By upao - Posted on 05 December 2013

Windbreakers and small farm water reservois are two technologies that the research titled, “Participatory and Community-Based Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Benguet Province” is promoting. Beyond that, the research also aims to increase the Benguet people’s awareness to climate change and their vulnerability to its effects.

So far, BSU president, Dr. Ben D. Ladilad has already signed two MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with La Trinidad mayor, Edna C. Tabanda and Tuba mayor, Florencio V. Bentrez on November 12 and 13, 2013 for these technologies to be showcased in La Trinidad and Tuba.

There are two projects under the research, the showcasing of windbreakers and water reservois makes up the two studies under Project 2 which are: “Evaluation of Different Plant Species and Other Forms of Windbreakers in the Vegetable Terraces of Poblacion, Tuba Benguet,” and “Improvement of the Water-Impounding System through the use of concrete or Alternative Impounding System.” The two studies under Project 1 are: “Community Education on Climate Change” and “Benguet Vegetable Agroecosystem: Community-Level Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity Assessment to Climate Change across Different AFEZ.”

Generally, the research aims to conduct an information campaign on the climate change phenomenon as well as asses the vulnerable areas and evaluate the indigenous management and adaptation strategies done by communities.

Members of the research team have already conducted Focus Group Discussions (FGD) in eight Benguet barangays with different Agroforestry Ecological Zones (AFEZ) classification. These barangays are: Balakbak, Kapangan and Loo, Bugias (Low Mountain Zone); Guinaoang, Mankayan and Ampusongan, Bakun (Mid Mountain Zone); Cattubo, Atok and Madaymen, Kibungan (High Mountain Zone); Kamog, Sablan and Tinongdan, Itogon (High Hill Zone). The vulnerability of the barangays to climate change were also assessed using the VAST Agro tool and basing on their experiences of climate hazards, their adaptation strategies, food security and assistance they received. According to these factors, most of the barangays assessed were moderately vulnerable to climate change.

A portable weather monitoring device worth PhP 57,000 has also been installed at the BSU-Climate Smart Agriculture Center at Talinguroy, La Trinidad. The device will monitor and record wind direction and speed as well as measure rainfall. According to Janthor W. Ambrosio, one of the researchers, the device can be used to find out changes in the weather and see how these changes affect agricultural productivity. CSAC director, Dr. Carlito P. Laurean plans to upgrade the device so that it can also measure UV rays, soil moisture and soil temperature.

The research team is led by Ben D. Ladilad (Program Coordinator), Maria Luz D. Fang-asan (Project Leader), Mursha Gapasin, Janet P. Pablo, Marissa R. Parao, Carlito P. Laurean, Bryan C. Bangnan, Janthor W. Ambrosio, Norren Joy A. Ancheta, Jennyline S. Tabangcura and Jumar B. Yago-an (Project Staff).//Jen L. Sabado