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Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Southeast Asia (CChAMSEA) Framework News

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searca-held-back-to-back-activities-of-the-idrc-project-on-climate-changeThe Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) currently implements the Philippine component of the cross-country project titled “Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Southeast Asia” funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) . Now on its third and final year, the Project held its dissemination and sharing seminar back-to-back with the local training-workshop on “Adaptation Project Proposal Development and Fund Mobilization” from 25 to 28 June 2013 at Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig City. A total of twenty-one participants from the project’s partner Local Government Units (LGUs) and the academe attended the seminar and training workshop. The Project Team from SEARCA and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) led by Asst. Prof. Maria Emilinda Mendoza facilitated the conduct of the activities.

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Dr. Jose M. Yorobe, Jr. at the enumerators’ training in Echague, Isabela held on1-2 May 2013.Corn is the second most important crop in the Philippines. About 14 million Filipinos prefer white corn as their main staple and yellow corn accounts for about 50 percent of livestock mixed feeds. Some 600,000 farm households depend on corn as a major source of livelihood (Department of Agriculture 2011). Corn is also processed into high value products, such as cornstarch, corn syrup, corn oil, gluten, and snack foods.

From 1995-2004, droughts, floods, and typhoons had wreaked havoc on crops resulting to cumulative losses of about PHP 7.2 billion for corn farmers. The poor are more severely affected by the disasters brought about by climate change because they live in areas that are more vulnerable to floods. They are primarily engaged in agricultural production and they have the least access to risk-sharing support services such as insurance.

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As part of its long-term commitment to improve the capacity of Southeast Asian institutions working towards agricultural and rural development to respond to climate change, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) together with the Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC) based in Thailand, served as co-trainors with ECO-Consult and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the conduct of the training on “Regional Multipliers and Advisors: Integrating Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into Development Plans and Investments.” This took place in Bogor, Indonesia on 12-17 March 2013. SEARCA was represented by Dr. Daylinda B. Cabanilla, Professor, Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños and Ms. Rosario B. Bantayan, Program Specialist, Knowledge Management Department-Training Unit.

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SEARCA, as the thematic node for agriculture of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), is actively participating in the ongoing sub-regional conference on “Trends in Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia” in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 5-6 February 2013. Organized by APAN and ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the conference is aimed at showcasing and sharing knowledge on climate change adaptation activities in the Southeast Asian region by bringing together selected cross-country focal points on climate change that include policy-makers, local governments, and experts.

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CChAMSEA

The project management team of the IDRC-funded project Capacity Building to Adapt to Climate Change. From left to right-Dr. Bui Duc Tinh, Hue College of Economics, Dr. Heng Naret and Mr. Cheb Hoeurn of Royal University of Phnom Penh, Dr. Bessie Burgos of SEARCA, Dr. Bui Dung The, Overall Project Coordinator from Hue College of Economics and Dr. Carrie Mitchell of IDRC.The country leaders and overall coordinator of the project “Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Southeast Asia” convened in Hanoi on 24-25 January 2013 for a project management meeting with Dr. Carrie Mitchell, Senior Program Officer, Climate Change and Water Program (CCW) of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The three-year project, which aims to build local capacity to adapt to climate change through participatory action research, is funded by the IDRC through the CCW Program and the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA).

Prof. Emilinda Mendoza, Philippine Project Leader presenting the accomplishments and plans of the Philippine component of the IDRC-funded project 'Capacity Building to Adapt to Climate Change'The project covers three provinces in Southeast Asia focusing on the dominant climatic hazards affecting agriculture in the study sites: drought and flooding in Kampong Speu province in Cambodia, typhoon and flooding in Laguna province in the Philippines, and typhoon and flooding in Thua Thien Hue province in Vietnam. The Philippine component is implemented by SEARCA through a team of experts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) while the Vietnam and Cambodia components are implemented by Hue College of Economics and Royal University of Phnom Penh, respectively.

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Dr. Herminia Francisco solicits the Laguna Provincial LGU’s official stand on the option of permanent evacuation and relocation of affected residents as an adaptation strategy to flooding, as members of the research team listen. (From left to right: Mr. Valentine Guidote; Ms. Rowena Dorado, Project Research Assistant; Prof. Emilinda Mendoza, Project Country Leader; and Dr. Herminia Francisco)SEARCA, through its Research and Development Department (RDD), is implementing the Philippine component of the project Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Southeast Asia, which is funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) through the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA). This three-year project which started in January 2011 aims to build capacity for research, planning, and action with respect to climate change adaptation in three Southeast Asian Countries: Cambodia, Philippines, and Vietnam. Twelve municipalities in Laguna compose the project area in the Philippines. Now in its second year of implementation, the project is looking at adaptation options to flooding and the economics of these options.

In line with the array of alternatives and their cost-benefit analysis, the Philippine Project Team composed of Professors Emilinda Mendoza, Jaimie Kim Bayani Arias, and Vicente Ballaran, together with EEPSEA Director Dr. Herminia Francisco and SEARCA’s Acting Program Head for Research and Development Dr. Bessie Burgos, consulted with the Laguna Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office (PPDO) and the Sta. Cruz Mayor’s Office, and visited a relocation site and several of the barangays greatly affected by flooding in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

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About 150 researchers, academicians, policymakers, and development workers representing 21 countries across the globe attended the International Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Food and Environmental Security held on 21-22 November 2012 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Los Baños, Philippines.

The scientific meeting was jointly organized by SEARCA and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) through its Interdisciplinary Program on Climate Change (IdPCC), with the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), supported by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan along with other partners, as major sponsor.

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Participants of REDD+ Regional Workshop. Front row, left to right: Ms. Amalia Agustina, Ms. Rattana Lukanawarakul, Dr. Suchitra Changtragoon, Ms. Catherine Corpuz, Dr. Nur Masripatin, Dr. Elizabeth Philip, and Dr. Mariliza V. Ticsay. Second row, left to right: Dr. Lope B. Santos III, Mr. Trieu Van Luc, Mr. Delon Marthinus, Dr. Guillermo A. Mendoza, Dr. Kinnalone Phommasack, Ms. Remedios Evangelista, Ms. Mayumi Natividad, Mr. Suntra Hang, Mr. Hlaing Win, and Dr. Chanhsamone Phongoudome. Third row, left to right: Dr. Jeremy Broadhead, Mr. Kamnap Phan, Mr. Le Anh Hung, Dr. Samsudin Musa, and Dr. Min Maung Tin.The Regional Workshop on “Strengthening ASEAN Mechanisms for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD plus)” was conducted on 1-2 November 2012 by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) for, and in coordination with the Agriculture Industries and Natural Resources Division (AINRD) of the ASEAN Secretariat, with funding support from the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II).

The 2-day workshop was held at the Atlet Century Park Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was attended by two representatives each from the following ASEAN Member States (AMS) --Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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Present during the contract signing were (seated, from left) Mr. Anders Pettersson, ADB Senior Procurement Specialist and Chief Negotiator for the Director; Dr. Ancha Srinivasan, ADB Principal Climate Change Specialist, Southeast Asia Department; and Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, as well as (standing, from left) Ms. Imelda L. Batangantang, Ms. Nancy L. de Leon, and Dr. Lope B. Santos III, all staff members of the SEARCA Project Development and Management Department (ProDev).SEARCA has recently signed a contract with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement the project titled Technical Assistance 8111 PHI: Climate Resilience and Green Growth in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL): Demonstrating the Eco-town Framework (46225-001).

The UMRBPL covers an area of 26,125.64 hectares bordered in the West by the Lungsod Silangan Townsite Reservation and Pamitinan Protected Landscape; in the Southwest by the Integrated Social Forestry Program; on the South by the Alienable and Disposable Lands; in the East by Kaliwa Forest Reserve; and in the North by the Angat Watershed Reservation. The watershed is a mountainous terrain with Marikina River as the main waterway influencing the Rizal province and flows in the southwest direction towards Laguna Lake.

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Dr. Guillermo A. Mendoza (rightmost), REDD+ expert, presents the principles, approaches, and proposed methodologies for “Strengthening ASEAN Mechanisms for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-plus)” project during the Inception Meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. Others present during the meeting were Dr. Nur Masripatin (third from left), Ms. Pouchamarn Wongsanga (center), Ms. Amalia Agustina Mimbar (third from right), Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt (second from right), Ms. Catherine Frances J. Corpuz (not in photo), Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. (second from left), Dr. Bessie M. Burgos (leftmost), and Dr. Mariliza V. Ticsay (not in photo).

Mitigation efforts under a new international agreement on climate change are expected to include the REDD-plus mechanism (“Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation”, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries).

In helping advance the REDD+ initiative in the Southeast Asian region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has commissioned SEARCA to implement the ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) Phase II-funded project entitled “Strengthening ASEAN Mechanisms for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-plus)”.

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