14 October 2016, San Gabriel, La Union. In September 2016, the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPB)-College of Forestry & Natural Resources (CFNR)was awarded by the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) a grant for the implementation of the project entitled “Community-Based Adaptation: Enhancing Climate Change Resilience of Communities and Ecosystems through Participatory Watershed Management.”
On 4 October, to kick-off the Community-based Adaptation Project, the UPLB team met with Honorable Herminigildo Velasco, Mayor of the Municipality of San Gabriel San Gabriel, La Union; former Mayor of San Gabriel, Divina Velasco; former Mayor of San Fernando City, Mary Jane Ortega; members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Filipino/Tag.: Municipal Council); Punong Barangays (Fil./Tag.: towns) of San Gabriel, La Union – the main source of the Baroro (sometimes referred to as “Lon-Oy”) watershed; and members of the Baroro Watershed Council. The UPLB technical team comprised:
- Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon, Professor, SESAM, UPLB
- Dr. Florencia B. Pulhin, University Researcher, FDC, UPLB
- Ms. Maricel A. Tapia, Asst. Professor, DSFFG-CFNR, UPLB
- Ms. Josephine E. Garcia, Project Research Associate, CFNR, UPLB
- Catherine C. De Luna, University Researcher II Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (INREM), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension at UPLB;
- Prof. Dr. Rex Cruz, CFNR, former UPLB Chancellor; and
- Prof. Dr. Juan Pulhin, CFNR Dean – Project Leader and INREM Chair.
The project will span two years, having commenced July 2016 up to June 2018 with a total budget of PhP 5,043,726 – and being implemented in Baroro Watershed in La Union and Saug Watershed in Compostela Valley. Outputs include the development of watershed management protocols for the study sites following a participatory and demand-driven approach.
The first activity organised was this Project orientation and seminar on importance of watersheds, holistic management and concept of climate change.
Sideshow: Baroro Watershed for Climate Resiliency Kick-off Meeting
Dr. Pulhin communicated the Rationale behind the continued investment in the Baroro Watershed’s management:
- “Philippine’s National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) Goal: Building the adaptive capacity of local communities and increasing the resilience of ecosystems to climate change to promote climate risk-resilience;
- Requires anticipating the conditions of a socio-ecologial system considering climate change, and maintaining its integrity through adaptation;
- Communities at the forefront of battle against climate change;
- Watershed approach ensures holistic way to managing ecosystems, including water resources and agricultural production areas; and
- Designing guidelines on how communities can manage and sustainably use the watershed resources in view of the changing climate constitutes an important step towards building resilience.
One of the objectives of the project is Objective 6: To set up a model barangay/sitio for the implementation of community-based adaptation strategies, which will include setting up and training of model barangay/ sitio for each site to implement the community-based adaptation to develop a model barangay/ sitio for each site set up for implementation of community-based adaptation strategies.
For the complete presentation delivered by Dr Pulhin, please click here (PDF, 2.4MB – for screen resolution and reading only): Community-based-Adaptation-4oct-2016-Dr-Juan-Pulhin.
Prof. Dr. Rex Cruz also delivered a talk on the scientific, technical and practical aspects of how watersheds work as part of the “Ridge to Reef“, holistic approach to watershed management as a refresher course for the participants – and to enable any Questions & Answers for the audience to contribute and align with the objectives.
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