Sunday, March 29, 2009

Climate change felt in richest fishing ground

Philippine Daily Ariel Domiguez, 42, has been fishing for 16 years in waters off Verde Island in Batangas province, considered to have the most diverse marine life on the planet. But because of climate change and its threat of rising sea levels and lower fish yields, Dominguez is thinking about the possibility that he might eventually have to quit his job, pack up his belongings and transfer to higher ground.

…The Verde Island Passage has been called the “center of the center” of the world’s marine biodiversity by the US Smithsonian Institute. But even here, the effects of global warming are starting to be felt.

…According to a recent international study of seven countries in Southeast Asia, the entire Philippines is considered to be among the “most vulnerable” areas to climate change in the region. “Based on this mapping assessment, all the regions of the Philippines…are among the most vulnerable regions in Southeast Asia,” said the study “Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia” by Arief Yusuf and Herminia Francisco.

The study -- which covered the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam -- arrived at its conclusions after looking at the “exposure” and “sensitivity” to climate change of areas in these countries and their “adaptability” to these changes.

…While it ranked Metro Manila as the 7th most vulnerable area to climate change in Southeast Asia, the study also included a map that showed the entire Philippines colored in orange indicating that all its regions were vulnerable. “We better come up with projects for mitigation and adaptation. We have to set up systems to easily adapt to the inevitable,” said Paolo Pagaduan, a project manager of the World Wildlife Foundation….

The view of Verde Island, Batangas City, Philippines from Monte Maria, Brgy. Pagkilatan, Batangas City. Shot by Kampfgruppe, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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