Climate related disasters in the Philippines are becoming increasingly devastating for the agricultural sector. Between 2006 and 2013, a total of 78 natural hazards, in the form of extreme weather, damaged over six million hectares of crops, valued at USD 3.8 billion. The vulnerability of the agricultural sector means the country’s food and economic security is facing growing risks as climate change impacts accelerate. It is therefore essential to harness new innovations and technologies to build resilience to these impacts.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been working with the Government of the Philippines to strengthen the country’s resilience to natural hazards through initiatives on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. One of these initiatives is the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP–Ag) programme, co-led by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and FAO, which aims to integrate climate adaptation measures taken in the agriculture sectors into relevant national planning and budgeting processes. The programme works in 11 countries and in the case of Philippines, the activities focus on developing a National Adaptation Plans (NAP), and updating the National Climate Change Action Plan(NCCAP).
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the World Bank and its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) have committed to intensify joint action in order to improve country capacities that build resilience to extreme weather events, climate and disaster impacts.
An Action Plan for scaling up World Bank/GFDRR/WMO Collaboration was signed during a meeting between World Bank interim President Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Vice President Laura Tuck and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on 1 April.
The discussions at World Bank headquarters in Washington came during a series of top-level meetings during Mr Taalas' visit to the United States of America. Mr Taalas provided a briefing on the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018, launched with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the United Nations in New York. The report highlights the physical and socio-economic impacts of weather and climate events and long-term climate change.
The new action plan sets principles and 2019 priorities for action, including for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative (CREWS). It marks yet another important milestone in the evolving partnership between WMO and the World Bank, which aims at scaling-up support to the countries’ efforts to generate and use weather, climate and hydrological information for evidence-based action. The aim is to facilitate easy access to WMO’s expertise by the World Bank and countries implementing projects with World Bank funding.
According to the World Economic Forum 2019 Global Risk Report, the top global risks the world is facing are weather, climate, and water related. Thus, the scaled-up collaboration between the World Bank, and WMO is of major importance and a respective corporate priority.
The WMO 2020-2023 Strategic Plan is guided by its long-term goal to close the capacity gap between developed and developing country Members, including through establishing effective partnerships.
The World Bank investments in hydromet and early warning systems are about USD 900 million and growing. Through the World Bank Group Action Plan on Adaptation and Resilience, the World Bank has committed to substantially increase financing for quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services in at least 30 additional countries.
The collaboration maximizes complementarity, coherence and the respective comparative advantages between the partners. To improve delivery of hydromet services in developing countries, WMO will increase the provision of quality-assured technical expertise from its institutional network. The World Bank will contribute by emphasizing in its country engagements the socioeconomic benefits of hydromet investments, providing its operational experience in strengthening hydromet services and mobilizing financing for sustainable investments.
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