The Philippines: ramping up climate resilience

Here in the Philippines, we are all too aware of increasingly devastating climate change impacts. Our extensive coastline, and more than 7,000 islands, lie in the path of deadly typhoons. The devastation that storms such as these cause has lately become shocking annual events. In the past three years, deadly versions of these caused thousands of deaths and left millions of our people displaced.

Climate scientists say cyclones will become more powerful as sea temperatures rise. Few countries are more exposed to climate change than the Philippines. But our country is also showing the world how to make creative choices in coping with climate change as effectively and smartly as possible.

I was hugely encouraged to see the results of a project in a small town located along the shores of the West Philippine Sea. San Vicente has an idyllic location but at the same time it exemplifies the vulnerability of all island and coastal communities.

Located in the province of Palawan, the town saw massive coral bleaching in 1998 and 2010. It has also experienced frequent floods and droughts that caused severe crop damage. Note that rice production and fishing are vital and critical sources of income for most of San Vicente households.

The project, with international funding from Global Green Growth Institute, foster green growth. In relation to farming, it has introduced modern practices like the use of irrigation and climate-resilient crops to boost yields. As to fishing, the project works at enhancing the capabilities for monitoring against illegal catches. For coastal protection, it looks to the construction of new sea walls and dikes and the installation of an early warning system against storms and tsunamis.


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