In 2012, Philippines was ranked the most vulnerable country in the world to climate change by a German organization. In 2013, we fell to #5, but take a look at the list here and think: who pollutes, and who pays?
Philippines and other tropical, developing countries are positioned to suffer from from the impacts of climate change in terms of fatalities and economic loss from climate-related disasters.
For Philippines, climate change is expected to bring rising mean temperatures, change in amount and intensity of rainfall, and a change in the number of tropical cyclones.
The agricultural industry (which accounts for 11% of GDP) is particularly vulnerable since it relies on traditional knowledge and predictable weather patterns. Twelve million Filipinos, or 30% of the labor force, sustain their livelihood in agriculture. A land-owning farmer has about 1.2 hectares, on average.
For these smallholder farmers, climate change could bring decreased productivity and increased pests and plant disease, which may affect yields. This would be devastating for a farmer, living in poverty, whose entire livelihood is dependent upon the climate.
Thankfully, Philippines is mobilizing to act on climate. Climate change is no joke to Filipinos; they experience it firsthand. With the Filipino environmental ethic, people conserve resources and take pride in being good stewards of the Earth.
For one, the E-CARE Foundation partners with communities and Episcopal Relief and Development to plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide.
Stay tuned for the next post to explore what other options for climate change mitigation and adaption Philippines is developing!