Reflecting on COP26 in the Pacific—A Local Approach in the Philippines

COP26 President Alok Sharma delivers opening remarks. (Flickr)

The United Nations’ (UN) twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) kicks off November 1 in Glasgow, Scotland. This conference, which gathers world leaders for a global climate summit, marks a decisive moment for climate action worldwide as many feel that no more time should be lost to avert serious social and economic cost resulting from climate change. Heads of state, global organizations large and small, investors and business corporations, and civil society organizations will debate and lobby choices for the future of the planet. The outcome will affect all people from all corners of the global, irrespective of how they feel about the issue of climate change.

Reflecting the existential environmental and climate change concerns, a modest contribution is underway in the Philippines in the form of the Climate Change and Environmental Governance Project in Iriga City. The project, which began in July 2021, recognizes that much of the action against climate change will have to take place at the local level. It is implemented by the Partnership for Transparency (PTF) through its Affiliate, PTF Asia (PTFA), together with the Resources, Environment and Economics Center for Studies, Inc. (REECS).

The project seeks to demonstrate how major global problems like climate change can be addressed through local solutions. In this case, the project looks to address local issues related to forests, river basins, and indigenous populations in the institutional setting of a local government unit in Luzon. A special feature of the project’s approach is the co-creation methodology which aims to strengthen local governance by giving citizens and business associations a role in identifying the climate-related issues and developing practical approaches to address them. Thus, the project combines feasible technical solutions along with the broader participation of local people’s organizations for improved governance.

Through this work, the project team expects to set an example for other local governments to follow, both in the Philippines and elsewhere.

PTF Asia is a non-profit organization assisting civil society organizations in East Asia with designing and implementing programs that strengthen transparency, accountability, and good governance through citizen engagement. REECS is a multidisciplinary team of Philippine natural resource and environmental economists, foresters, integrated water resource management specialists, and other practitioners founded in 1992.

For further information on the project, please contact: Hector P. Crisostomo V (Project Manager) and Andrea Riño (Project Officer) through:, or visit our website at: 

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