National focal points of the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) are set to meet in the Philippines for the ASEAN Climate Change Partnership Forum 2018 on June 26, 2018, and the 9th Meeting of the AWGCC on June 28-29, 2018, all to be held at the Asian Development Bank.

Also joining the forum are chairs of relevant sectoral bodies and relevant dialogue partners, and external parties who will discuss priority activities on climate change actions, explore possible cooperation or collaboration and exchange information on flagship programs in the region.

DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change, Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh sees the multi-stakeholder forum as an urgent call for ASEAN partners to take concrete actions in tackling climate change.

“We have all seen the disastrous effects of climate change. We are convinced that the time to act is now. Through this gathering of ASEAN leaders and international technical experts, we hope to achieve a well-coordinated and integrated approach to addressing climate change,” Teh said.

Southeast Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change as a large proportion of the population and economic activity is concentrated along coastlines. The region is also heavily reliant on agriculture for livelihood and a high dependence on natural resources and forestry. Extreme poverty also remains high in the region.

ASEAN leaders resolved to enhance cooperation in addressing climate change and in particular expressed their support to the development of the AWGCC.

Atty. Jonas Leones, DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs said the 9th AWGCC meeting will also be an opportunity for the adoption of an ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland.

“Lined up for the AWGCC meeting are discussions on the implementation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and the AWGCC Action Plan that focus on climate adaptation and resilience, mitigation, technology transfer, climate finance, cross sectoral coordination and global partnership to see where we are in the pipeline, ” Leones added.

Established in 2009, the AWGCC is envisioned to be a consultative platform to further strengthen regional coordination and cooperation in addressing climate change, and to undertake concrete actions to respond to its adverse impacts.

In the 8th AWGCC held in Yangon, Myanmar, it was agreed by ASEAN member states that the focus should be on cities that are most vulnerable. Partnerships between cities must also be established wherein primary cities within ASEAN can serve as hubs to support capacity-building for smaller cities in surrounding areas.

This year’s partnership forum and the AWGCC meeting are made possible by the AWGCC Chair through Singapore, with the DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau, the Asian Development Bank, and the Hanns Seidel Foundation Indonesia Office.###