By Jonathan Hicap
Muntinlupa City has been chosen as national finalist in the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) this year.
More than 250 cities from 53 countries including 13 from the Philippines participated in the 2020 OPCC.
WWF announced that Muntinlupa, along with Santa Rosa in Laguna and Batangas City, have been selected as national finalists from the Philippines this year.
The OPCC was launched in 2011 originally as the Earth Hour Challenge, a friendly competition wherein cities share best practices in climate mitigation and develop adaptation plans anchored in their crucial role towards building a sustainable and climate-safe future.
“We aim to support and celebrate 100 cities with action plans for keeping global average rise in temperature to below 1.5 celsius,” according to the OPCC website.
According to WWF Philippines, cities around the world account for 70 percent of carbon emissions globally and generate 80 percent of the total GDP and their political and economic powers play crucial roles to having a more stable climate.
“In these trying times, being business-as-usual in the way we do things is no more sufficient to secure a safe and sustainable future. I would like to acknowledge the cities who participated in this initiative for pursuing innovative ways towards sustainable and healthy cities for the current and future generations,” said WWF-Philippines Executive Director Jose Angelito Palma.
Atty. Angela Ibay, head of the Climate and Energy Program of WWF-Philippines, said, “Even as cities around the world increasingly advance climate actions, we cannot underestimate how citizen engagement and participation play integral roles in the implementation of these actions, and their active participation help shape how sustainable and resilient cities can be in years to come.”
The three Philippine cities have also qualified to join the OPCC’s We Love Cities campaign, which aims to bridge better communication between city officials and citizens they represent on climate and sustainability issues.
All finalists will be evaluated by the OPCC jury, composed of urban sustainability experts from around the world. A national winner per country and one global winner will be chosen and awarded in a ceremony set in the middle of the year.
The OPCC finalists this year are: Argentina: Buenos Aires, Chacabuco and San Martin de los Andes; Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro; Canada: Vancouver; Chile: Peñalolén, Santiago and Valdivia; Colombia: Mantizales, Monteriá and Villavicencio; Côte d’Ivoire: Commune de Cocody; Ecuador: Municipio de Loja; Finland: Turku; France: Paris; Guatemala: Escuintla, Iztapa and San José; Iceland: Reykjavik; India: Kochi, Nagpur and Rajkot; Indonesia: Balikpapan, Banda Aceh and Jakarta; Malaysia: Melaka, Petaling Jaya and Sebarang Perai; Mexico: Hermosillo, Mérida and Mexico City; New Zealand: Wellington City Council; Norway: Arendal and Baerum; Peru: Borja, Lima and Magdalena; Philippines: Muntinlupa, Batangas and Santa Rosa; Republic of Korea: Suwon City; South Africa: Cape Town, Durban and KwaDukuza; State of Palestine: Abasan Al-Kabira; Sweden: Helsingborg, Uppsala and Växjö; Thailand: Hat Siao, Khonkaen and Patong; Turkey: Bursa, Denizli and Izmir; UK: Greater London, Greater Manchester and Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole; US: Cleveland, Los Angeles and Park City; and Vietnam: Dong Hoi City.