High-level Roundtable in the Philippines: mainstreaming urban development into national climate change policy


The Philippines is one of the most rapidly urbanising countries in East Asia and the Pacific. While urbanisation can result in new economic growth, rapid urban development also places stress on ecosystems and resources. A majority of Filipinos (60%) live in coastal municipalities and cities and are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, monsoon flooding and other effects of climate change. One imperative for the Philippine government is to coordinate policy making and implementation that continues to stimulate development while adequately responding to its ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (70% reduction of emissions by 2030).

  • How might sustainable urban planning and development be incorporated into existing strategies and frameworks for climate change mitigation and adaptation?
  • How can the national government and additional stakeholders stimulate and support transformative climate action at the urban scale?

In response to these challenging questions, V-LED partner organization the UN Habitat hosted  a high-level roundtable event concerning mainstreaming urban issues into the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

On the 26th and 27th of July in Manila, the UN Habitat convened a diverse group of actors from national and local government, academia, the private sector, and development practitioners to discuss key areas of overlap between national urban development, housing, and climate change policies. In 2017, governing actors focussed on mainstreaming climate change considerations into the National Urban Development and Housing Framework (NUDHF). Based on this work and subsequent lessons learned from local capacity trainings, roundtable participants elaborated policy recommendations and scalable solutions to strengthen coordination between sustainable urban development and climate change planning and action.

The two-day event consisted of roundtables and small group discussions that specifically asked participants to:

  • Identify entry points of urban development, planning and sustainability within existing national climate policy (NCCAP and NDC);
  • Define urban-related targets for the NCCAP and formulate national, subnational, and local climate action recommendations for integrating urban concerns into national climate policy;
  • Develop national and local indicators for urban climate action in alignment with the New Urban Agenda and climate-related strategies of the National Urban Development and Housing Framework;
  • Articulate the next steps necessary to mainstream urban issues into national climate change policies; and
  • Make recommendations for local climate action in response to national policy that support climate-friendly urban development.

The roundtable event corresponds to V-LED’s guiding principal that transformative climate action will require multi-level governance coordinated between stakeholders across sectors.