SEARCA leads project to boost climate resilience in PHL

A new project was initiated by Asian research and development agencies in order to enhance climate resilience in agriculture, natural resources and ecosystems in the Philippines.

Being led by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the project is in collaboration with Niras Asia Manila Inc. and the International Centre for Environmental Management.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank, and titled "Accelerating Climate Resilience in Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Project," the initiative aims to advance the Philippine government's climate resilience reform agenda under the Climate Change Action Program (CCAP).

The project kicked off with an inception workshop held on September 8.

Antti Inkinen, Niras regional director for Asia and the Pacific, enthusiastically supports the project and encouraged collaborative discussions to propel it forward.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio said the workshop brought together 47 national and international experts from relevant government agencies and multisectoral institutions in agriculture, natural resources, and the environment to deliberate on the project's objectives. He said the project focuses on three key areas.

According to Gregorio, the project aims to strengthen climate resilience in agriculture by promoting climate-resilient farming and supporting climate-smart technologies in crops, livestock, and fisheries in collaboration with Climate-Resilient Agriculture Office and National Organic Agriculture Program under the Philippines' Department of Agriculture.

It also intends to enhance climate resilience in natural resources and ecosystems by expanding the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Risk Resiliency Program with resiliency roadmaps, guidelines, online monitoring, and capacity building to address climate hazards. This will be implemented in partnership with DENR.

Finally, the project seeks to improve agricultural insurance for climate risk by developing a medium-term insurance roadmap for the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), exploring innovative financing solutions, and prioritizing financial sustainability and cost-effectiveness with guidance from PCIC.

Project Deputy Team Leader Cesar Umali highlighted the project's role in advancing the government's climate resilience agenda as outlined in the CCAP.

"Together, these efforts will strengthen the Philippines' ability to face climate-related challenges head-on," Gregorio said.