The World Bank conducted an implementation completion mission in pilot sites of the Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP) in Caraga Region on February 20-22, 2017. With the project completing its grant in December 2016, the field mission was part of the post-closure activities of the Bank in preparation for the implementation completion report of PhilCCAP.
Maurice Andres Rawlins, Natural Resources Management Specialist and PhilCCAP Task Team Leader of the World Bank, sat down with project implementers to conduct in-depth interviews to capture insights gained from the implementation of PhilCCAP, particularly its outcomes and impacts, plans for sustainability, and lessons learned.
Milafe Nohara, PhilCCAP Regional Focal Person, and Josephine Araojo, Protected Areas Biodiversity Ecosystem Section Chief, shared the success of PhilCCAP in the development of the updated climate-smart management plan for the Siargao Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS). The document is vital for the proper and effective management of the protected area since strong safeguards are needed as SIPLAS progresses to be one of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the Philippines.
Aside from highlighting the updated management plans, Nohara and Araojo also explained the benefits from institutional strengthening activities undertaken by PhilCCAP. Such activities not only resulted to capacitation of DENR and LGU staff and officials in protected areas management, but also built stronger linkages among institutions.
Members of the SIPLAS Local Working Group composed of different Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officers (MENROs) shared with Rawlins the benefits of the management prescriptions reflected in the updated SIPLAS plans. These prescriptions have helped in ensuring the environmental integrity of their respective municipalities.
One of the recipients of livelihood assistance of the Project, the Don Paulino Fisherfolks Association, demonstrated how the materials provided in the fabrication of fish pots – a sustainable fishing practice – have helped the organization create stronger units of fish pots, which are resilient to underwater conditions, thus resulting to better fish catch.
Relative to the mangrove rehabilitation initiative of the project, Anderson Licuan, president of Del Carmen Mangrove Bayanihan Association, was upbeat that this component would not only improve fish catch, but also in the long run contribute to the development of eco-tourism enterprise in the area.
Another people’s organization provided with livelihood assistance by the project, the Barangay Caub Marine Association, a women-dominated group, encountered problems in maintaining the established abalone pen as harsh weather conditions kept destroying the structure.
The observations captured from the interviews by the World Bank of PhilCCAP implementers, stakeholders, and beneficiaries would be translated into a final evaluation report of the project. This report would be expected to be finished by the Bank in June 2017. (Paolo G. Balderia)