Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Seminar

Environmental and Climate Governance in the Philippines

Sat 3 September 2016Conveners: Nicole Curato & Emerson SanchezVenue: Lennox Room, Crawford School, Australian National University

The Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance is sponsoring the panel on Environmental and Climate Governance as part of the Philippines Update 2016 at the Australian National University. 

Chair: Dr Nicole Curato
Discussant: Honorary Professor Howard Bamsey

Paper Presentations

The Philippine Environment, Climate Change and Policy Responses
Professor Antonio G. M. La Viña, Ateneo de Manila University

The paper will assess how the Philippine has responded to the challenges of global climate change in the last twenty-six years (1990-2016). It will articulate how this response has been framed around three major considerations: (1) how to avert global climate change through an international climate regime that would limit or stabilize emissions; (2) how to make sure that the Philippines can adapt to the threat of climate change, avoiding its worst impacts; (3) how to ensure that the global and domestic mitigation interventions to address climate change result in sustainable development of our country and communities and not hinder it. Our strategy for the international climate negotiations from Kyoto to Paris, the policies in the national legislation we have enacted such as the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the more recent People’s Survival Fund, and the programs that are implemented locally are all rooted in these three considerations. Sometimes, these considerations can result in conflicting policy decisions such as on coal power where climate change and environment goals clashed with perceived development needs.

The paper will reflect on the progress has been made by looking at Philippine performance in the Paris negotiations, including the gains achieved through that agreement. It will shed light on the Philippine delegation’s work on the 1.5 target, human rights, forests and other ecosystems, loss and damage, and issues related to support (especially finance). The will also analyze the achievements of the Climate Change Commission since its creation in 2009 and identify challenges it needs to overcome, in the context of the escalation of climate change impacts and given the opportunities provided by the Paris Agreement. How to address the coal issue will be emphasized in the paper. Finally, It will emphasize the policy environment necessary to enable the effective engagement of local governments and communities in climate change. Such engagement is critical for the Philippines to move forward on this issue at the policy level as well as on the ground.

A future challenge? Environmental change and migration in the Philippines
Dr Hedda Ransan-Cooper, Research Fellow

Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance, University of Canberra

Internal migration, especially from rural to urban/peri-urban areas is a common experience in the Philippines. Indeed, its everyday nature is part of the reason it remains a relatively under studied phenomenon. Yet, internal migrants play a crucial role in sustaining vibrant urban activity in the Philippines (albeit not always on favourable terms). They also contribute to urban planning challenges such increased exposure to risks associated with urban settlement in high density flood zones. While it is commonly understood that internal migrants move for economic reasons, this explanation masks a complex reality. It also implicitly places responsibility for under-development at the local scale. 

A case study into the effects of environmental change on migration patterns in rural Albay provides an opportunity to challenge these (and other assumptions) about the causes of internal migration. In presenting the broad range of factors involved in environmental migration, I am not intending to suggest that it is too complex to understand, or to develop policy solutions. I do however argue that an appreciation of broader issues of development is critical if we are to confront and mitigate challenges associated with mobility.
Strengthening community economic resilience:  The case of Mataw fishing and marine governance in Batanes
Dr Ann Hill, Research Fellow, Western Sydney University

Drawing on recent fieldwork (July 2016) and the ethnographic research of Filipino anthropologist, Maria Mangahas, this presentation examines the community economy of Mataw fishing in Batan, Batanes. Mataw fishing refers to a specific set of local indigenous (Ivatan) knowledge practices in relation to catching flying fish and dorado. The presentation draws on community economic theory to highlight past and present economic resilience strategies of Mataw fishermen and to emphasise the ongoing importance of indigenous knowledge practices in contemporary marine governance.

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