Open spaces and parks redesigned accommodating more green spaces, promoting inclusive access to public spaces, and incorporating climate change adaptation design elements like rainwater harvesting – these are just some of the new sights that welcomed the people of Tagum City early this year. All these were part of the city’s continuing efforts for resilient and green recovery (RGR), addressing overlapping issues of climate change, urbanization, and pandemic challenges.
Aiming to sustain its resilience initiatives, Tagum City recently wrapped up its RGR mentoring and catch-up sessions where projects identified by the cities were further enhanced at the project site-level design.
The hybrid session, held in June, with the city team attending onsite and their partners logging in virtually, allowed city technical groups to develop investment and resource mobilization plans for RGR projects.
As part of a series of RGR capacity building activities that started in 2021, the event was conducted through the technical assistance of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Building Climate Resiliency through Urban Plans and Designs, a project implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines and supported by the German government’s International Climate Initiative.
DHSUD eyes that these RGR mentoring sessions be replicated to other cities, allowing more areas in the country to ascribe towards resilience in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change.
Communicating and advocating RGR
Meanwhile, DHSUD has been moving closer towards the finalization of the Resilient and Green Human Settlements Framework (RGHSF), a policy milestone that aims to provide guidance for cities, communities, government agencies, and other urban actors for building resilience.
Alongside this development and the RGR initiatives, DHSUD recognized the important role of communications in advancing resilience agenda. Thus, the department, led by the Public Assistance Service - Communications Development and Media Relations Division, and UN-Habitat conducted the Communications and Advocacy Training on Resilient and Green Recovery in June 8-10, 2022.
The three-day training aimed to increase DHSUD’s institutional capacity on communicating climate resilience and green recovery in human settlements planning and urban management.
Twenty DHSUD colleagues composed of staff from PAS, Environmental, Land Use, and Urban Planning and Development (ELUPDB), and communications focals of different bureaus and services participated in the training. Experts on strategic communications and climate resilience communications served as resource persons for the training.
The training was divided into two main topics – Strategic Communication and RGR Communication. Under the first topic, the participants learned the foundations of strategic communication including issue- and stakeholder-mapping, and communication and engagement planning
With RGR communications, participants were provided with an understanding of resilient and green recovery, and how it connects with DHSUD’s work, particularly how resilience abilities can be translated to or manifested in tangible, measurable actions within basic development sectors or “key result areas”.
As their final output for the training, the participants developed knowledge products that can be used to communicate DHSUD’s ongoing RGR efforts and the RGHSF to various audiences.
As a way forward, the participants aim to leverage on the workshop to strengthen collaboration between technical and communications teams, to advocate for resilient and green recovery within and outside the agency.