Its Reality and Our Response: Countering Climate Change through Knowledge

Four of our graduates, together with their course coordinator, pose with triumphant smiles. Photo by: Rolando Maningas

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – In response to the continuous upshots of climate change, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) sought to respond to the phenomenon by maximizing relevant knowledge resources and building capabilities of its workforce. Thus, ATI supported some of its staff to take a Continuing Education Program course on “Responding to Climate Risks in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (RCRANRM)”.

Offered by the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) as a joint effort with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the non-formal course is under the university’s Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS). The online course is composed of five modules focusing on the basic concepts of climate change adaptation and climate risk management; the climate change scenario of Southeast Asia; vulnerability assessment in planning climate change adaptation; various economic tools that can be used for an efficient decision-making for adaptation to climate change; and the climate risk management process and its requirements.

After a semester, eight staff from the various ATI Training Centers graduated from the online course, namely: Maricel D. Dacapias of ATI-Regional Training Center (RTC) I, Lily Dela Cruz of ATI-RTC III, Rachel Raval of ATI-Central Office, Jenny Hornilla of ATI-International Training Center for Pig Husbandry (ITCPH), Noemi Beth G. Macario of ATI-RTC X, Matt Andrew Baquiano of ATI-RTC XIII, Dr. Rolando V. Maningas of ATI-RTC IV-A, and Randy Soriano of ATI-RTC Cordillera Administrative Region. 

Graduating as batch topnotcher, Dr. Maningas thanked the institutions and the people who made their journey possible in his speech. He elaborated the reality and urgency of the issue of Climate Change, adding that taking the course is of great help to further improve the services that ATI gives. “Agricultural Extension workers serve as our linkage to our clients—farmers and fisherfolk—in making sure that they will be provided with appropriate information on climate change, including mitigation and adaptation technologies. So the course is very relevant for us who are doing extension work; this will definitely allow us to operationalize extension activities more effectively” he added.

As the extension arm of the Department of Agriculture, this move is aimed at capacitating the extension services to better understand and better respond to climate change. This will, in turn, pave way for a better service delivery to the farmers and fisherfolk, who are central to the organization. The closing ceremony for the Continuing Education Program was held at UPOU last June 11, 2016.