COP 28: United Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates – 30 November to 12 December 2023

UN Climate Change conferences (or COPs) take place every year, and are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world. Officially, COP 28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.

The Republic of the Philippines is a member state and is attending the COP 28; the Philippines will present in a side event under the topic Culture Heritage, Art and Creative Industries, “Ancestral Wisdom Driving Low Carbon Climate Resilient Futures: Asia-Pacific and Global Lessons” on Saturday, December 9, 2023, 16:45 to 18:15. This side event is supported by the Climate Heritage Network, American Anthropological Association, ICOMOS, Petra National Trust, Julie’s Bicycle, Union of Concerned Scientists, and SEACHA. The speakers include Marlon Martin of ICOMOS Philippines, COO of Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, Inc. and Preserving Legacies. 

One of the supporters of the side event, the Climate Heritage Network is committed to tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Heritage Network acknowledges that “culture is at the heart of climate action” and that  “cultural heritage, including traditional knowledge, strengthens resilience, helps communities to adapt to climate impacts, protects places, and offers green, circular and regenerative solutions. The arts speak to hearts and minds, inspiring action and helping us to understand climate change through storytelling and shared experiences. The creative industries – design, music, fashion and film – shape our lifestyles, tastes and consumption patterns.”

Artists and cultural voices from across the world are uniting to call for climate negotiators at COP UN Climate Conference to put cultural heritage, arts and creative industries at the heart of climate action.

Approximately 70,000 delegates are attending COP28, including the member states (or Parties) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants.

The major focus of the conference includes the conclusion of the first-ever global stocktake at the end of this year which takes place every five years. The global stocktake is a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement – and where they’re not. It’s like taking inventory. It means looking at everything related to where the world stands on climate action and support, identifying the gaps, and working together to agree on solutions pathways (to 2030 and beyond).

The overarching goal of the Paris Agreement is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change impacts, the IPCC warns.

The globe is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The window for meaningful change is closing, and the time to act is now. Governments will take a decision on the global stocktake at COP28, which can be leveraged to accelerate ambition in their next round of climate action plans due in 2025. By evaluating where the world stands when it comes to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and using its inputs, the stocktake can help policymakers and stakeholders strengthen their climate policies and commitments in their next round of NDCs, paving the way for accelerated action.

In this sense, it’s not the stocktake itself that is the gamechanger – it’s the global response, the response by countries as Parties to the Paris Agreement, that will make the difference in the form of higher ambition and accelerated action.

More information about COP 28 ➡️
To support Climate Heritage Network’s campaign, 𝗔𝗱𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 “𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻” ➡️

ICOMOS Philippines selected as the Implementing Partner of the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund Project for the Republic of the Philippines

On July and October 2022, Northern Luzon was struck by two strong earthquakes, with the epicenter in Abra province. One of the areas heavily affected was the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic City of Vigan, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. Despite immediate aid provided by local and national government agencies, the response could not address all the needs of the damaged areas due to limited funding and a lack of expertise for restoration. During this time, UNESCO Jakarta assigned ICOMOS Philippines to conduct a situational analysis and recommend priorities for repair. This project called “Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment of Vernacular Buildings in the World Heritage City of Vigan” was conducted from August to November 2022 led by Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela.

Onsite survey for the post-earthquake damage assessment situational analysis. Ar. Nico Pilotin, LGU Vigan (left), Dr. Cheek Fadriquela, current ICOMOS Philippines President (left), Ar. Giunno Alonzo, Junior Local Counterpart, Ar. Anjelika Orui, Research Associate, Ms. Cornelia A. Parel, Ancestral Homeowner, Ms. Maria Cristina Paterno, past ICOMOS Philippines President (right).

Following that successful partnership, ICOMOS Philippines applied to the Call For Partnerships (CFP) by UNESCO Jakarta for the project called “Post-Earthquake technical standard enhancement on the conservation and protection of Heritage houses and structures in Vigan World Heritage Site (WHS), Philippines”; the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project to the Republic of the Philippines. ICOMOS Philippines was successfully selected and contracted as the official implementing partner of the said project on August 10, 2023 and September 14, 2023, respectively.  The objective of this project is to provide technical assistance to two representative privately-owned ancestral houses and to assess the recently applied methodologies and conservation techniques for damage assessment, shoring and repair and to recommend technical standards as part of the site’s long – term recovery.

Kick-off Meeting. Present from UNESCO Jakarta are Dr. Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director; Ms. Diana Setiawati, Project Coordinator; Mr. Rizky Fardhyan, Project Assistant; and Mr. Angga Conni Saputra, Project Assistant. From ICOMOS Philippines are Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela, President; Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Vice President; Mr. Joselito Corpus, Communications Officer; and Mr. John Ray Ramos, Heritage Affairs Officer.

This project will allow the implementation of structural, architectural and materials assessments of the Syquia Mansion and Cabildo (Old) house by a pool of experts, including those from ICOMOS Philippines.

The findings of the two pilot site assessments will then be shared with the local government, the ancestral homeowners, and the Vigan Conservation Council through a series of lectures, training-workshops and town hall meetings. Additionally, ICOMOS will work with local stakeholders to update Vigan’s existing 2010 Heritage Homeowners Preservation Manual with an addendum.

Overall, the goal is to apply learnings from the assessment and structural study of two houses to upskill practitioners, craftsperson and homeowners on effective methods of repairs that are compatible with original building systems and materials. This project duration is from September 2023 – August 2024.

Onboarding session of the Key Expert Teams with the ICOMOS Philippines Project Management Team. Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua leads the project as the Country Project Director; Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela as the Materials Conservation Expert; Ar. Michael F. Manalo with MNL Solutions, Inc. as the Architectural Conservation Expert team; Engr. Rodolfo P. Mendoza Jr. and Engr. Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano with Petro Jikken, Inc. as the Structural engineering Conservation Expert team; Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo and Ms. Bev Macayan Bautista as the Heritage Conservation (Training-Workshop) Expert Team; Ar. Fatima Nicetas Rabang-Alonzo and Ar. Giunno Alonzo as the Heritage Conservation (Local Manual Review) Expert Team; Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales as the Heritage Interpretation-Curator Expert; and Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto as the Legal Counsel-Expert (not in photo). 

This activity was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

Concerned stakeholders who are interested in providing in-kind contribution, you may contact Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua through and cc.: Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together. For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️

#UNESCO #unescoJAKARTA #ICOMOS #icomosPHILIPPINES #HeritageEmergencyFund #firstHEF #WorldHeritageSite #HistoricCityofVigan #PhilippineHeritage #SustainableHeritageManagement

6th Annual Gawad Maestro Award Granted to ICOMOS Philippines

ICOMOS Philippines advocates for best heritage practices, and to realize this goal, ICOMOS Philippines offers lectures and seminars to up-skill any interested individual who desires to gain more knowledge about the many disciplines and skill sets that comprise and contribute to the field of heritage conservation. 

On September 21, 2023, ICOMOS Philippines won the 2023 Gawad Maestro Award as a Learning and Development Organization for the NGO category by the Philippine Society for Talent Development. Among the many initiatives, its Photogrammetry Field School was lauded by the said awarding body. The event was held in BNCC Hall, Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Photogrammetry is one of the many advanced technologies that is used for one of the most essential steps in conservation, the documentation of a monument or structure. It is highly accurate and is able to capture and measure structures from photographs. Although it can be used with simple tools such as a smartphone, it can be labor-intensive and requires a mastery of how to use the technology. 

Knowing that this technology is fast becoming a standard practice and there was a lack of practitioners outside of Manila, ICOMOS Philippines offered the first photogrammetry program in the Philippines that was financially sustainable and inclusive of paying and subsidized trainees available across the Philippines.

After the completion of the field school, many participants felt empowered to be able to use the technology on their own. The post-evaluation revealed that 50% could document a room, and over 30% could document a building. 

Four students passed on their skills to their communities through their own training programs. Three of the former students have become so adept at this technology that they now specialize in photogrammetry and have formed a non-profit, Limang Siglo.  

We would like to extend our gratitude to the Philippine Society for Talent Development for recognizing ICOMOS Philippines as a Gawad Maestro awardee. We thank PTSD for celebrating this milestone with us for sending us this kind message: “Your organization’s journey serves as a shining example of what is possible when passion and talent are combIned with relentless determination. The contributions have not only advanced the Talent Development industry but have also inspired and paved the way for future generations in our field.”