After hours of deep sleep, turbulence woke me up; we have finally landed safely at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. It was raining when we arrived in the city, but the weather was still warm and humid. This is my first time to see Bangkok in action; this is actually my first international trip, which made it more exciting. Highways, trains, high-rise buildings, and even the traffic jam welcomed us, and I thought that Bangkok is similar to Manila.
Beside that it is my first time to travel out of country; this is also my first attendance to an international workshop. Kairos, our policy coordinator, and I, along with our colleagues from the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) —Director Novel Bangsal and Prince Mamhot—from the Senate Economic Planning Office (SEPO)—Director Xerxes Nitafan and Sherwynne Agub, Claire Miranda from Jubilee South, and Denise Galvez from Oxfam PH, are set to present on “Climate Change Adaptation Finance: Building Policies and Practices to Increase Transparency and Accountability” workshop. It is a two day workshop held at the Aetas Bangkok Hotel in Lumpini Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand.
The objective of the workshop is to discuss on the importance of transparency and accountability in adaptation finance. Furthermore, to jumpstart the awareness on issues in the context of channeling adaptation finance to build the resiliency in the community.
The Asian workshop is hosted by the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI) advocacy project organizers Annaka Carvalho of Oxfam America, and the World Resources Institute (WRI). It accommodated participants all around Asia from government agencies, civil society organizations, and academe from Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and India.
Day 1 session agenda includes sharing of findings and experiences from country teams in tracking adaptation flows. Strategies for improving transparency and accountability are also discussed among participants.
We presented our findings from the tracking of adaptation finance flows from the international to the national and down to the local level. Our colleagues from CPBRD and SEPO on the other hand, presented the national context of adaptation finance with the existing national development context, agenda, and policies in the Philippines.
The first day has been more of an introduction to AFAI. This is just the start of building the interest of the participants on the issues of transparency and accountability.
We completed our day with a boat ride at the Asiatique River Front, a riverside market in Chao Phraya River. A relaxing ending, but as some would say, tomorrow is another day.