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Climate change adaptation project to increase resilience of children and communities

Press Release   •   Oct 02, 2012 16:32 +08

Manila, Philippines – Plan International, Save the Children and the Institute of Sustainable Futures of the University of Technology in Sydney collaborate to implement the Child-Centered Community-based Adaptation (CC-CBA) Project in the country, in an effort to increase the resilience of children, youth and communities to climate change-related disasters.

The 30-month project, supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is formally launched today at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati. The project is being implemented in the provinces of Aurora, Northern and Eastern Samar, and Southern Leyte, which are considered as highly vulnerable to extreme climate-related disasters such as typhoons, storm surges, and flooding.

“Plan has been working in the three of the four provinces funded by this project – North and East Samar, and Southern Leyte. Much of our work has been focusing on increasing communities’ and children’s resilience with increasing emphasis in recent years on disaster risk management,” says Carin van der Hor, Country Director of Plan International in the Philippines.

“This project hopes to benefit more than 150,000 people from 40 barangays in these four provinces. We hope that these people who will directly and indirectly benefit from this project will keep the ball rolling – so to speak – and influence other provinces. Optimistically, we hope that the entire Philippines – especially the children who comprise close to half of its population – will be resilient to climate change,” adds van der Hor.

The Philippines ranks third on the 2011 World Risk Index, following Vanuatu and Tonga. It is at risk to a wide range of climate change impacts including changing rainfall patterns, temperatures and increased extreme weather events.

“Save the Children estimates that by 2015, over 175 million children around the world will be affected by disasters, majority of which will be climate-related,” says Anna Lindenfors, Country Director of Save the Children in the Philippines.

“And as the Philippines is extremely vulnerable to these kinds of disasters, it is important that we ensure the safety of children and youth. This project is community-based precisely because we want local leaders, school heads, teachers, and partners to be hands-on and feel ownership of the program,” adds Lindenfors.

The CC-CBA Project also aims to strengthen the evidence base of a child-centered community based adaptation program in the Philippines to encourage replication and policy support.

CC-CBA activities will be carried out in partnership with schools, Local Government Units (LGUs) and other government and non-government partners including Barangay Youth Councils and Barangay Children’s Associations to ensure project sustainability.

The project will reach more than 15,000 children and youth, particularly elementary students in grades five and six, high school students, and out-of-school children as these are considered by the Department of Education (DepED) as the most appropriate entry points for activities and active participation of students, particularly girls, many of whom drop out during the later years and in high school.

By the end of its term, the project should have (1) increased the knowledge of children, youth and their communities about climate change; (2) children and youth had advocated for action on climate change as well as implemented a child-centered community-based adaptation program in partnership with their communities; and (3) influenced policy and practice at the local level by a strengthened evidence base of child-centered community-based adaptation program.

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