Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said that efforts are underway to gather and analyze data to better understand how climate change is impacting every region or province in the Philippines.
According to Loyzaga, it is high time for the country to have accessible and credible localized climate data so that communities have a better chance to respond effectively to climate change and its impacts.
Localized data can help public and private decision-makers come up with effective strategies and policies for adapting to climate change.
Loyzaga said that in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation, it is important to “not always take climate change impacts at a country level but at the regional or even provincial scale.”
“Changes in temperature and precipitation vary significantly per region due to the country’s different climate types,” Loyzaga pointed out during the presentation of the Philippines Country Climate Development Report (PCCDR) by the World Bank Group to officials and staff of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last October 28.
Loyzaga added: “The utilization of resources due to its natural availability and regional demand varies. This is especially true for water resources which our Department is tasked to manage.”
She said it is for this reason why the DENR is set to commence the accounting and mapping of the country’s natural resources wherein it intends to combine geospatial intelligence, economics, and natural, social, and industrial sciences.
“In light of our aim for granularity and to improve our ability to assess problems at the community level, we will soon be meeting with a team from the World Bank that will help with one of our flagship projects,” Loyzaga said, referring to the conduct of natural capital accounting.
Loyzaga said the work of the natural capital accounting is transdisciplinary and will entail close collaboration and synergies with different development partners.
“This database is envisioned to be a management tool—one that will provide transparency and promote decisions and actions that are based on information and scientific data,” she added.
The PCCDR, which was presented by World Bank Group Senior Environmental Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Stefano P. Pagiola, analyzed how climate change will affect development in the Philippines, particularly in the water, agriculture and energy sectors, and urban areas.
During his presentation, Pagiola said that responses to climate change need to be tailor-fitted based on local conditions such as water demand and supply as impacts on climate change will likely differ across and within regions of the country.
Pagiola explained that Luzon will likely become wetter while southern parts of Mindanao are likely to become drier, thus the increase in the risks of flood and drought will vary as well as productivity of crops.
Pagiola also said that climate change will continue and accelerate in the Philippines, with temperatures to increase by about 1-3 degrees Celsius depending on the climate scenario, and rainfall will become more intense and erratic.
The report revealed that the estimated annual losses due to damages brought upon by typhoons are equivalent to 1.2% to as much as 4.6% of the country’s gross domestic product or GDP.
Loyzaga found this “unacceptable” as it effectively wipes out any annual increase in the GDP which in recent years “has been anywhere from 3-6%.”
Without action, climate change will also impose substantial economic and human costs including estimated economic damages that could reach up to 7.6% of GDP by 2030 and 13.6% by 2040, the report stated.
The PCCDR emphasized the urgent need to take climate action, ensure incentives for implementers, address both extreme and slow-onset events, target climate actions taking poverty and vulnerability into consideration, and use of adaptive social protection to help people cope with the effects of climate change. ###
- Published: 15 November 2022