• PhilCCAP rolls out climate change products

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    The Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP), a foreign-funded program jointly implemented by several national government agencies, including the environment and agriculture departments and state weather bureau, launched its products at the Grand Ballroom of the Century Park Hotel, Manila.

    The products cater to different sectors and aims to vastly improve the country’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change.

    Launched today were the Community of Practice online knowledge management system, manuals on the retrofitting of irrigation systems and on climate-smart farming, a feasibility study on the weather index-based crop insurance scheme, a climate smart, web-based and SMS advisory system for rice and corn farmers, a report on climate scenarios, and updated management plans for protected areas.

    The Community of Practice (CoP), is an online knowledge management system developed by the Climate Change Commission (CCC). It is intended to be the government’s official repository of all climate-related information and practices, from forecasts to general research.

    Several government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), have access to the CoP. The CCC, through PhilCCAP, is working towards encompassing all relevant government offices, as well as research and academic institutions with the CoP.

    The CoP will facilitate the exchange of climate information and related documents, which will be guided by a protocol, also developed by the CCC.

    Manuals on the redesign and retrofitting of river irrigation systems, and on climate-smart farming were also rolled out. These were created by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) in line with their experiences in implementing the project’s activities.

    The NIA improved the operations manual of the agency, based on the lessons learned in redesigning for retrofitting of two river irrigation systems, in Cagayan and Iloilo, which were completed last year. The retrofitting works will enable both facilities to improve its water distribution mechanisms, reducing the effects of seasonal climate change on water supply.

    The climate-smart farming manual is a compilation of lessons derived from the practical courses on climate change. It is being shared with the project’s farmer-beneficiaries under an enhanced version of the Agricultural Training Institute’s (ATI) climate-smart farmers’ field school extension program.

    The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) also launched its products and interim report on weather index-based crop insurance. The insurance products make use of a weather index, particularly rainfall, as basis for payouts. This ensures the rapid delivery of funds to rice and corn farmers in pilot areas affected by abnormal rainfall, regardless of the actual damage sustained.

    The DA also launched the Climate-Smart Decision Support Tool (CS-DSS). It is a web- and mobile phone-based application that integrates climate information into crop management practices. Developed in close collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the tool provides recommendations to enhance the ability of rice and corn farmers in the pilot sites to adapt to climate variations and consequently increase their yield.

    The DENR updated the management plans for two protected areas – the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape in Cagayan and the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape in Surigao del Norte.

    PAGASA, the state weather bureau, released its Climate Change Report, which includes long-term rainfall and temperature forecasts and climate scenarios. Information from PAGASA’s forecasting activities was also used in the project’s other activities, such as the agricultural extension program.

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