The French Special Envoy for the Environment arrived in Manila on Monday to start his five-day visit to the country to address environmental issues and to visit areas in Eastern Visayas that were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
A statement from the French Embassy in Manila said Nicolas Hulot is scheduled to meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario; Climate Change Commissioner Lucille Sering; Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman, Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources; and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.
Meetings with civil society groups, multilateral organizations and members of the academe have also been set.
Hulot will also travel to Cebu, Tacloban City (Leyte) and Guiuan (Samar) to reassure communities affected by Yolanda of France’s “solidarity.”
He will be meeting with local government officials and non-government organizations working on the ground in the three provinces and visit ongoing rehabilitation projects there.
Hulot’s visit comes before French President François Hollande’s state visit to the Philippines in the first quarter of the year.
Appointed by Hollande in 2012, Hulot’s mission as the Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet “is to reach out to different communities on energy and climate challenges and promote the implementation of innovative policies to address these challenges, to inform the public and contribute to the preparations for the Paris Climate Change Conference [COP21], and to raise the interest of public opinion, key actors and world leaders on environmental issues.”
COP21, which will take place in December, will be crucial as countries from all over the world must agree on an ambitious, binding agreement to limit global warming to below 2°C.