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Experts call for climate-proof land use plans

Philippines: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German consulting agency for sustainable development, urged to local government units (LGUs) in Philippines to prepare climate-proof land use plans since the country is vulnerable to climate change.
Speaking at a round-table discussion held in Makati City, Philippines, Walter Salzer, Director and Principal Adviser for the Environment and Rural Development Program of the agency added that LGUs need to consider different scenarios such as drought or floods to see whether existing land use plans contain measures that can deal with such risks.
LGUs also have to look at the impact of different climate-related scenarios to economic activities in their area of responsibility to have a better plan. Salzer said that to date, only a few LGUs have climate-proof land use plans despite the country’s exposure to climate change risks. The GIZ, he informed, has implemented a project providing technical assistance to the municipal government of Silago in Southern Leyte in coming up with a climate-proof land use plan. The GIZ is planning to implement a similar project in other areas by next year.
“The plan is to do it [climate-proof land use plans] in other areas like in Regions IV-B (Occidental Mindoro-Oriental Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan), VI (Western Visayas) and VIII (Eastern Visayas) and provinces of Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon,” Salzer explained. The GIZ will be providing technical assistance while the costs of the project would be shouldered by the LGUs.
Salzer stressed that the GIZ is optimistic that the National Land Use Act would be enacted soon since it is among the priority measures of the government. “We support the passage of the National Land Use Act. We think there is a good chance it will be passed since President [Benigno S.C.] Aquino [III] mentioned this in his State of the Nation Address,” he said.
Salzer opined the National Land Use Act which will ensure equitable access to resources and sustainable development would be able to provide a policy for the management of all lands in the country and resolve conflicting laws. Bills for a National Land Use Act filed at the House of Representatives and the Senate are pending second reading approval.
Source: www.bworldonline.com