Local governments have integrated climate change policies in their protected landscape and eco-town projects in disaster-prone areas in Marikina City and Rizal.
In a multisectoral project together with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) will demonstrate climate change integration in agriculture and natural resources management by the respective local government units (LGUs) to benefit farmers and residents in the towns of Tanay, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Baras, and Antipolo City – all in Rizal province.
This project will allow LGUs to adapt to climate change through proper agricultural and environmental management practices.
"Even if you don't have data, you know climate change has influence in agricultural production. Here we're mainstreaming how we should plan for climate change so that benefits go down to the grassroots," said SEARCA Director Gil Saguiguit Jr.
"Now you can (schedule planting), and you know where to avoid putting certain crops because erosion is rampant there. It's a whole thing about environmental management and even bigger than climate change," he said.
"We should overlay (with agricultural plans) what is likely to happen in terms of disasters like typhoon," he added.
The new planning tool being pushed by SEARCA involves Adaptation Mitigation and Mitigation Initiative (AMIA), which is currently employed by the Department of Agriculture in its programs.
Among the specific measures piloted by SEARCA's AMIA concept are the bio-charcoal briquetting for Marikina, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Tanay, and Baras, said Asian Development Bank (ADB) climate change specialist Ancha Srinivasan.
Furthermore, it employs species establishment and rehabilitation in Tanay, Rodriguez, and Baras.
Check dams, which is a source of cheap irrigation from naturally regenerated rainfall and aquifer replenishment, are also implemented in Antipolo City and San Mateo.
Lope Santos III, SEARCA program specialist, said another project of SEARCA on AMIA is implemented in similarly climate change-affected Camarines Sur, Davao Oriental, and lower Marikina as also funded by ADB.
Under AMIA, LGUs use toolkits like vulnerability assessments and GIS or Geographic Information System to determine if a site for agricultural production may be vulnerable to typhoons, landslides, flooding, or tsunami.
They use greenhouse gas inventory and tools to determine polluting carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in an area and the capacity of a certain agroforest area to sequester CO2.
Benefit-cost analysis tools enable them to know if a reforestation-planting expense will yield desired profit.
"Our hope is that our LGUs will use and maximize results of this project in updating their Comprehensive Land Use Plan and in preparing local climate change action plan," Saguiguit said.