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Phl adopts measures to mitigate climate change

- Ma. Elisa Osorio  () - February 12, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines can do its part in helping control climate change and potentially earn P47 billion in the process, according to the the Department of Agriculture (DA).

During his speech at the recent APEC Summit on Climate Change held at the Edsa Shangri-La, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that by planting coconuts in the 3.2 million hectares of land devoted to coconut farming, the country can help absorb 17.54 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

At the same time, the planted coconut can generate roughly P47 billion in revenues per year.

 “The Philippines has 3.2 million hectares devoted to coconut farming. Based on studies, per hectare of coconut farm could potentially absorb 17.54 tons of carbon dioxide per year which is equivalent to P 14.7 million per 1,000 hectares through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) valuation,” he said.

Alcala said there are other climate change programs that build the adaptive capacity of farming and fishing communities and increase the resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change.

Such programs also optimize adaptation with mitigation opportunities towards sustainable development, he added.

For instance, Alcala said, the government is using the concept of the farmers’ field school, and putting up the ‘climate field schools,’ to integrate weather data gathering and forecasting, in addition to being an effective agricultural extension medium.

Likewise, Alcala said, the government is starting to roll-out the weather-based insurance system which has bee tested to be an effective risk transfer mechanism.

The government is also aggressively promoting organic agriculture that addresses both adaption and mitigation, Alcala said.

“We support the adoption of livestock breeds and fish strains, as well as organic inputs, that improve productivity and make organic produce more affordable,” Alcala said.

“We advocate the use of biological inputs to reduce or substitute agri-chemical use. We pursue biotechnology projects to improve farm productivity and food security, while causing the least environmental harm,” he added.

The DA head explained that the rehabilitation of mangroves and replanting of coconuts are potential sources of carbon sink, while being at the same time, effective adaptation measures to prevent the damages brought by storm surges.

“At the end of the day, we expect to map out climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, provide appropriate financing mechanisms, and implement what needs to be done to sustain the productivity of our land, water and marine resources to feed our region’s ever-increasing population,” Alcala said.

He noted that the Symposium on Climate Change is one of the commitments made by the Philippines towards the achievement of food security under the action plan.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO J ALCALA CHANGE CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM CLIMATE CLIMATE CHANGE COCONUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EDSA SHANGRI-LA PER
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