GIZ plans communications for ecosystem project with Philippine government partners

27–28 April 2022, Cebu City, Philippines – Thirty-five representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government units worked together with the Ecosystem-based Adaptation in River Basins (E2RB) Project to come up with a Knowledge Management and Communications (KMC) Plan for the project to promote the wider adoption and implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in the Ilog-Hilabangan river basin in Negros Occidental province and the Tagum-Libuganon river basin in Mindanao.

At the workshop, which was a follow-up to the December 2021 virtual workshop, Nelson Gorospe, Executive Director of DENR’s River Basin Control Office, emphasized the importance of documenting lessons learned and communicating these beyond the project lifetime to serve as inspiration in pursuing EbA in the river basins. Dr. Klaus Schmitt, Principal Advisor of the E2RB Project, challenged the participants to be innovative and creative, and to avoid business-as-usual measures in natural resource management and climate change adaptation.

The participants were guided to better understand EbA, the project, and KMC. DENR’s Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service and Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service also presented their KM plan and 8-year DENR communications plan, respectively, to ensure the alignment of the E2RB KMC Plan with the two plans. In addition, LGU representatives shared their communication success stories to highlight the importance of communication activities in mobilizing community support for programs and projects.

Issues and challenges in EbA implementation were discussed to inform the identification of opportunities within the E2RB Project to address them through KMC. Each river basin did a situational and stakeholder analysis and identified key messages and priority KMC activities to help achieve the project outputs and ensure alignment with the DENR communication strategy and program.

The national and regional partners reiterated their commitment, not only to project implementation, but also for advocating ecosystem-based adaptation.

The E2RB Project, with support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI), works with DENR to implement EbA measures in the Ilog-Hilabangan and Tagum-Libuganon river basins and to create awareness on ecosystem services values and EbA among national and local stakeholders.