Philippines hosts ASEAN Partnership Forum, 9th Working Group Meeting on Climate Change

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.### 

LMB fully operational in Quezon City

The Land Management Bureau (LMB) has moved its operations to Quezon City, a few weeks after a huge fire ripped through its main office building in Binondo, Manila.

The LMB—a staff bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources responsible for administering, surveying, managing and disposing alienable and disposable lands—set up a Help Desk, and the Office of the Director, Assistant Director, Legal and Land Management Division (LMD) are also fully operational at the third floor of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s new building along North Avenue in Quezon City.

LMB’s Administrative Support Staff and Center for Land Administration and Management - Philippines (CLAMP) have also transferred to their temporary offices at the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Training Center, while the Geodetic Surveys Division (GSD) is at the Salakot House of the BMB in the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, also on North Avenue.

The Bureau of Fire Protection has yet to complete its thorough investigation into the May 28 fire that gutted the entire LMB building, adjacent buildings and other establishments including the National Archives Office.

Meanwhile, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu reiterated that majority of land records in LMB have been digitized, so information is safe.

Cimatu said that while the physical land records had been damaged, these only serve as backup of documents in the regional offices. “All land records can be retrieved in the DENR regional offices,” he said.

He noted that the DENR had already started full implementation of the Land Administration Management System, an information system which computerized public land records nationwide and consolidated all land data and records in the country to facilitate the land titling process.

Thus, LMB had in its custody the back-up of the digital cadastral database and public land records, even assuming these are damaged, these can be easily retrieved from the Regional Offices.

Cimatu said copies of land records may be obtained not only in regional offices but also in the provincial and community environment and natural resources offices.

“All land-related inquiries and transactions shall be attended to by the LMB in the best way possible,” Cimatu said.

“Rest assured that LMB will work on the recovery and retrieval plan and ensure that its operations will be back on track as soon as possible,” he added.

The LMB Help Desk’s contact number is (02) 932-7693. ### 

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