Knowledge Showcases

Knowledge Showcases

K-SHOWCASES contains experience notes, adaptation notes, technical reports, stories on good practices, and other SEARCA publications related to climate change adaptation in Southeast Asia.

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

Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 5 No. 3  | Miledel Christine C. Quibilan2

Coastal vulnerability assessment (VA) tools aim to provide guidance for coastal climate change adaptation (CCA) planning by measuring the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to a variety of climate-related hazards such as changes in ocean temperature, sea level rise, and increased frequency of more devastating typhoons.

The scope of coastal vulnerability assessment includes fisheries, coastal integrity, or the overall state of the coast and biodiversity therein. The tools used are mostly ecosystem-based with biophysical and socioeconomic components. The scale of application is the coastal barangay (village) with an average coastline of nine kilometers. To learn more about these coastal VA tools,3 refer to the guidebook, which can be downloaded for free at http://www.coraltriangleinitiative.org/library/guide-vulnerability-assessment-tools-coastal-ecosystems.

Read more: Coastal Vulnerability Assessments: Tools, Training, and Networking

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Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 5 No. 2 | Roberto Pedro C. Sandoval, Jr.and Hideki Kanamaru3

Though people have already adopted measures to limit the negative effects of climate change, more extensive adaptation is required to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Hence, it is important to assess climate impact and vulnerability as well as the adaptation options employed to increase resilience.

There are generally two types of assessment that can be used to support climate change adaptation:

Read more: Approaches to Assessment of Impacts and Vulnerability to Climate Change and Adaptation Options

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Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 5 No. 1 | Mozaharul Alam2

Climate change poses a risk to the development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It affects livelihoods, health, and economic development.

Since climate change has become more of a development issue, there is a need to mainstream climate change adaptation (CCA) into national planning as part of broader policies for development. Development planning should take into account anticipated impacts of climate change particularly on the livelihoods, resilience, and health of the population in poor countries.

Read more: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Development Planning

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Technical Report: Current Trends in Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture in Southeast Asia

The growing interest in adaptation engagements reflects policy development that calls for multilevel climate change adaptation. In Southeast Asia, several initiatives have been made particularly under the leadership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). These include declarations to the 2007 Bali and 2009 Copenhagen UN Conferences on Climate Change and the ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability that calls for an ASEAN Climate Change Initiative. Southeast Asian countries are signatories to numerous policy instruments such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol with its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports, the Bali Road Map, and the Cancun Agreements, among many others. 

Read more: Technical Report: Current Trends in Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture in Southeast Asia

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Faces of Vulnerability: Gender, Climate Change, and Disaster
by Maria Emilinda T. Mendoza 

The understanding of vulnerability both at the household and individual level, as well as the sectoral and community level, was enriched by the research on social vulnerability and gender under the project entitled “Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Southeast Asia.” The study was conducted in the province of Laguna in the Philippines with the aim of identifying who are vulnerable, and analyzing why they are vulnerable, and how they adapt to the risks of climate change and climatic hazards. The gender perspective in the research process was given emphasis. The study looked into how climate change-induced hazards affected men and women differentially, how they cope with these hazards, and in what household adaptation measures do women play important roles. Findings discussed in this publication came from data generated from a number of methods, including a barangay-level survey, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and cases from in-depth interviews.

Read more: Faces of Vulnerability: Gender, Climate Change, and Disaster

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Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping of Selected Municipalities in Laguna, Philippines
by Vicente G. Ballaran, Jr., Maria Emilinda T. Mendoza, Jaimie Kim Bayani-Arias, Rowena A. Dorado, Bessie M. Burgos

Climate change is the most recent crisis of global impact, and can be most detrimental to developing countries. Southeast Asia, in particular, has been noted as one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change. The objectives of the study were to measure the vulnerability of communities to climate change and to produce maps of each community’s relative vulnerability with respect to the commune and the agricultural sector. Three vulnerability determinants—exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity—and their respective indicators were determined. Exposure refers to damage potential while sensitivity is determined by the interaction of environmental and social forces. Finally, adaptive capacity is shaped by various social, cultural, political and economic forces. The overall index of climate change vulnerability was calculated using a compromise among the three identified indices and ranked to identify the most vulnerable communes. Using GIS software, overall vulnerability maps were produced. Results showed that mostly lowland and coastal areas are greatly affected in all the vulnerability determinants.

Read more: Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping of Selected Municipalities in Laguna, Philippines

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Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 3 No. 6

Despite the numerous efforts initiated by the government and nongovernmental organizations in addressing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management, the Philippines still remains one of the riskiest places in the world. This is because the country lacks the capacity to cope and adapt to natural hazards, particularly to the threats posed by climate change. The Philippines then needs to implement climate-smart disaster risk management plans and initiatives in order to address the future risks posed by climate change.

In its World Risk Index, the UN World Risk Report cited the Philippines as one of the riskiest places out of the 173 countries in the world, ranking third next to the small island nations of Vanuatu and Tonga. The ranking was not only due to the Philippines’ geography and location that makes it prone to natural calamities, but due to its vulnerability to disasters as measured by the presence/lack of public infrastructure, medical services, prevailing nutritional situation, governance, level of education, and availability of insurance.

Read more: Climate-smart Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines

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Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 3 No. 5 | By John M. Pulhin2

The warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is with this characteristic that recent climate-related disasters, including natural hazards, global temperature rise, and extreme weather events, among many, cemented the need for implementing climate change adaptation (CCA) in the Southeast Asian region. The capacity of Southeast Asians to adapt determines the resilience of the region to cope with the current and future changes in climate. Moreover, adaptation reduces the detrimental effects of climate change, while capitalizing on opportunities and beneficial potential impacts that will diminish the vulnerability of the agriculture sector in the region. However, CCA mechanisms in agriculture, in order to maximize its effectiveness, must be mainstreamed into national and local policies highlighting the importance of integration between policy makers, researchers, and the champions of farming and fishing communities.

Southeast Asia is widely considered as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change. This is caused, among others, by the region’s heavy reliance on agriculture—one of the sectors that requires particular attention in adaptation—for providing livelihoods, especially for those at or below the poverty lines. Hence, agriculture accounts for 11 percent of GDP in 2006 and 43.3 percent of employment in 2004 in Southeast Asia (ADB 2009).

Read more: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in Southeast Asia: Challenges...

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Climate-smart Agriculture: The Action Agenda for Southeast Asia

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

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