Ormoc City joined other cities from the region last July 7, 2021 at this year’s Asia Pacific Climate Week. The city presented at the session titled “Scaling up collaboration on integrated approaches and actions for urban and local climate resilience”, which highlighted lessons learned on best practices for how communities, local partners, cities, and local governments can deliver adaptation results.

During the discussion, Mayor Richard Gomez talked about how the City of Ormoc is ensuring that climate adaptation is not lost in its COVID-19 actions and recovery program.

“Through our multisectoral planning team, Ormoc City is developing a recovery plan that mainly links with the city's development vision. With inputs from UN-Habitat's technical team, we are integrating climate change resilience and green recovery into our existing Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Sectoral Development Plan.Key to the process we are taking in recovery planning is the use of the ‘response-recovery-sustainable development continuum of actions’ – which helps us integrate pandemic, climate, and socio-economic development issues and response altogether,” said Gomez.

He further shared how the city’s urban development plans are integrating the needs of the urban poor. With UN-Habitat, the city conducted a research on the impacts of COVID--19 on urban poor communities.

Our planning data shows that climate vulnerability and health-related risks are intertwined, and they are primarily rooted in the socio-economic condition of people and their relations to the environment. That said, our choice is to address the issues through an integrated sustainable development approach with a systems perspective”

Talking about the city’s planned action to achieve a climate resilient green recovery, Gomez shared their project “Ormoc City Urban Waterscape Project to Address Climate Change Impacts”, which was developed with the support of UN-Habitat and the International Climate Initiative of the German Government. The project, once implemented will help increase Ormoc’s resilience from flooding, urban heat stress, and storm surge.

“About 2,000 people will directly benefit from the project interventions, while co-benefits are also expected in the areas of water quality and security; urban mobility; recreation and public health; and land value and better community livelihoods. Implementing this project is crucial not only for the direct beneficiaries but also for the entire city's resilient and green recovery agenda,” concluded Gomez. 

Ormoc City is one of the two Philippine cities supported by BCRUPD on Resilient and Green Recovery. BCRUPD is a capacity building project funded by the German government’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), and is being implemented UN-Habitat in partnership with Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Climate Change Commission, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Economic and Development Authority, and League of Cities of the Philippines.