Mabuhay, Philippines!

I am writing this in Satchmi – a cosy, vintage cafe in Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines. I landed this afternoon and it took me one hour to get from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport to my hotel in Ortigas, Pasig located in Metro Manila – a trip that usually takes 30 minutes. I now understand what everyone was warning me about before I left – the traffic and the rain.

The traffic was horrendous, coupled by rain

The 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum will be held at the Asian Development Bank Headquarters in Manila, Philippines from 17th-19th October 2018. Every two years, the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) hosts the Adaptation Forum, and I had the privilege to attend #APAN2016 and now #APAN2018, thanks to the Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme. This year, #APAN2018 is co-hosted together with the Climate Change Commission, the Philippines, the Government of the Republic of Palau and the Asian Development Bank.

Climate talks have been on the rise for the past 2 weeks with the release of the Special Report 1.5C of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is anticipated that this would be a hot topic of discussion for the next three days during the Forum. The theme “Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts” reflects the vulnerability of the host and co-host countries, the Philippines and Palau. Building on this, there are four streams that will be focused on during the forum, which are:

i) resilience of social and human systems

ii) resilience of natural systems

iii) resilience of industry and built environment

iv) resilience of island communities

The sessions will revolve around several approaches to adaptation, policy, legislation and institutions, planning, designing and implementation, science and assessment, technologies and practices and finance. To properly address these approaches, the Forum hopes to see through actionable and scalable “next steps” for communities, stakeholders, and governments.

In 2015, ahead of COP21 in Paris, the Philippines hosted the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) to discuss critical climate policies that would safeguard the most vulnerable groups. With less than 2 months away from COP24, which is deemed the biggest COP after COP21, the Philippines is seen hosting yet another important Forum that would be a platform to accelerate climate action, adaptation, and resilience in order to feed in the Global Stocktake at Katowice, Poland at the end of the year.

It is time to create more conversations and build more awareness on adaptation and resilience. In the next three days, the Forum will uncover all of that and beyond.

Written by Jasmin Irisha

Edited by Arief Johan