Volume 4, Issue 1, April 2021
Climate change impacts and transformative adaptation strategies among farming households in the City of Koronadal, Philippines
Received: 06 April 2020 / Accepted: 22 February 2021/ Published online: 08 April 2021
- The monthly and yearly temperature and rainfall patterns from 1981 to 2012 significantly changed, which suggest that climate change occurred in
Roxas Mountain Range, City of Koronadal.
- The manifestations of climate change observed and experienced by the local farmers include intense heat and rainfall, floods/flashflood, landslides, and drought. These manifestations have adverse social (e.g., migration, decreased working time at the farm, loss of lives and properties), economic (declined crop yields, increased occurrences of pests and diseases, delays in planting) and environmental impacts (reduction of water supply and loss of landscapes aesthetic value) to the local farmers.
- The local government plays a crucial role in facilitating and promoting appropriate adaptation strategies against climate change. These strategies
have increased the local communities’ awareness of climate change and have transformed the socioeconomic, environmental, and political
structures and processes in the communities. Some of the potential transformative socioeconomic adaptation strategies identified are investment in education through scholarship programs and the support provided for alternative on-farm and nonfarm livelihoods. In addition, promoting agroforestry system or diversified farming has enhanced the aesthetic landscape and has served as the best adaptation and mitigation option to climate change.
Farmers in the Roxas mountain range, City of Koronadal used to have bountiful harvests during the time when the city was still free from climate-related hazards. However, this situation has recently changed due to the increasing climate-related risk events. Moreover, localized baseline scientific climate information is limited to foster the development of appropriate adaptations and policies toward climate-resilient communities. This study assessed the climate trends and the changes, impacts, and adaptation strategies of farm households in five barangays in the Roxas mountain range, Koronadal City, South Cotabato. The study conducted household surveys with 265 respondents, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. In using Mann-Kendall test statistics, time series analysis and one-way analysis of variance, the findings from 1981 to 2012 show increasing trends with significant changes (p <0.01) in mean minimum temperature, increasing by 0.74 °C for three decades. In contrast, mean maximum temperature showed a decreasing trend with an average decrease of 0.65 °C, p <0.01). In three decadal periods, an average increase of 0.04 °C in monthly mean temperature was observed. Rainfall patterns during the same period also show significant changes in the months of June (p <0.01), August, and December (p <0.05); these findings suggest that climate change occurred. Floods, landslides, and droughts were experienced by the communities, which had devastating socioeconomic and environmental impacts. The existing adaptation strategies are just stop-gap solutions that address the effects of climate change but do not consider the root causes. To consider future changes in climate patterns, the socioeconomic and political structure and processes of the communities need to change; this can be achieved if multifaceted drivers of climate change hazards and their impacts are appropriately and immediately addressed. Some grassroot-level transformative adaptation strategies identified in the study consist of socioeconomic facets, specifically, investment in children’s education, financial management, family planning, and development of alternative on-farm and nonfarm livelihood options. The environmental aspect, which includes promoting agroforestry system, water impoundment technologies, and advanced early warning system, were also considered.
climate trends, variability, climate change, climate impacts, transformative adaptation
Lorena L. Sabino
Department of Social Forestry and Forestry Governance, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Banos (CFNR-UPLB)