Message of UNDP Country Director, Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka

17 Jan 2013

Launching of CCMRD Business Plan and MEA Portal Website,Dolce Latte, Quezon City

DENR Undersecretary Analiza Teh;
DENR Assistant Secretary Michelle Angelica Go;
FASPO Assistant Secretary, Hon. Rommel Abesamis;
NEDA Deputy Director General Margarita Songco;
Colleagues from government agencies;
Friends from civil society;

My wishes of a Happy New Year to all of you. Magandang umaga (Good morning).

I am pleased to grace this occasion and witness the formal launching of the Committee on Conservation and Management of Resources for Development (CCMRD) Business Plan that will be instrumental in ensuring effective coordination of relevant government agencies and its partners, in the pursuit of the country’s commitments under the multi-lateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to which the Philippines is a country party.

The National Capacity Self-Assessment report of 2005 clearly identified that poor coordination between and among focal agencies of the Rio Conventions on biodiversity, climate change, and desertification. This poor coordination has led to conflicting positions and inefficient use of manpower and financial resources brought about by a duplication of work and efforts.

I would like to commend the Philippine government, under the leadership of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), for the preparation of this plan that aims to optimize the contribution and participation of the country under these conventions. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is glad to have supported the planning process through the UNDP-Global Environment Facility’s Strengthening Coordination for Effective Environmental Management Project also known as STREEM Project. We also envision this plan to provide the overall framework for environmental efforts by the national and local governments as well as the stakeholders to be in sync and harmonized resulting to long term and strategic benefits in the context of sustainable development.

I would also like to congratulate DENR and its partners for facilitating the reactivation of the CCMRD of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) as the coordinating mechanism for the three MEAs. This is an important milestone as the harmonization process needs a working mechanism. The process will not only have varying positions that will thresh out and harmonize important ramifications for the Philippines but also serves as a significant indicator of the PCSD’s revival. The PCSD can be critical in the context of the post 2015 discussions.

I think you have put together the right ingredients for effective coordination: a mechanism (CCMRD) and the plan. The major challenge is how to carry out and implement what you set out in this document and make the mechanism functional in a way that the set objectives are met.

It would be interesting to see how the Philippine positions on the different issues discussed in the global arena unfold under this new arrangement, in a way that the positions reflect not only the views and opinions of high level government officials but also the voices of the other stakeholders in the country especially local chief executives and local communities. Your country’s positions in the UN Convention on Biodiversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are critical in determining not only how you will be able to generate technical and financial support from other country parties under these agreements but also in safeguarding your country’s wealth in terms of your natural resources. The coordination strategy and the implementation modality are crucial in deciding how to address crosscutting issues among the three MEAs for purposes of optimization.

We are also glad that your efforts did not end with the plan and the mechanism. With the inclusion of tool development such as the portal, it will certainly democratize the process of securing inputs for the Philippine positions in the global negotiations. In this age where IT has become an integral part of our way of life, portals are the way to go in terms of interactions among such a diverse and prolific society as the Philippines’. We, therefore, look forward to a more extensive and dynamic process of securing inputs for and the dissemination of information on the Philippine positions under the three MEAs initially; and hopefully can include other related agreements which have significant implications on the country and its relationship to the other members of the global community.

Again, congratulations and we hope that this plan will be instrumental in further synchronizing the positions of and ensuring complementation among the stakeholders, especially the various focal agencies for UNCBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD.

Maraming salamat (Thank you very much).