Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Bamako COP Affirms Commitment to Pollution-Free Africa

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:30
At COP 2, African countries reaffirmed their political commitment to implementing the Bamako Convention and achieving the sound management of chemicals and wastes, and the SDGs. Parties agreed to establish a permanent Secretariat in Mali and to review a roadmap for this process at an Extra-Ordinary COP in Sudan, in 2019.

UN-Water Members and Partners Discuss Baselines for SDG 6 Indicators, Awareness Raising

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:30
The High Level Panel on Water is expected to launch its report in mid-March. On World Water Day, 22 March, the UN General Assembly President will organize a high-level event to launch the International Decade for Action – Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028). The 8th World Water Forum will also coincide with the annual celebration of World Water Day. In preparation for the HLPF, UN-Water Members are establishing a baseline for the SDG 6 indicators that will culminate in the launch of the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018.

Donors Boost Financing for Education Systems

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:29
Donors at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) conference in Dakar, Senegal, announced a US$1 billion increase in education funding for developing countries. Their commitments mark progress towards GPE’s target of US$2 billion a year by 2020 in a bid to achieve large-scale gains in education worldwide. UNESCO finds that reading literacy has risen in some countries, and highlights some metrics for assessing progress.

Australia Launches Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:28
Australia launched the ‘Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy’ in conjunction with the 28th UN-Water Meeting. The Guidelines were prepared as part of global efforts to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) and other SDG targets that rely on the development and management of water resources.

Investors Urged to Align Portfolios with Paris Agreement

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:28
The Investment Agenda identifies actions that investors can take to accelerate and scale up efforts to tackle climate change and achieve the Paris Agreement goals. UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a climate summit in September 2019 to ensure that ambition is sufficiently calibrated for 2020 and beyond. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said divesting from carbon intensive assets and aligning with the Paris Agreement’s goals requires a “complex realignment” that requires action by investors.

Hawai’i Plans State-level SDG Implementation

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:27
The Hawai’i State Senate announced it will implement the SDGs through the Aloha+ Challenge. The Aloha+ Challenge is a local sustainability framework that includes a dashboard to track progress towards clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart and sustainable communities, and green workforce and education. The 2018 Senate Legislative Program outlines Hawai’i’s goals for each of the 17 SDGs.

Generation 2030: Youth Express Needs, Recommendations for SDG Implementation

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:26
Youth highlighted the importance of investing in children and youth as cross-cutting priority, the need for disaggregated data to show spending on youth priorities, and the necessity of involving young people in partnerships including, public-private partnerships. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, expressed hope that the HLPF Ministerial Declaration will recognize the contribution of the ECOSOC Youth Forum and make it a formal part of ECOSOC.

WHO Targets Infectious Diseases, Premature Cancer Deaths

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:23
The World Health Organization is working to reduce the economic cost of premature cancer deaths, and to eliminate measles and yellow fever in several target countries. An investigation by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) highlights the value of preventive activities tailored to each country’s "cancer profile". WHO is also supporting countries to monitor the rise of antimicrobial resistance through establishing their own national surveillance systems.

EU Expert Group Provides Recommendations for Sustainable Finance

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:22
The final report of the EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) includes eight key recommendations for integrating sustainable finance, with implications for the global financial system. Following the recommendations, the European Commission will publish an Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, expected in March 2018.

Climate Mitigation Finance Update: Renewable and Energy Efficiency Financing and Guidance for Paris-compatible Investments

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:21
The Investment Agenda aims to provide guidance to investors in the transition to a global low-carbon economy and urges governments to enhance their climate policy ambition by 2020. Funding for renewable energy projects has been announced in the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Mauritius, Peru and Rwanda. A continent-wide fund for off-grid energy access was launched for Africa.

Symposium Discusses Supply Chain and Deforestation Links

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:18
The 'International Symposium on the Promotion of Deforestation-Free Global Supply Chains to Contribute to Halting Deforestation' was organized by the Forestry Agency of Japan with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). Outcomes will feed into the 'International Conference on Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area - from Aspiration to Action,' organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and hosted by FAO, at the end of February.

Conflict Continues to Drive Hunger

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:18
FAO and WFP provided an update on the food security situation in countries affected by conflict to the UN Security Council. In half of the 16 countries monitored, more than one quarter of the population faces emergency or crisis levels of food insecurity. In most countries food security continues to deteriorate because of intensifying conflict.

Companies Commit to Science-Based Climate Targets

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:17
Approximately 500 companies are expected to “step up and commit to set science-based targets” by the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit. Mahindra said businesses can “future-proof growth” by setting science-based targets, which also shows governments that businesses are serious about aligning their strategies with the Paris Agreement.

UNFCCC Paper Urges Coordination on Climate, Disasters and SDGs

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:17
A technical paper by the UNFCCC explains why an integrated approach to climate change adaptation, the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is necessary. The report discusses the challenges faced in undertaking integrated action to respond to climate and disaster risks, including insufficient climate and socio-economic data, inadequate institutional capacity, and a lack of financial and technical support.

World Bank, OECD Advance Financing Initiatives for SDGs, Paris Agreement

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 02:15
Offering investors an opportunity to align financial and social objectives, the World Bank's first-ever bond on women empowerment was oversubscribed, with more than 40 investors placing orders for more than CAD1.2 billion. OECD’s Paris Collaborative is the first cross-country and cross-sectoral initiative designed to support governments to “green” their fiscal policy by embedding climate and other environmental commitments. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes adopted the first report on the status of implementation of the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) Standard.

Policy Brief: SDG Knowledge Weekly: Health, Gender, and Blockchain for Financial Inclusion

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:40
The Overseas Development Institute published a working paper on violence against women and girls and links to resilience. UNICEF released its ‘2017 Countdown to 2030’ report on women’s, children’s and adolescent health. The German Development Institute (DIE) explores new opportunities for development finance in ‘A Primer on Blockchain Technology and its Potential for Financial Inclusion.’

Key PhilGAP implementers unite their Strategies and Interventions

DA-CAR Latest News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:13

Many  local farmers find being certified as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) difficult to attain.


GAP are differing sets of codes, standards and regulations jointly developed by governments, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to improve the sustainability of agriculture.


The pursuit of GAP seeks to ensure food safety and assuring food quality as well as keeping high regard for environmental protection and improving workers’ health, safety, and welfare.


Farmers and other producers or suppliers along the food chain are encouraged to adopt GAP regulations covering crop irrigation water, manure and municipal bio solids, worker health and hygiene, field and forest sanitation, postharvest water during packing, transportation, and storage and distribution, among others.


In the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is the responsible agency that grants, maintains and withdraws GAP certificates to individual growers or farms or to their produce marketing organizations.


It is specifically administered by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Products Standards (BAFPS as chair and co-chaired by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). The members include the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA); Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM); Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI); High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP); Representative, Private Sector; Representative, NGO/PO; Representative, Academe; and others.


To encourage more farmers to adopt GAP and become certified as practitioners, main PhilGAP promoters have joined hands in reviewing and assessing their interventions to come up with a unified and complementary strategic approach that would help and encourage their farmer-clientele to become GAP certified practitioners.


According to Ms. Joan Bacbac, HVCDP regional focal person, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is the first region that organized its Regional GAP Team. Because of this, the CAR guidelines & protocols were prepared and approved. Last year a total of 1,285 farmers were already trained on GAP with Package of Technology under the DA CAR HVCDP aside from those funded by the LGU’s.


GAP certification is seen as a ticket to the ASEAN market, following the region’s integration where trading of vegetables and other produce among ASEAN countries is free, yet only a few farmers are applying for GAP certification, lamented Bacbac.


In spite of that reality, she explained that “we should continue doing our mandate, to conduct trainings and boost information dissemination on GAP."


Assistant Director Myrna Sta. Maria of ATI-CAR supported Ms. Bacbac’s proposition saying farmers must organize into cooperatives to compete in the emerging globalized markets. She added that all partners and participants in the agricultural industries of the country must also converge their efforts to resolve problems relative to product competitiveness and advance local products in the markets.


While GAP certification brings benefits to farmers, the costs associated with becoming GAP certified can discourage potential applicants, especially small farmers in third world countries.


For instance, growers who adopt GAP and other food safety practices do not receive higher prices for their products but may face higher production costs due to the costs of adopting GAP.


There are actually more problems and concerns that local PhilGAP implementers and promoters face but coming together to unite and advance best practices in promoting in the area is commendable, according to the participants.


The meeting was attended by representative from ATI-CAR, DA-RFO- CAR HVCDP, BSU, BAPTC and the assigned HVCDP focal persons and report officers from different provinces and municipalities of CAR last January 30-31, 2018 in ATI-CAR, La Trinidad, Benguet.


Each representatives presented the highlights of GAP interventions they conducted to farmer-clientele. Issues and concerns on the conduct of GAP interventions were aired, discussed and addressed.//  Karen T. Gawigawen


Implementing SAAD in Kalinga with camaraderie and empowerment to its beneficiaries

DA-CAR Latest News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 08:00

“Let us help the community beneficiaries of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program in Kalinga Province help themselves.”


The advice was given by Engineer Domingo Bakilan, Provincial Agriculturist (PA) of Kalinga Province, in a message to local officials and participants of the SAAD consultation-workshop held last January 27, 2018 at the Golden Berries Convention Center, Tabuk City, Kalinga.


The SAAD consultation-workshop was undertaken with the beneficiaries to determine the program’s priority projects and activities in Kalinga next year (2019). 


To be able to carry-out his suggestion, PA Bakilan said that it is best done with camaraderie among the program’s implementers from the barangay all the way to the provincial levels. We can surely succeed if we will work hard, “hand-in-hand,” as a first step and a continuing approach through the end, he added.


The three municipalities that will be covered by the program are Balbalan, Pasil, and Tanudan with three barangays each.


The coverage barangays from the municipality of Balbalan are Balbalan Proper, Maling and Dao-angan; from the municipality of Pasil, the coverage areas are Pugong, Malucsad and Ableg; and barangays from the municipality of Tanudan are Dupligan, Mabaca and Pangol. These areas were selected based on the highest poverty incidence in a 2016 data gathered by the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO).


During the workshop, the participants identified priority crop commodities that they are engaged in and needs further development support with banana as the main commodity, and root crops as the alternative source of income specifically sweet potato, native ginger and turmeric, gabi and taro, and organic native pig.


Support and assistance to these commodities, according to the participants, must increase production, and improve quality of produce. With the program, the beneficiaries are seeking for the establishment of community enterprises and to provide alternative sources of income.


According to Mr. Caesar D. Lagon, OPAS-Kalinga Planning Officer, who presented the proposed Work and Financial Plan (WFP), banana production was chosen by the beneficiaries as their main commodity because it can assure them an increase in their income.  Banana has been determined to be a suitable crop in the locality and has a favorable market in the Province throughout the year.


The proposed budget for the implementation of SAAD in Kalinga starting next year is around 60M.


To establish a smooth implementation of SAAD, Bakilan requested for a proper coordination with the governor to issue an Executive Order (EO) for the creation of a Provincial Program Management Office (PPMO). The PPMO will lead the SAAD’s implementation in the provincial level.



The activity was attended by the National Program Management Office (NPMO) staff headed by SAAD Program Director Bernadette F. San Juan, PA Domingo Bakilan, the different Municipal Agriculturists (MA’s) of the three municipalities, the different barangay captains of the identified priority barangays and Department of Agriculture (DA)-CAR staff.// Leny Mendoza



Lacwasan: MP Eyes to Graduate from Poverty in Three Years Time

DA-CAR Latest News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 08:00



Mountain Province Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan does not see poverty leaving his landlocked province until after three years.


The governor aired that grim assessment during a workshop consultation for the implementation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) for FY 2019 held last January 29, 2018 in Bontoc, Mountain Province.


SAAD is a six-year locally funded project under the Department of Agriculture that focuses on the most marginalized agricultural and fishery sectors in the country. It aims to alleviate poverty of poor farmers and fisherfolks through providing agricultural and fishery livelihood-related projects to its target beneficiaries. Implementation of the project already started in 2017 with Apayao as the first Cordillera province covered.


In his message, governor Lacwasan reiterated the importance of cooperation and support among the barangay captains under the coverage of the program to implement the program wisely.


“For the barangays who were selected, please cooperate and be obedient to implement this project and we hope that after three years we will also graduate from poverty,” Lacwasan said.


The consultation-workshop was done in preparation for the smooth implementation of the program next year in the said province.


According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Mountain Province had the highest poverty incidence in the Cordillera at 49.9% in the first semester of 2015. It increased by 4.6% since the first semester of 2012.


For Mountain Province, all of the ten municipalities were chosen as beneficiaries with one barangay per municipality as main focus of implementation. Identified program interventions are swine production, poultry production, mango production, citrus production, banana production, coffee and cacao production, tiger grass and swamp gabi production, brown egg production, quail egg production, legumes and vegetable production.


Selection of the barangay coverage of the program was based on the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS 2013) poverty incidence rate data. These are Bekigan in Sadanga, Leseb in Bauko, Ankileng in  Sagada, Pudo in Natonin, Mabalite in Tadian, Latang in Barlig, Napua in Sabangan, Catengan in Besao, Dalican in Bontoc and Bunot in Paracelis.


Provincial Agriculturist (PA) John Likigan briefed the participants regarding the program. All of the Municipal Agriculturists (MA’s) were present during the activity together with the Barangay Captains and some Barangay Kagawads.


SAAD Program Director Bernadette F. San Juan was also present along with her staff.


Other participants came from the Provincial Agriculture’s Office, and DA-CAR.


The workshop consultation aimed to create a proposed design that will fit the needs of the beneficiaries by involving them in the planning process.


“We hope that your commitment and cooperation will be there from the start of the program up to the end of the project,” stated Ms. Jane Tumapang, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist in her closing remarks.//



Other participants came from the Provincial Agriculture’s Office, and DA-CAR.


The workshop consultation aimed to create a proposed design that will fit the needs of the beneficiaries by involving them in the planning process.


“We hope that your commitment and cooperation will be there from the start of the program up to the end of the project,” stated Ms. Jane Tumapang, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist in her closing remarks.// Leny Mendoza



Event: High-level Meeting on Tuberculosis

Climate Change Policy & Practice - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 06:02
The 71st UNGA decided to hold a high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis in 2018. By resolution 71/159, adopted on 15 December 2016, the Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and in consultation with Member States, to propose options and modalities for the conduct of such a meeting, including potential deliverables. On 11 January 2018, UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak announced that the Permanent Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda and Japan will co-facilitate the holding of the meeting. On 29 January, he circulated proposed elements for a resolution on the modalities of the meeting, indicating that the meeting could take place 24 or 26 September 2018. The proposed elements will be considered in a consultation on 9 February. More information on the high-level meeting is available here.