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Climate vulnerability scenario of the agricultural sector in the Bicol River Basin, Philippines

Abstract

This paper investigated the vulnerability of the agriculture sector and rural agriculture livelihoods in the Bicol River Basin (BRB) of the Philippines to projected changes in climate. The geographical characteristics of the BRB feature eight major sub-basins or watersheds consisting of Libmanan-Pulantuna, Ragay Hills, Thiris, Naga-Yabo, Pawili River, Waras-Lalo, Naporog, and Quinali. The study applied the combination of the participatory tools and the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) framework to gather information on local climate vulnerabilities and contexts. Briefly, the CRVA employed geospatial modeling and utilized several indicators which are presumed to affect vulnerability including exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity which were aggregated to provide an index of vulnerability. This enabled us to identify areas of exposure and vulnerability and pointed areas of greatest need for strengthened adaptive capacity and risk management. Our findings revealed that vulnerability in the BRB was perceived to be relatively prevalent and that typhoons, flooding, and drought were identified to contribute significant impacts to rural livelihood. Furthermore, our findings in the CRVA suggested significant regional differences in vulnerability in the BRB. The majority of the towns in the central and northwestern portions of the BRB will largely experience increased vulnerability, particularly, in the Thiris sub-basin including some parts of Ragay Hills, Waras-Lalo, and the northwestern Libmanan-Pulantuna sub-basins. On the contrary, the entire Quinali region on the south is revealed to have the lowest vulnerability index. The clear policy implication of these accounts will be on how to mobilize developmental thrusts in both areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the sub-national level to reinforce local-based climate priority setting in adaptation interventions and policies.

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Data availability

The data are provided as supplementary material. Quantitative data for the climate and crop simulation are available from the corresponding author on request, subject to institutional approval.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 under Rice Program through the initiatives and support of its former regional executive director Dr. Elena B. De Los Santos. The authors acknowledge Director Rodel P. Tornilla and the Bicol AMIA team headed by Mr. Lorenzo L. Alvina for their technical and field assistance. The same acknowledgment is given to Dr. Raul G. Bradecina for his insightful comments and suggestions. We thank Mr. Leo Kris M. Palao of CIAT Asia for providing supplementary materials for the analysis. The authors also honor the contribution of the people in the research sites for their cooperation, support, and invaluable feedbacks during the project implementation.

Funding

Funding was supported by the Republic of the Philippines Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Office 5 (DA-RFO 5) under Rice Program. The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of their affiliated institutions, including the DA-RFO 5.

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R.P. Laureta and R.R.H. Regalado designed the study. R.R.H. Regalado performed the analyses and data curation, with support from E.B. De La Cruz who also contributed materials/analysis tools. R.P. Laureta led the supervision and writing with input from all co-authors.

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Correspondence to Ricky P. Laureta.

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Laureta, R.P., Regalado, R.R.H. & De La Cruz, E.B. Climate vulnerability scenario of the agricultural sector in the Bicol River Basin, Philippines. Climatic Change 168, 4 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03208-8

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Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change
  • Vulnerability
  • Rural livelihood
  • Bicol River basin
  • Philippines