STRENGTHENING CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE THROUGH IMPROVED WATERSHED AND COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN SELECTED PROTECTED AREAS
Penablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape (PPLS) in Cagayan Province and Siargao Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS) in Surigao del Norte – these are the two sites of OIDCI’s assignment under the World Bank-funded Philippine Climate Change Project or PhilCCAP. These two protected areas (PAs) are at opposite parts of the country. They have different bio-physical and socio-economic features but share one common concern: the biodiversity-rich ecosystems and the communities need to be made resilient to the impacts of climate change.
OIDCI’s task is to examine and update the management plans of the two PAs, recognizing the climate change challenges they face and the potential impacts of these on biodiversity, water and food security, livelihoods and the safety of communities. The climate proofing process entails defining and locating in maps the vulnerable areas, developing strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate variability, and establishing mechanisms to ensure that these strategies are sufficiently and sustainably funded, and that PA management has the ability to recognize, analyze and adapt management actions to changing internal and external conditions.
OIDCI is collaborating with the University of the Philippines at Los Banos Foundation, Incorporated (UPLBFI) in this assignment. Within the duration of its three year contract, it will produce a climate-smart PA management plan, pilot the implementation of an adaptation activity, formulate a business plan to sustain funding support, and develop an M and E plan. A participatory approach has been adopted, involving stakeholders not only those within the PA but also off-site stakeholders who depend on resources of the PA and/or will be affected by adverse impacts of climate change on the PA.
The OIDCI- UPLBFI team consists of experts in climate change adaptation, watershed management, coastal resource management, biodiversity conservation, geographic information systems, resource valuation and finance. The team works closely with the Protected Area and Wildlife Service (PAWS) of DENR Regions 2 and 13; the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the two PAs, and Local Working Groups (LWGs) composed of DENR and local government officers, PASu, Water Districts, NGOs and POs, relevant national government agencies and some academic institutions in the two regions. The TA Team has commenced field assessments and the series of training cum mentoring activities for the LWGs, leading to the refinement of PA management plans.