Albay and UNDP partner for disaster and climate resilience
May 7, 2023
Albay, Bicol – The Provincial Government of Albay and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines launched a partnership for an initiative that will strengthen the disaster and climate resilience in the province.
Albay Provincial Governor Edcel ‘Grex’ Lagman and UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrie signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Programme, which will accelerate resilience-building efforts at the local level through multi-stakeholder collaboration to unlock financing and implement risk-informed and inclusive resilience actions.
First Secretary, Development, Paul Harrington of the Australian Embassy and Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) Head Cedric Daep bore witness to the signing, along with other key officials of the province.
Through SHIELD, the Australian Government has invested AUD 18 million to support the Government of the Philippines in building institutional and community resilience to climate change and natural hazards by enabling local governments in pursuing and investing in resilient development.
As one of the most disaster-prone regions in the Philippines, Albay, which hosts an active volcano, is located along the country’s eastern seaboard. The region is constantly faced with multiple, compounded hazards year after year because of its geographic properties and location. Chief among these hazardous risks are typhoons, which cause storm surges and extreme flooding. In addition, the province has mountainous areas prone to landslides and surface run-off.
Through the strategic partnership, the Provincial Government of Albay targets to enable speedy economic recovery by enhancing local governance, improving healthcare delivery, strengthening disaster resilience, and rationalizing land use allocation.
Deputy Resident Representative Carrie reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to strengthen Albay’s resilience against natural disasters and climate change through the programme. “What SHIELD is trying to accomplish is to build more resilient communities, local and provincial governments. UNDP is pleased to continue its long-standing partnership with Albay on disaster risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development,” Carrie noted.
The SHIELD programme is being implemented by UNDP Philippines, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the consortium partners comprised of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, National Resilience Council, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and UN-Habitat.
It will be implemented in 11 of the country’s most vulnerable provinces to disaster and climate change impacts. Among the areas covered are Albay, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Cagayan, Cebu, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Quezon. The programme will also cover Metro Manila, given its vulnerability to earthquakes and its economic significance, along with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), with the increasing disaster and climate vulnerability of conflict-affected areas.