Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and H.E. Ramon J. P. Paje, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines, have explored how UNEP can support the nation in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and the management of ecosystems.
Among the actions being taken is the inclusion of climate change as one of the five major components of the Philippines national budget. Mr. Steiner applauded the leadership of the Philippines within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the innovation it has demonstrated at the national level.
Among the main areas of cooperation discussed by the two were the following:
Support for the early ratification and signature of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and its rapid implementation in order to phase down the toxic metal, which poses high risks to human health, particularly in the artisanal gold mining sector.
Cooperation on the valuation and integrated management of ecosystems, including through the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) programme, as well as work in the marine and coastal ecosystems, through for example the Coral Triangle and other programmes.
In this context, the two discussed ways to strengthen the collaboration between UNEP and the Philippines, including through scaling up joint work under the Global Environment Facility’s next funding cycle, and the possible establishment of a presence from UNEP with the UN Country Team. They also discussed the strategic partnerships to help support the broader Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in partnership with the Philippines.