Disaster-prone areas in the province of Rizal have adopted climate change policies in an "eco-town" program under a project commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
The Protected Area Management Board of the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL), sometimes called "Marikina Watershed," has adopted the Climate Resilience and Green Growth Road Map developed under the ADB-funded "Climate Resilience and Green Growth in UMRBPL: Demonstrating the Ecotown Framework."
The project covers the towns of Tanay, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Baras and Antipolo City that form part of the protected area.
An "eco-town" is an environmentally sustainable community developing zero emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG), according to the Climate Change Commission.
The project made a reality of previously thought of as vague or unreal concept of climate change as local government units implement proper agricultural and environmental management practices.
ADB climate change specialist Ancha Srinivasan earlier said that among the specific measures piloted in UMRBPL are bio-charcoal briquetting for Marikina, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Tanay and Baras; species establishment and rehabilitation in Tanay, Rodriguez and Baras; and check dams piloted in Antipolo City and San Mateo.
These activities prevent the disastrous effects of climate change such as flooding and landslides. Instead of cutting trees in the protected area to produce charcoal, natives turn to bio-charcoal briquetting as livelihood. Check dams also prevent soil erosion and excessive flooding as these become water storage and source of irrigation for farming too.
SEARCA program specialist Lope Santos 3rd said "the ecotown development planning process includes baseline analysis, natural resources assessment, greenhouse gas emission (GHG) emission inventory, sectoral vulnerability and risk assessment, cost benefit analysis of identified priority adaptation and mitigation measures, preparation of climate resilience and green growth road map and local climate change action plan."
Another SEARCA commissioned project—Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture (AMIA)—a landscape planning approach for sustainable agriculture and environmental management was turned over by Director Gil Saguiguit Jr. to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol recently.