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Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs

SEARCA’s Policy Brief Series discusses a comprehensive analysis of climate change-related issues and provides policy and research recommendations towards sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | PBS 2014-2
by Rex Victor O. Cruz

Watersheds are a landscape of interconnected ecosystems, and it is in the abundance of ecosystems that watersheds derive its importance due to the vast array of ecosystem services that it provides to humanity.

A sustainable watershed is a resilient watershed. In a sustainable watershed, the mechanisms involved to sustain the ecosystems within it are working properly. These mechanisms include soil conservation, water conservation, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation.

Humanity benefits from sustainable watersheds in many ways. A sustainable watershed minimizes flooding; enables water and power sufficiency; and provides vibrant business and industry, healthy population, and productive farmlands. All of these benefits translate to income and welfare gains for society. Ironically, it is also those who benefit from watersheds—the people—who contribute immensely to the degradation of watersheds.

Read more: Watersheds in a Changing Climate: Issues and Challenges

Knowledge Showcases

Climate-smart Agriculture: The Action Agenda for Southeast Asia
SEARCA-APAN

The Urgent Need to Make the Southeast Asian Agriculture Climate-smart

The undeniable importance of the agriculture sector in Southeast Asia provides a strong impetus for the urgent need to strengthen its potential as key for reducing poverty and in achieving food security. However, such importance of agriculture is being challenged by the increased prevalence of extreme weather events and unpredictability of weather patterns. As a result, agricultural production is seen to diminish resulting to significant lowering of incomes, particularly in vulnerable areas, with wide-ranging effects to the regional economy.

Recent global initiatives have engendered the need of climate-smart concepts to be applied in agriculture as viable options to address food security issues in the future and in cementing its role in adaptation to climate change. Implementing climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at the local level contributes to meeting global objectives, primarily those of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the World Summit on Food Security (WSFS), leading to a sustainable development landscape (Meybeck et al. 2012). Indeed, making the agriculture sector climate-smart is the way to go in advancing the climate change adaptation in the Southeast Asian region.

Read more: Climate-smart Agriculture: The Action Agenda for Southeast Asia

Knowledge Showcases

Improving the Sub-national Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Agriculture
SEARCA-APAN

Climate change planning capacities and processes vary among the various Southeast Asian countries. But common is the difficulty faced in mobilising local action. In Cambodia, the need for policy that supports climate change adaptation (CCA) mainstreaming into national policies, planning and budgetary processes has affected mainstreaming efforts at sub-national levels (AKP 2010a).

In Vietnam, provinces without CC projects are not aware of the issue and have not yet taken any action (AKP 2010b). On the other hand, the Philippines has been responsive in terms of policy. Its Republic Act 9729, approved in 2009, mainstreamed CC into government policy formulations, established the Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change, and created its Climate Change Commission. The year before, a memorandum circular was issued encouraging all executive councils at the provincial and municipal levels to implement CCA and disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures. Despite this policy support, local government units (LGUs) have a hard time accessing funds and operationalising CCA in development planning (AKP 2012).

Read more: SEARCA-APAN Policy Brief on Improving the Sub-national Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in...

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2013-2
By Rico Ancog, PhD and Mariliza V. Ticsay, PhD

Making Agriculture Sector Climate Smart

Agriculture remains a major engine of growth in Southeast Asia. With a growing population projected to reach as high as 600 million in 2015, concern is high on the observed increasing mean temperature in Southeast Asia. This in turn has been correlated to the increased frequency and variability of other climate hazards and risks resulting to the reduction of agricultural productivity of major agricultural commodities especially rice and corn. Given that the majority of the countries in the region are agriculture-based, making agriculture climate smart is a requisite towards achieving its potential in reducing poverty and achieving food security.

Enhancing resilience of the Southeast Asian agriculture sector to climate change would largely depend on the optimal combination of technical, socioeconomic, and financial mechanisms that must be well placed. 

Read more: Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture in Southeast Asia: Broad Trends and Some Policy and...

Knowledge Showcases

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