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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 | 2012-2
By Beatriz Cuevas Jadina

The case of Leyte and Southern Leyte

Leyte and Southern Leyte are two provinces in the Philippines with the most catastrophic landslide history. The worst of which occurred in Ormoc City, Leyte in November 1991 and in Panaon Island, Southern Leyte on 19 December 2003. These events, triggered by heavy and continuous rain, claimed the lives of more than 5,000 landslide and flashflood victims in Ormoc City and 200 people in Southern Leyte. 

On 17 February 2006, a massive landslide also occurred in Barangay Guinsaugon, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte where more than 1,000 people were buried alive. On 2 January 2011, another landslide hit the town of St. Bernard claiming the lives of at least five people.

Landslides result in serious negative impacts to the community, society, and the environment. 

Read more: Landslide occurrences in the Philippines: Contributing factors and implications to local governance

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2011-2
By Victor B. Ella, PhD

The threats of climate change could adversely affect groundwater resources. In the Philippines - whose population relies heavily on groundwater resources for domestic, agricultural, industrial and other uses - it is important to quantitatively determine the potential effects of climate change on these resources to serve as a basis for sustainable groundwater management. Advanced computer simulation techniques, such as the numerical groundwater model, are yet to be fully utilized in analyzing and predicting the effects of climate change on groundwater the Philippines.

With this in mind, a research supported by SEARCA’s Seed Fund For Research and Training (SFRT) was implemented to explore the use of a numerical groundwater model to simulate and predict the effects of climate change on groundwater levels in a selected productive shallow aquifer system in the Philippines.   The study aimed to determine the hydraulic effects of climate change on groundwater resources and consequently, recommend appropriate policy directions. It also intended to provide basis for possible up-scaling on a regional and national level.

Read more: Simulating the Hydraulic Effects of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources Using a Numerical...

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2010-7
By Digna O. Manzanilla and David E. Johnson

Nearly 100 million rice farmers live in unfavorable rice environments. These communities are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climate change. Solutions are urgently needed to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.

At a Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) workshop held in Cambodia in May 2010, with the theme: Responding to changing climate in the unfavorable rice environments, climate specialist Kay Sumfleth outlined some of the expected impacts of climate change. Climate modelers suggest that year-to-year variability will increase and extreme events will be more frequent. There are great uncertainties over regional differences and the expected impacts of climate change on rice agro-ecosystems. Amid these uncertainties, however, farmers in unfavorable areas are already facing many of the constraints that are expected with climate change. Solutions being developed with farmers in “today’s” unfavorable environments, therefore, will serve rural people in other areas likely to be affected in “tomorrow’s” world.

Read more: Developing “Climate-ready” rice to safeguard livelihoods in the fragile ecosystems

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2010-6
By Agnes C. Rola and Asa Jose U. Sajise

As population increases and as lowland farm lands are rapidly being diverted to alternative uses, the uplands will have an increasing role in securing food. But, without appropriate soil conservation techniques, upland soils become prone to erosion and could eventually become infertile as production intensifies leading to unsustainable production.

However, conservation agriculture (e.g., no-till technology, grass strips plus ridge tillage, alley cropping, contour hedgerows), which is known to effectively reduce soil erosion, has not been widely adopted by farmers. A recent study by Rola, et al. (2009) tried to answer two issues related to the use of conservation technologies for upland corn farmers, namely: 1) Why do corn farmers adopt conservation agriculture technologies and what induces them to adopt; and 2) Do conservation technologies increase production levels and make households less vulnerable to weather disturbances?

Read more: Food Security under Climate Risk: Conservation Farming and Upland Corn in the Philippines

Knowledge Showcases

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