Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has urged governors from climate vulnerable provinces to fully implement a government program that would help protect communities from climate-induced disasters and spare future generations from the worst impacts of climate change.

“Climate change is already here, and it will be here for the next generations. It is now, therefore, our obligation to take this program for implementation, so that the next generations will have a guide,” Cimatu said, warning that the next generation will suffer a greater and bigger effect of climate change.

Cimatu made the appeal during the planning and convergence budgeting on the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP) for the eight priority climate vulnerable provinces held recently at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office in Quezon City.

The eight provinces are Masbate, Sorsogon, Negros Oriental, Samar, Saranggani, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. These provinces are vulnerable on their high susceptibility to climate hazards such as flooding, rainfall-induced landslide, storm surge and drought.

The DENR chief, who chairs the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), told governors that the decisions they make today will have lasting consequences for future generations.

“You leave behind in the provincial capital this program. This will be the template of the younger generations to achieve what we intend to do, what the national government intends to do with this program,” Cimatu said.

The RRP is a convergence program of the Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR. It envisions strengthening the resilience of natural systems and the adaptive capacities of vulnerable groups and communities to curb future risks and disasters.

Aside from Cimatu and the governors of eight priority climate vulnerable provinces, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Department of Agriculture, the National Economic Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“We need to increase our efforts in resiliency and strongly urge renewed cooperation from key national government agencies with our concerned provincial governments. It should be a collective undertaking, and in doing so, we can create great solutions together,” Cimatu said, noting that mainstreaming climate change and disaster resilience concerns is “a crucial task for everyone.”

At the meeting, provincial governors presented the current situation of climate vulnerabilities in their respective jurisdictions.

The meeting was intended to discuss the climate vulnerabilities in the priority provinces, and reinforce government thrust for a more prudent and targeted spending by fostering collaboration among agencies in planning, budgeting and implementing priority resilience programs and projects in the said provinces.

Also discussed during the meeting was the CCAM-DRR Roadmap for 2018 to 2022, which serves as “an important guide for the implementing agencies in the programs and projects to mainstream climate change and disaster risk reduction in a vision to build adaptive and resilient communities.”

The Roadmap also aims to establish climate-resilient communities and their enhancement in the 17 climate vulnerable provinces, and major urban centers such as Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao. ###