Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Watershed Management and Upland Farming in the Philippines (ACCCA)
Being an archipelagic developing country composed of 7000 islands, the Phillippines is highly vulnerable to climate related hazards. The most vulnerable sectors are the upland farmers who rely on rainfall for their supply of water. Flooding is also a regular threat as a result of tropical storms compounded by degraded watersheds. To help the local farmers adapt to climate change, there is a need to generate signification amounts of information on climate change adaptation to watershed resources and upland farms which can be useful for decision making by national policy makers and local stakeholders.
Also, adaptation to climate change in watersheds is important because they are critical to the economic development and environmental protection of the Philippines.
This project’s overall goal is to promote climate change adaptation by upland farmers in watersheds at the national level in the Philippines. The project will generate a significant amount of information on climate change adaptation for watershed resources and upland farms that will be useful for decision-making by national policy-makers and local stakeholders.
This project (A021) is being implemented in Lantapan, Bukidnon, Philippines to primarily promote climate change adaptation among them. To help attain such goals, the project team conducted a number of activities. These include:
(1) assessment of vulnerability of watersheds and upland farming systems;
(2) identification of adaptation options to climate change through a participatory process;
(3) development and dissemination of risk communication materials such as video and magazine; and
(4) capacity building of the different stakeholders i.e. farmers, local government units, Department of Agriculture etc.
The proposed adaptation strategies depend on the climatic events: during El Niño, the season is monitored and local communities are warned about oncoming floods. During a prolonged dry season, irrigation and water impounding are encouraged. Finally, during La Niña, when pests and diseases increase, pesticides usage was among the proposed option.
Upland farmers and their families, who number about 20 million, comprise the poorest of the poor in the Philippines. Their livelihoods depend on cultivating marginal hilly land areas which are very vulnerable to climate related risks. This project’s overall goal was to promote climate change adaptation by upland farmers in watersheds at the national level in the Philippines. The project generated a significant amount of information on climate change adaptation for watershed resources and upland farms that will be useful for decision-making by national policy-makers and local stakeholders.
Previous studies from the Assessment of Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change (AIACC) programme have shown that upland farmers have developed various adaptation strategies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. These adaptation strategies could form a strong foundation for exploring viable options for adaptation to climate change. The project utilized a variety of methods to ensure the delivery of outputs including multi-stakeholder forums and consultations, workshops, focus group discussions, computer modeling and a review of relevant literature.
Based on the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation policies/strategies, climate risks adaptation communication materials will be developed for policy makers, local farmers and other local stakeholders. It is also expected that the project will contribute to the preparation of the Philippines’ Second National Communication to the UNFCCC.