Impact of Climate Change to PH Agriculture
I recently came across this article reporting that the worsening natural disasters have caused the Philippine agriculture sector to lose as much as $4 billion in the last 10 years [Link to article]. The dramatic rise in temperature and drastic changes in rainfall patterns have led to more intense droughts and stronger typhoons that affected the country’s agricultural productivity.
Primarily affected in this case are farmers, particularly upland producers and indigenous communities who are most susceptible to heavy rains and flooding. Fishermen, whose industry is particularly vulnerable to climate change, are also affected.
The Philippines is in Southeast Asia, at the Western Pacific Ocean, making it a vulnerable path of typhoons, which have grown stronger and developed more frequently in the last decades.
While the impact is directly felt by the agriculture and aquaculture sectors, when we look at the bigger picture, we would see that these effects are not limited to the farmers and fishermen, but extend to the entire community who rely on these sectors for food supply. With the continued threats of more intense droughts, stronger typhoons and heavier flooding, farmers and fishermen could suffer from significant decreases in productivity and subsequent loss of income while the general community could face limited supply of food and higher prices of commodities.
Those not involved in agriculture or aquaculture would be still critically affected by the impacts of climate change to these sectors — as food consumers. The decrease in productivity would mean decrease in food supply and increase in food prices.
If these continue to become more frequent and more intense, communities will be facing food insecurity due to limited access to adequate and affordable food. If not controlled, this could lead to civil unrest and conflict.
This is now hardly a concern only of the farmers and fishermen, or of the communities who rely heavily on the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. This goes beyond pinpointing a singular body to act upon this critical issue.
Everyone – from the national government to individual citizens – should do something to help address climate change. National government can work on clear and firm policies, regulatory frameworks, and programs for climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Local government units must make sure these policies and programs are well-implemented in the local setting. Individual firms and households can limit carbon emissions by adopting helpful strategies, such as use of renewable energy and proper waste management.
Everyone needs to acknowledge that the threat of climate change is real and already here. We should all work together towards our common goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
We need to be aware of what’s happening and work towards being part of the solution.
#LearnClimate. #ShareClimate. Together, let us #ChangeClimateChange.