BMUB-IKI Stakeholder Consultation Workshop

I participated in the BMUB-IKI stakeholder consultation workshop today at the New World Hotel in Makati. It’s about a new funding facility from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The Ministry has a funding facility called the International Climate Initiative (IKI). They have been supporting projects in the Philippines particularly in the area of mitigation of green house gas emissions, adaptation to the effects of climate change, conservation and sustainable use of natural carbon reservoirs/Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), and conserving biological diversity.

Most of the on-going projects funded under this facility are implemented by other government agencies like the Climate Change Commission, DENR, DOE, and DOTC. There will be a new round of funding amounting to 15M EUR slated for projects to be implemented from 2016 onwards. This time, they also wanted to involve DTI as the link to the private sector. This is in recognition the crucial role of the private sector in the climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

The workshop was intended to define programmatic priorities of the IKI portfolio development in the country. It also aims to establish a joint Philippines-Germany selection procedure of project ideas for IKI support to increase predictability, planning and implementation of IKI-assisted programs and projects. The agencies invited were previously informed to be ready with their project ideas which will be the main objective of the workshop; that is, to come up with a list of priority project ideas that will be developed for endorsement to the BMUB-IKI.

We have no prior knowledge about this funding facility. We were actually informed about the workshop just last week. Yesterday, GIZ called for a meeting to discuss possible projects that can be put forward during the workshop. The meeting did not really produce any actual project ideas. If anything, it showed how reluctant the DTI is in engaging in this type of projects. Mostly, it was GIZ who wanted to advance this idea. It is understanble however given that the leadership of the agency itself is not very keen on the idea of green economic development. Their priority at the moment is to just help SMEs get off the ground and generate jobs. At the end of the meeting, DTI urged GIZ to identify possible project ideas that can be proposed.

Early this morning, ZFP told me that GIZ emailed two (2) project ideas that we can propose. One each for adaptation and mitigation. For mitigation, the idea is to attain competitiveness and inclusive growth through a low emission and resource efficient economic development in the Philippines for SMEs. The other one, I was not able to see what it is about.

Workshop Proper

The workshop started with an opening remarks from Asec. Goco of the Climate Change Commission. She noted that the due of the concept paper is on June 1 and the due for the submission of the full proposal is in July. Dir. Sombilla of NEDA-ANRES also gave a welcome remarks. She noted that the current version of the Philippine Development Plan has now emphasized climate-related programs and projects. She said that the workshop is aimed to determine where we are now and what still do we need, in terms of the country’s climate change adaptation and mitigation agenda.

Digression: I think that this is also what we need in the office. We need to get a stack of what we have currently, the on-going projects that we have, and what still do we need based on the Department’s vision.

Dr. Liss then provided an overview of the BMUB-IKI funding facility. A lot of the terminologies that he mentioned are new to me. I thought I would list some that caught my attention and research on them some more. Here are some of the keywords that I have jotted down: programmatic approach, climate-tagging, low-carbon development, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), risk transfer, climate finance, climate-smart and resource-efficient economic development, INDCs, NAMA.

Ms. Baliatan of NEDA then presented the process flow of the project assessment and approval procedures for BMUB-IKI projects. In her presentation and in the ensuing discussion, there were also many jargons that were mentioned e.g. Green Climate Fund, Climate Public Expenditure Review, Revised Financing Framework, NCCAP, Special Presidential Authority (SPA), total resource budgeting.

Ms. Pebbles Sanchez also presented the accomplishments to-date of the Philippine Development Forum Climate Change Working Group. Some of the recommendations that caught my eye are as follows: (1) fast-track vulnerability assessment in priority areas; (2) maximize available resources; (3) support ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approach to development planning.

During the workshop proper the participants were divided into two groups: one for adaptation and another for mitigation. Prior to that I was already informed by Volker that that would be the setup for the workshop and he suggested that me and ZFP should choose which¬†group one of us will join in so that DTI will be represented in both. He also prepared two project ideas which he handed out to us for discussion in our respective groups. In my case, I got the proposal for the mitigation area. The working title is “Competitiveness and inclusive growth through a low emission and resource efficient economic development in the Philippines for SMEs”.

Our group was smaller compared to the adaptation group. There were only about six of us, representing Conservation International, DOTC, DOE, DENR, NSWM, and DTI.