Press Release
April 28, 2017

Legarda to Convene Green Climate Fund Dialogue in PHL, Says Programs Must Be Transformational

Senator Loren Legarda today said she will convene a national dialogue for stakeholders on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in the Philippines to ensure that the country prioritizes the right programs for funding and to involve the private sector and non-profit organizations.

Legarda made the statement at the High Level Segment of the Green Climate Fund Structured Dialogue in Asia in Bali, Indonesia, moderated by GCF Executive Director, Ambassador Howard Bamsey.

As Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance, Legarda joined ministers of finance and environment from Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Malaysia at the high level panel.

"We must heighten the level of awareness among our national government agencies and the domestic private sector on the GCF. A national structured dialogue would gather all government agencies concerned and discuss what proposals to pursue. We also need to involve the private sector so that they can also be accredited entities that can access funding from the GCF," said Legarda.

"We hope that the GCF would expedite the accreditation of our state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines as a national implementing entity (NIE)," she added.

The Senator said that even without an accredited NIE yet, proposals can already be prepared for GCF support such as mangroves, bamboos and coral reef rehabilitation and protection, and renewable energy projects especially in unelectrified areas.

The Philippines is preparing to submit a grant proposal to GCF by December 2017 titled, "Build the resilience of poor communities in the Philippines," which will benefit at least 10 million farmers, 500 local government units covering at least 19 provinces.

"We must ensure that our programs are transformational as indeed envisioned by the GCF, and that these projects would lead to the implementation of our environmental laws and directly benefit our people. The ongoing ASEAN Summit in Manila is a venue where these issues can be discussed because nations in Southeast Asia are facing similar problems. Most of us are vulnerable developing nations, but we must translate these challenges into opportunities to promote sustainable and equitable development," Legarda explained.

She added, "I hope that the GCF can adopt a policy that outlines the rights of indigenous peoples as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and for the Fund to strengthen its country ownership guidelines to include women and indigenous peoples."

Moreover, the GCF can devote specific readiness funding for outreach and engagement with civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders that will help strengthen capacities and understanding on gender, indigenous peoples and safeguards; and to establish formal engagement and consultation processes with stakeholders, including national coordination mechanisms that allow participatory monitoring in partnership with National Designated Authorities (NDAs).

Legarda also sought the support of the GCF Secretariat in crafting legislation for the creation of green banks in the Philippines.

"I will lead the development of policy for the creation of green banks for financing climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as disaster risk reduction and management programs, because we need to involve the private sector in striking a balance between economic development and environmental protection," she said.

Currently pending in the Philippine Senate is Legarda's proposed measure to establish environmental units in every banking institution to assess and ensure that projects subject of financing applications as well as collateral offered as security shall conform to environmental laws.

The GCF was established by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to play a central role in mobilizing and channeling the financial resources required to enable a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate resilient pathways in developing countries. The GCF aims to provide financing through financial instruments such as loans, equity, guarantees, and grants.

The GCF Structured Dialogue in Asia from April 26-29, 2017 in Bali, Indonesia aims to discuss with Asian countries how they can access the Fund.

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