Friday, August 21, 2009

Climate Change in the Philippines

In possibly one of the most advanced strategic response to mitigate climate change in the country, the Department of Agriculture has crafted three of its sector groups to exhaust measures to adopt to the changing climate patterns here.

The sectors on crops, fishery and research and development would soon start drafting mitigating measures to be included in the DA action plans, said Agriculture Undersecretary for Operations Jesus Emmanuel Paras.

He said most of the sectors would seem to be most affected by it, reasoned Secretary Arthur Yap after a UN Commissioned team of climate experts briefed the DA to help strengthen the Philippines institutional capacity to adapt to climate change.

Now the created climate change adaptation teams are in response to the climate change mitigating actions pointed out by the UN team.

The teams would come out with their climate change adaptation plans for their sectors. 

The UN sees the DA as key implementors of mitigating programs to respond to the ill effect of the changing climate patterns affecting the country.

However, the DA sought UN help to fast track release of information on climate change so they could also appraise farm officials the lead time to adjust their production programs to new situations especially on the various climate affects for each region.

Yap stressed that is important to upgrade advanced technology to capacitate forecasting and monitoring of erratic climate changes and weather patterns.

During a briefing, UN consultant Lourdes V. Tibig informed the top DA officials that warming up of the climate in the Philippines is going to pour more rains in provinces that experience the southeast monsoon season from June to October, which means more floods and landslides in wide swatches of Luzon and the Visayas.

The dry season in monsoon season affected provinces will get longer, Tibig said. The same phenomenon is also expected to spawn more droughts in Mindanao.

The "unequivocal" climate change, the retired PAGASA official said, has been seen to hit the agriculture and fishery sector hard with bad effects on productivity, the spread of old and new plant and animal diseases. 

Without adequate preparations, countries like the Philippines may see its farm and fishery productivity drastically go down, the climate experts warned. (PIA) 

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