LIMA, 08 December 2014 – Costa Rica announced today that Philippines is to assume the presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) from January 2015, leading a global South-South cooperation platform involving 20 countries highly vulnerable to a warmer planet. Costa Rica presided the Forum’s work as a conduit for collective policy action, common communications and knowledge-based activities since mid-2013 following the earlier tenure of Bangladesh as Chair.
The Minister of Environment of Costa Rica, Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta, conveyed the announcement at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference at Lima, Peru (COP20):
“We are delighted that Philippines will take forward this important Forum at such a critical time. Their leadership in drawing the world’s attention to managing climate change risks matched with this unique international mechanism for cross-group cooperation is a landmark development. We are certain Philippines’ presidency over this Forum has real potential to add meaningfully to momentum for a strong outcome at Paris next year and an improved response to climate change far beyond.”
Secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, commented: “Philippines is thrilled with this opportunity to play a central role in stepping-up joint efforts of vulnerable countries for the vital period ahead. We are convinced that only by working together more actively can we ramp up the interest, investment and commitment to close the wide gaps that still separate the world from a safe climate. Philippines stands ready to advance the Forum’s policy and communications agenda with its many members and partners. We are a gathering wave and I have no doubt that, working together, we have the means to overwhelm pessimism with concerted climate action.”
Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary, Md. Shahidul Haque, commented on the announcement: “We extend sincere congratulations to Philippines. Bangladesh is delighted by this development: Philippines has both the vision and the competencies to take this Forum to the next level. Bangladesh remains fully committed to the work of the Forum and Philippines’ presidency will enjoy our utmost support and engagement.” Moderating the press briefing for the announcement, Saleemul Huq, Director of ICCCAD highlighted that “the Forum’s ethos has really focused on taking action. We are not just waiting for the negotiations to solve climate change: we are doing things already, we are achieving progress, and we are working to share our success and our commitment. The Forum can really help inspire us to achieve more even as we face profoundly critical risks. Philippines will no doubt take this work from strength to strength. It’s an exciting development.”