ICSC’s Climate Policy Team (CPT) works on climate finance and policy focus on access, accountability, and research, which guide the organization to 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.

ICSC led the passage of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) by ensuring that local government units (LGUs) and various organizations are capable to engage in PSF. The organization leads technical workshops with civil society partners to create local-specific climate rationales. ICSC also led the expansion of the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI+) to a global community of practice, which has now started with Vietnam and Indonesia.

The Institute’s climate research approach seeks to bridge the gaps between climate policy development and research, by transforming findings to policy recommendations that would contribute to existing development plans.

Continuing the expansion of Climate Finance Accountability

AFAI+ South to South Skillshare with GreenID in Vietnam

The Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI), an international initiative seeking to track climate finance, intends to create spaces for collaboration across different recipient countries. ICSC recognizes that climate finance tracking is crucial and created an Asian community of practice on climate finance tracking and accountability.

The online community, done via Skillshare, promotes learning from south to south countries on the tools and processes needed for climate finance tracking and accountability. The outputs are helpful in the climate finance spectrum such as but not limited to, contributor and recipient countries, national government agencies (NGAs), LGUs, academe, and, civil society organizations (CSOs). ICSC conducted an AFAI+ Skillshare with Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity), a civil society organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia last 2015. 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 of practice soon.

AFAI+ in COP 24 Katowice—side event on ShiftSEA

ICSC expanded AFAI to AFAI+ by including mitigation finance in its portfolio, contributing to 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 partnered 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, consolidated local data on SOE and its impact on affected communities need to be established. ICSC, in partnership with VSU, conducted a community-based monitoring and analysis of SOE and its adverse impact to coastal communities, which covered studies on the occurrence of sea level rise (SLR), ocean acidification, and sea surface temperature (SST) in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in Cebu – which are part of the “Super typhoon Haiyan corridor”. At the same time, VSU trained community members in monitoring using improvised equipment such as tidal gauges.

The correlation of primary data from National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) and actual monitoring of SLR, ocean acidification, and SST on specific sites in the community were analyzed and presented. The research recommended policy actions that can be incorporated by LGUs to their development plans and implementation of climate adaptation initiatives. The agenda expanded 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 led the climate change cluster of the Province of West Flanders’ synergy program in the Philippines. The organization mainstreamed 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.

ICSC also worked 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 focused on gathering existing literature and data showing the 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 shaped the preparatory phase of the West Flanders Synergy Project from 2017 to 2018 that resulted in three main thematic components: climate change, sustainable agriculture, and entrepreneurship. The Province of West Flanders sought a multi-stakeholder partnership as part of its long term support to the Philippines, which involve civil society organizations (CSOs), higher education institutions (HEI), and cooperatives. ICSC led the climate change thematic group and steered the formulation of the work plan with 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 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 made an inventory of existing training modules from each member and came up with a harmonized DRR-CCA training module. This is expected to be finalized in early 2019 and rolled out to pilot communities selected by the Synergy Project.

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) started the research process on slow onset climate change events, emphasizing its effects on agriculture. 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 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 the TAG team core group 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. The 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, ICSC started partnerships with CORDAID and the municipalities of Coron and Santa Fe for local climate planning and resource mobilization. This involves diving into Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) development and the formulation of the Climate Change Adaptation Framework (CCAF).

Sharing of local planning experience in international conferences (APAN)

The Guiuan Sangguniang Bayan secretary 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). ICSC shared the CCAF design 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 Bantay Dagat constructed and launched the very first floating guard house in the country which improves the monitoring of marine protected areas. With the help of RE-Charge Pilipinas (RCP), Bantay Dagat members also underwent a Solar Scholars Training, which helped them manage a solarized communication and light system on board the guard house that serves as their outpost and potential rest stop and rescue center for fisherfolk.

People’s Survival Fund

ICSC steered the critical junctures in PSF 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. The organization also sent several online updates and hosted two webinars on operationalizing PSF, 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 serves 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 also took part in various GCF-related discussions with board members, secretariat, and civil societies.