Climatic Change

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 395–421 | Cite as

Vulnerability assessment of climate change impacts on a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) in the Philippines: the case of Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines

  • Ria Jhoanna C. DucusinEmail author
  • Maria Victoria O. Espaldon
  • Carmelita M. Rebancos
  • Lucille Elna P. De Guzman


Batad Rice Terraces of Ifugao, Philippines, is declared as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System due to its traditional system characterized with a synergy of goals of biodiversity conservation, sustainable productivity, and strengthening of traditions and culture. It is also inscribed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. However, in spite of the fact that it is considered a living sustainable agricultural system, it is hypothesized that the rice terraces are not immune to the impacts brought about by climate change. This study aimed to determine the level of vulnerability of Batad Rice Terraces to climate change impacts. To do this, the study examined the vulnerability as a function of exposure (E), sensitivity (S), and adaptive capacity (AC). The study used 28 indicators: 5 for exposure, 12 for sensitivity, and 11 for adaptive capacity. A total of 114 respondents were interviewed and focus group discussions were conducted in July–August 2017. Results of the study showed that the vulnerability rating for the study was 0.51 (E = 0.40; S = 0.65; and AC = 0.51) which indicated that Batad Rice Terraces is moderately vulnerable to climate change impacts. Of the 28 indicators, the key vulnerability indices are from sensitivity and adaptive capacity components. Under sensitivity, it includes acidic soil pH, soil potassium deficiency, the perceived increase in the presence of pests, the high dependence on irrigation structure, agricultural unsuitability, and food import dependency, while adaptive capacity indicators include the declining practice of key traditions and the low number of farmers per household.


Funding information

This study was supported by funding from the Department of Science and Technology Science and Education Institute (DOST-SEI) through the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and ManagementUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosLos BañosPhilippines
  2. 2.Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food ScienceUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosLos BañosPhilippines

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