Philippines, France sign 1.5-million-euro climate deal
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and France signed a grant agreement for a 1.5-million-euro investment in climate change resilience to build ecosystems and community resilience in central Philippines over the next four years.

The signing was held on Wednesday during the United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris.

The agreement was signed by Francois-Xavier Duporge, general secretary of Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial, and Peter Seligmann, chairman of Conservation International, at Le Bourget. Nereus Acosta, presidential adviser for environment protection, signed the grant agreement for the Philippines.

Kicking off in late 2015, the project will protect the municipality of Concepcion in Iloilo and will be managed jointly by Conservation International (CI) Philippines and the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The project supports the development of “green/gray infrastructure” which is a combination of natural defenses such as mangroves and man-made structures like coastal armoring and small levees. 

Acosta said this two-pronged approach outlined for the grant is crucial because 70 percent of Filipinos depend on agriculture and the oceans. “The only social security they have is nature.”

CI believes that nature is at least 30 percent of the solution to climate change. By employing a mix of natural defenses such as mangroves and man-made structures like coastal armoring and small levees, the Philippines will protect both nature and itself in a changing climate.

Two years ago, just before the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing millions.

The country was vulnerable because much of its mangrove forests, which would have helped buffer communities from the storm surge, had been cleared to create fishponds to provide food. Coastal areas like Concepcion were hit hard.

CONCEPCION CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONNEMENT MONDIAL FONDS FRAN FRANCOIS-XAVIER DUPORGE LE BOURGET NEREUS ACOSTA PETER SELIGMANN PHILIPPINES AND FRANCE PHILIPPINES AND THE BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA
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