The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted its online Climate Change Seminar from 27 to 28 August 2020, gathering environmental experts from different agencies, institutions, and organizations to discuss the fundamental issues related to climate change and their implications on foreign policy.

FSI’s Climate Change Seminar was a 10-hour training session, composed of five (5) synchronous sessions implemented via Zoom. It aimed to increase the awareness of foreign service personnel on climate change, with the end-goal of enabling them to formulate and pursue policies in support of the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9279), a law mainstreaming climate change as a basis for environmental policies.

Thirty (30) DFA personnel from the Home Office and from the Consular Offices all over the country participated in the Course.

The seminar provided a venue for the participants to learn and discuss climate change’s impacts to various sectors, relevant international laws, policies, and agreements, as well as the government’s initiatives to respond to climate change. It also allotted time for a sharing session from an NGO’s perspective and the role of DFA in the promotion of evidence-based climate change adaptation and mitigation policies

Climate change, being one of the world’s most pervasive environmental threats, entails a collective response from stakeholders. Thus, there is a call to continuously remind everyone of his/her roles, not only as a member of institutions that strengthen Philippine Foreign Policy, but also as individuals who form part of the international community and can make a difference for our planet.

Resource speakers for the Climate Change Seminar (from left to right): Dr. Carlos Primo C. David of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Mr. Jerome E. Ilagan of the Climate Change Commission, Attorney Hasminah D. Paudac, the legal advisor of Greenpeace Southeast Asia Philippines, and Mr. Christopher P. Castillo of DFA – Office of United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO). Officer-in-Charge and Assistant Director Diane Gail L. Maharjan (not in the photo) of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), also served as a resource speaker.
Virtual class picture of the Climate Change Seminar

The participants generally shared positive feedback on the conduct of the seminar. They appreciated FSI’s efficient management of the seminar, and commended the resource persons for being well-versed in their assigned topics, for preparing comprehensive and engaging presentations, and for being receptive to all the questions asked during the discussions.

To accommodate the high number of the Department’s personnel who have expressed interest in this Course, FSI is pleased to offer a second run of the Seminar on 29 – 30 September 2020.