Community-based Climate Resilient Vulnerability and Risk Assessment: A Science-based Tool for Valuing Climate Change Impact among Communities

The participants identifying the various doing a hazard map.

 The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), in its efforts to create a Climate Resilient Agriculture Livelihood and Communities, engaged in educating vulnerable communities on various assessment tools that are used to assess their own areas, identify their vulnerability level as well as their capacities and risks, and take action points that are applicable in their areas. The ultimate goal is to inform key players (community workers) on the science behind the hazards and vulnerabilities affecting their communities. These participatory approaches will also allow them to bring about indigenous or local climate change practices and from this, ATI can identify appropriate technologies or practices and disaster risk reduction measures that can be considered as excellent extension interventions.
 
Hence, ATI-Regional Training Center 6 conducted the Training on Community-based Climate Resilient Vulnerability Assessment on June 20-22, 2017 at Christine’s Place, Passi City, Iloilo. This three days activity was attended by thirty (30) community workers in three selected barangays in the city of Passi composed of Barangay Captains, Barangay Kagawad (Committee on Agriculture), Barangay Tanod Chiefs, Farmers’ Association Presidents, RIC/Women Association Presidents, Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Animal Health Workers, Church Leaders/Religious Group Leaders, 4-H/Youth Association Presidents and School Teachers/Day Care Workers. These barangays were identified through the multi-hazard maps developed by the Department of Agriculture- Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture (DA-AMIA) (see www.farmersguidemap.gov.ph). Passi City is a 4th Class city in the province of Iloilo and major source of income is farming particularly on rice and high-value crops such as banana and pineapple. The identified barangays were Bitaogan, Cadilang and Gegacjac.
 
A combination of lectures and workshops was done. Dr. Ma. Jhoanna G. Guarin, Associate Professor of Aklan State University, served as Resource Person in the entire activity. She discussed modules on resilience, participatory learning action (PLA) tools and participatory disaster risk assessment (PDRA) and analysis. On the second day, after learning the tools, the participants conducted on-site PDRA through a barangay immersion where they served as facilitators. Then they analyzed results and presented the output. Based on the results, it was found out that the three barangays were exposed to various hazards particularly flooding and erosion. There are initiatives immediately taken by the barangay, the local government unit and other institutions during disasters or calamities. The communities also use warning systems (biosignals, radio, television, etc.) of the possible upcoming weather events. However, there is a need to strengthen (and institutionalize) these good practices and introduce various climate resilient technologies in order to prevent further effects and damage brought about by these hazards.
 
Key players in the three barangays were grateful of the opportunities given to them in honing their knowledge, attitude and skills in assessing their communities. They, themselves, realized the situation of their communities, hazards and vulnerabilities and identify various solutions and coping strategies. ATI will continue to help our farmers and fisherfolks in building climate resilient livelihood and communities through science-based results and needs-based interventions and services.