“[The] collective effort among government, non-government institutions, academe, and local communities demonstrates the country’s commitment and willingness to move forward with REDD+,” Director Nonito Tamayo of the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) shared during the National REDD+ System Philippines Closing Event on 7 April 2017.

An agreement to pursue and sustain REDD+ initiatives was reached during the project’s closing event. Led by FMB, the forestry sector’s commitment to reduce climate change impacts through REDD+ was strongly supported by different government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations, people’s organizations, and indigenous peoples/indigenous cultural community.

The forestry sector commits more than 50% of the greenhouse gas emission mitigation target of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of the Philippines with REDD+ being one of the mitigation strategies. In October 2015, the Philippines submitted its INDC target of about 70% carbon emission reductions by 2030 relative to its business as usual (BAU) scenario of 2000–2030. In addition, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017–2022 seeks to pursue strategies to rehabilitate and restore degraded natural resources and protect fragile ecosystems while improving the welfare of resource-dependent communities.

“The Plan [PDP] intends to intensify sustainable management of natural resources such as the forest and watershed, mainstream ecosystem values into development planning, institutionalize natural resource monitoring system, and enhance the implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction actions across sectors… to increase the country’s adaptive capacities and resilience,” OIC-Assistant Director Diane Gail Llanto of the National Economic and Development Authority emphasized.

These strategies in the PDP are aligned with and contribute to the objective and strategies of REDD+, and will be further implemented to complement the Philippine government’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

Through the joint work of GIZ and FMB in the implementation of the project, approximately 467,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions were achieved through avoided deforestation and carbon sequestration in the three project sites located in the provinces of Albay, Eastern Samar and Davao Oriental.

Provincial Forest Sector Framework Plans (PFSFPs) – considered to be a pioneering activity in the Philippines – are also developed with the support of the project. These PFSFPs guide the formulation of the individual forest land use plans (FLUPs) of the LGUs and the ancestral domains sustainable management and protection plans (ADSDPPs) of the indigenous peoples/indigenous cultural community, which are vital sectors and components of the comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs). In 2013, the updated CLUP Guidelines were issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) mandating all LGUs to update and/or develop their CLUPs following the ridge to reef approach, or popularly known as integrated ecosystems (IEM) approach. With support from the project, participating LGUs have successfully formulated – with the approval of DENR – their respective FLUPs. As a result, approximately 366,407 hectares are now being effectively managed through various tenure arrangements with local communities and indigenous peoples.

“This shows how deeply embedded the bilateral collaboration under IKI [International Climate Initiative] is since it started in 2008… the Philippines has great experience and very passionate in implementing the Paris Agreement and climate change and biodiversity issues,” Ms. Barbara Schäfer of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment said in recognition of the fruitful partnership between the Philippines and Germany.

The Philippines has fulfilled three of the four requirements for REDD+ implementation under the Warsaw Framework, and the issuance of appropriate laws and policies for the country’s full REDD+ implementation is under way.

“… as a Congressional Representative, I would like to initiate the shaping up of policies related to REDD+ implementation and its safeguards, where the ecosystem services of forests – the carbon and non-carbon benefits – can be enjoyed by all stakeholders… and for the carbon sequestration to be truly a nationally determined contribution to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” 1st District of Davao Oriental Representative Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon said. (REDD+/ Frances Mara Mendoza)


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