COTABATO CITY—To strengthen community resilience against climate change and natural hazards, the Bangsamoro Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) agreed to fortify their commitment to ensuring the efficient implementation of the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Program in BARMM on August 14 in Davao City.
The Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNDP to create a more inclusive, secure, resilient, and sustainable environment for the Bangsamoro region.
Underlining the UNDP’s long-standing support in the Bangsamoro region, BPDA Director-General Engr. Mohajirin Ali highlighted the significance of the MoU as a milestone in their joint commitment to fortifying the Bangsamoro communities against the impacts of natural hazards and climate change.
Director Ali noted that the SHIELD Program played a crucial role in shaping the first Bangsamoro Spatial Development Framework (BSDF) 2024-2050.
He said this framework aims to “provide the long-term direction of the region towards rationalizing the allocation and utilization of land and other physical resources for maximum social and economic benefits and enhancing resiliency and disaster preparedness.”
Meanwhile, Edwine Carrie, Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, expressed enthusiasm about the practical outcomes that this partnership could yield.
“We are very eager to see a practical manifestation of this partnership between the SHIELD consortium partners and the BPDA,” Carrie said.
Director Melanie Indar of BPDA’s Planning and Policies Bureau (PPB) commended both parties for their role in integrating effective risk-informed planning into the region’s spatial development framework.
“With this MoU, we commit our active collaboration towards a long-term and strategic partnership in pursuit of an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable Bangsamoro,” Indar shared.
The BPDA and UNDP are currently spearheading the formulation of the BSDF 2024-2050 and coordinating various activities related to spatial development, climate action, and disaster resilience in BARMM.
Paul Hammington, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, as well as representatives from member ministries, offices, and agencies of the Regional Land Use Committee – Technical Working Group (RLUCom-TWG) graced the ceremonial signing of the MoU.
This government initiative aligns with the 12-Point Priority Agenda of the region, specifically focusing on Disaster Resilience and Climate-Change Adaptation. The goal is to build resilience against both human-induced and natural disasters, including emerging infectious diseases, by adopting a holistic approach to disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. (Kasan Usop Jr./BIO)