Pilipinas Conference 2021: “Strengthening Cooperation for a Green and Sustainable Recovery”

The third session of this year’s Pilipinas Conference, entitled “Strengthening Cooperation for a Green and Sustainable Recovery”, was held in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines. This event gathered environmental stakeholders from the government, private sector, international community, and civil society to discuss how unified climate action, environmental stewardship, and a green economic post-recovery program are all important components for a green and sustainable recovery. This session further explored opportunities for EU-Philippine cooperation in green and sustainable recovery.

In today’s pandemic setting, where the convergence of economic activities and their impact on the environment became clear, prevailing and emerging complex environmental issues need to be addressed. Stakeholders need to have a unified climate action, environmental stewardship, and a green economic post-recovery program. This crisis has also presented itself as the perfect opportunity to shift to a more nature-oriented and circular economy, which could mitigate the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion.

Some 76% of the 738 economist-respondents participating in a recent New York University (NYU) Institute for Policy Integrity survey regarding climate change and its economic impacts think that it is very likely that climate change will negatively affect global economic growth rates. Climate change is also believed to result in economic damage of around USD 1.7 trillion per year by 2025, and roughly USD 30 trillion per year by 2075.

For these reasons, the EU and the ASEAN aim to forge stronger partnerships in pushing for circular economies, clean oceans, sustainable food systems, and sustainable finance, as part of their commitment to build back better, greener and in a more sustainable manner. The EU has demonstrated its capability to become a global leader in mainstreaming and incorporating sustainable developmental agenda into its policies and frameworks, particularly on climate change. For a developing country like the Philippines, multi-sectoral initiatives should ensure its contribution in hastening recovery with a long-term environment agenda, spurring innovation needed in the new normal, and in reducing future risks.

Program

Welcoming Remarks
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Keynote Address: Boosting Sustainable Finance in the New Normal
Dr. Benjamin Diokno
Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Policy Recommendations for Green Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic

Amid the pandemic, the Philippines’ economic growth and development is definitely a government priority. However, the government should not lose sight of the long-term goal – green and sustainable recovery. No progress can better serve the people if it will only do irreversible harm to the environment and the people. Through stakeholders’ initiatives in making sustainability and environmental concerns mainstream, the government and the Filipino people can be more aware of the serious environment and climate risks and their immediate and long-term consequences.

Integration of Technology-Enabled Best Practices on Climate Resilience
Dr. Mahar Lagmay
Director, University of the Philippines – Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP-NOAH) Center

Stratbase ADRi Special Study: Policies for Philippine Climate Agenda
Mr. Renato Redentor Constantino
Executive Director, Institute for Climate & Sustainable Cities (ICSC)

Stratbase ADRi Special Study: Strategies in Improving the Agriculture Sector in the 21st Century
Dr. Carlos Primo “CP” David
Trustee & Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Convenor, Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship (PBEST)

Insights from Policymakers

To achieve a long-term inclusive and sustainable green economic recovery, bureaucratic barriers that have hampered the development of necessary collaboration between like-minded economies should be resolved. Policies and frameworks should be restructured to better accommodate the ever-changing political, industrial, and environmental landscapes. This panel will discuss the Philippine government’s initiatives to create or restructure existing policies and frameworks towards becoming more science-based, conducive to doing business, and responsive to the needs of the environment, industries, and the Filipino people.

Key Philippine Policy Developments for Green Economic Recovery
Usec. Analiza Teh
Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems & Climate Change, Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR)

Insights from Stakeholders

Businesses have been reinventing themselves to better address their operations’ environmental footprint. Some have even gone beyond mere corporate social responsibilities to address sustainability concerns while bringing about more value to their products and services. But, equally important in achieving a long-term sustainable green economic recovery are the public and private sectors’ strategic collaboration with the civil society stakeholders. Because of their deep-rooted relationship with community members, as well as their familiarity with the area’s environmental conditions and needs, civil society stakeholders are in the best position to help the government and businesses amplify and implement their initiatives at a wider scale. This panel will discuss the importance of circular economies to become better stewards of the environment.

EU Trade Policy & The Green Deal
Mr. Maurizio Cellini
First Counsellor, Head of Trade & Economic Affairs, EU Delegation to the Philippines

Fostering Strategic Partnerships Towards Building Disaster Resilient Communities
Mr. Rene “Butch” Meily
President, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF)

Upgrading Communities Based on Sustainability
Mr. Guillermo “Bill” Luz
Chairperson, Liveable Cities Philippines

Closing Remarks
Hon. Emmanuel de Guzman
Secretary, Climate Change Commission

Host & Moderator:
Atty. Karen Jimeno
Policy & Regulatory Specialist & Senior Disaster Risk Management Consultant, The World Bank;
Chief Legal Counsel, SofCap Partners PE

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