CALAPAN CITY, ORIENTAL MINDORO- The Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (IDSC-INREM) formally launched the study entitled “Action Ready Climate Knowledge to Improve Disaster Risk Management for Smallholder Farmers in the Philippines” during the Project Kickoff Ceremony and Provincial Climate Outlook Forum held on Oct. 17 at the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology – Calapan City Campus, Oriental Mindoro.
The event was participated in by the project’s partner institutions, including the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Charles Sturt University, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), UPLB, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, and the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT). Local government units of Calapan City and Municipality of Gloria, together with 20 rice and 10 corn farmers were also present during the event.
Dr. Peter Hayman, Principal Scientist of SARDI and Ms. Maria Rassel Faylon, Assistant Country Manager of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), which funds the project, introduced it to the audience. Dr. Asa Jose Sajise, a faculty member of UPLB, provided an overview of the project.
The City Agricultural Services Department and Municipal Agriculture Office of Gloria, headed by Ms. Lorelein Sevilla and Mr. August Mantaring, respectively, expressed their support to the project. Moreover, the City Mayor of Calapan, Hon. Arnan C. Panaligan, affirmed the support of the local government unit of Calapan City and stressed the importance of climate resiliency, especially among farmers. Mayor Panaligan said, “Climate change is here to stay. We cannot escape climate change, but we can adapt, we can adjust.”
The event partners also held a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between SARDI and MinSCAT represented by Dr. Peter Hayman and Dr. Jesse Zamora, respectively. The MOA signing sealed the collaboration among institutions in delivering research outputs and knowledge products that are intended to guide LGUs and farmers in decision making in relation to weather and seasonal forecasts provided by different weather agencies.
During the second part of the program, PAGASA conducted lectures and workshops on the use of their products and services. Participants of the event were oriented on the climatic conditions of Calapan and its vulnerability to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), climate change trends and projections, and weather and climate outlook.
The project also partners with Benguet State University (BSU) and Visayas State University (VSU) for its sites in Benguet and Leyte.
The UPLB component is led by Dr. Juan M. Pulhin and Dr. Canesio D. Predo. (Dan Leo Diona II)