On August 19, 2021, MEDA staff members, Catherine Sobrevega and Mujtaba Ali, met over Zoom with Sir Noel Antonio V. Gaerlan, Commissioner of the Philippines Climate Change Commission (CCC), the main policy making body of the Philippines government responsible for mitigating the impacts of climate change.
During this meeting, MEDA learned from him and his team about the current state of the environment and climate action in the Philippines, especially within the Mindanao and the BARMM regions. An engineer by profession, the Commissioner recommended several climate friendly technologies and practices that can support the cacao sector. The Commissioner further emphasized the need to respond more urgently with climate smart technology and practices since there have been more extreme climate events during the past decade.
“The changing climate has always impacted [the] Philippines, but those impacts were mostly felt in the northern regions. However, over the past decade we have increasingly seen impacts in regions not previously effected such as the island of Mindanao,” Commissioner Gaerlan said.
For the RIISA Team, the opportunity to build a connection with a government official is key as it helps to strengthen MEDA’s case to promote Environment & Climate Change (ECC) in all its projects. The CCC provided helpful insights and important contacts within the University of Philippines, University of Mindanao, as well as the Department of Agriculture who can offer additional support to ensure environment within RIISA is well established and proper linkages are created.
MEDA enjoyed its productive meeting with the Commissioner and looks forward to his future visit to MEDA’s office in Davao, Mindanao to meet the RIISA team. MEDA is pleased to continue building long-term capacity in Southeast Asia and working to reduce the impact of climate change in the Philippines. Read more about the RIISA project here.