Villar says crop insurance needed to mitigate climate change

  • 30 July 2015, Thursday

Source: Visayan Daily Star
30 Jul 2015

MANILA – Senator Cynthia Villar underscored yesterday the importance of strengthening agriculture insurance programs as an important risk management strategy to cope with the impacts of climate change, most especially in the Philippines.

Appearing at a “Policy Roundtable on Improving the Agricultural Insurance Program to Enhance Resilience to Climate Change in Southeast Asia” forum at the Ascott Hotel in Makati City, the Villar stressed that improving the agricultural insurance program is key in enhancing climate change resilience.

The two-day policy roundtable forum is spearheaded by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture along with the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

The policy roundtable seeks to pinpoint key issues and challenges related to agricultural insurance in Southeast Asia in the face of climate change and identify policy directions and recommendations that will improve agricultural insurance programs.

“The Philippines is an agricultural country with about two-thirds of its population being directly or indirectly involved in agriculture. Our country is also an archipelago, and as such, is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change,” Villar said.

Problems due to climate change are realities that Filipinos have been facing, particularly in recent years when extreme weather conditions such as super typhoons, massive flooding, El Niño and La Niña phenomena, among others, have been causing death and destruction in the country, she pointed out.

A recent United Nations report identified the Philippines as the third most-at-risk from climate change in the world, ranked behind the South Pacific island nations of Vanuatu and Tonga.

In another report, released by environmental organization German Watch -- the Global Climate Risk Index 2015 which lists countries most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heat waves based on events of 2013 -- the Philippines was ranked as number one, followed by Cambodia and India.