Saturday, December 20, 2008

Philippines experts say adaptation strategies to ease impact of climate change urgent

Minda News (Mindinao, Philippines): Changes in technology, choice of crops, cropping patterns and in lifestyle and human behaviour may be needed to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and extremes which are likely to worsen in the near future, two experts on climate change today said in a seminar here.

Dr. Juan Pulhin, a forestry professor at UP Los Baños, suggested that one measure would be for Filipinos to switch to corn and sweet potato as staples. He said these crops, compared to rice, are more resistant to weather extremes like the El Niño and La Niña phenomena. He said that some tribes in Luzon who stuck to root crops were unaffected by the supposed rice crisis that hit the country earlier this year. During the 1997-1998 El Niño, he said, there was a significant decrease in rice production but not so much in corn.

Pulhin, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Dr. Florencia B. Pulhin, also of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources, recently finished a research in Lantapan town, Bukidnon on adaptation measures for climate change which farmers perceived to be effective.

The findings showed that farmers in Lantapan's 14 barangays tended to use adaptive strategies that require low or no cost at all and those that promise immediate results. Leading the list are prayer and getting water from other sources [during El Niño occurrences]….

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