Romeo V. Labios
Leocadio S. Sebastian
Jocelyn D. Labios
Christine Mae B. Santos
Climate-resilient technologies and approaches were compiled in a book to guide agricultural stakeholders in developing and implementing climate actions in the Philippines.
Agriculture is one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change. In the Philippines, based on projections, its impact can cost about PHP 145 billion annually through 2050, a massive amount to lose for a country that relies on agriculture for food and livelihood. Various climate-resilient technologies and approaches are already being implemented, but their scale is still limited. In order to be scaled in wider geograpic areas and to reach more farmers, they must be better documented and disseminated.
The recent book *“Compendium of Climate-Resilient Technologies and Approaches in the Philippines” *provides a comprehensive outlook about the Philippine situation and the climate-resilient agriculture (CRA) options that farmers can adopt. It can serve as a science-based source of reference for a variety of stakeholders, such as researchers, policymakers, agricultural practitioners, and farmer organizations.
The Compendium was officially launched on 23 January 2020 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). It is co-published by SEARCA, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA), the Philippine Department of Agriculture, and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.
From business-as-usual to climate-resilience
The book presents a portfolio of climate-resilient options that farmers can prioritize on their farms. These options were assessed during a stakeholder consultation at SEARCA in 2019, based on their climate resilience, feasibility, adoption barriers, incentive mechanism, and potential to be disseminated by key institutions and players. The technologies and approaches covered in the book were grouped together based on the agro-ecological system they were most suitable for. The book argues that a business-as-usual mindset will no longer yield desirable outcomes and impacts when implementing CRA options, thus transformative strategies must now be adopted instead.
Under a CRA approach, agricultural stakeholders will prioritize technologies and approaches that improve farm productivity, enhance the resilience of farmers against the impact of climate change, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. On paper, these three dimensions seem to be promising, but turning this promise into reality requires transformative strategies supported by relevant policies, incentives, and funding mechanisms.
One strategy is adopting integrated clusters and landscapes approaches, such as Climate-Smart Villages and “small-farmer, large fields”. These create hubs where stakeholders can co-develop, pilot, and scale CRA technologies. Another strategy is “going digital” to harness information technology-based systems in supporting the decision-making of farmers. Innovative and practical financial mechanisms can help secure their buy-in to these strategies and eventually motivate them to adopt CRA technologies. The government and financial institutions must ensure that such mechanisms cater to the needs and situation of farmers.
The book presents further transformative strategies and CRA technologies that can be valuable for Philippine agriculture. Readers are highly encouraged to discuss its content and share it in person and online to keep climate discussions going and, in turn, transform these discussions into concrete climate actions.