Materials to be included in GCFWatch include proposal evaluations, policy interventions, and policy papers, among others. ICSC’s CPT also take part in various GCF-related discussions with board members, secretariat, and civil societies.