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Isabela Province in the Cagayan Valley is the country’s top corn producer. Climate change poses long-term threats to the livelihoods of farmers and to national food security. According to PAGASA, the 2050 scenario in Isabela will result in a 1.9 to 2.1 degrees Celsius increase in temperature; a 29% decrease in mean rainfall for dry months and a 1.7% to 25.1% increase in rainfall for wet months. This translates to frequent and more intense flooding and dry spell events resulting in recurring crop damage and worsening poverty. Improving the resiliency of watersheds and communities to adapt to climate change impacts is crucial more than ever.
The Abuan Integrated Watershed Management Program (AIWMP) is a five-year, Php 55 million ($1.3million) project implemented by the Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and local government units (LGUs) in Isabela Province. To meet its goal, AIWMP will implement activities in support of the following objectives:
- Develop climate models and build decision support tools to mitigate the impacts of climate change on agriculture and livelihoods
The AIWMP developed hydrologic and hydro-agronomic models to simulate flooding and dry spells. The hydrologic models served as inputs to an early flood warning system being developed by AIWMP for flood-prone communities in the Abuan watershed. While the hydro-agronomic models will support access by farmers to weather and crop information through a Farmer Decision Support System (FDSS) developed in partnership with IBM Philippines, Isabela State University (ISU)-Echague Campus, Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 2, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman under the Smarter Agriculture Program. The FDSS provides farmers and extension workers with the latest weather and crop advisories such as optimal planting dates, fertilizer application and water management.
- Enhance capacities for disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and watershed management
The AIWMP builds capacities of barangay LGUs of Ilagan City to develop flood and drought risk mitigation plans in preparation for extreme weather events. To support local disaster response, it distributed radios, medical kits, megaphones and simulated evacuation drills with community residents in flood prone areas. To manage upland ecosystems, the it distributed land use, deforestation, and community vision maps as inputs to the preparation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
- Conserve and harness the abilities of the watershed to provide ecosystem services such as water retention and soil stabilization.
Deforestation due to illegal logging, poaching and land conversion has led to loss of ecosystem services in the Abuan watershed. To restore forest cover, the project distributed over 16,000 tree seedlings to 200 farmers in over 263 hectares of private farmlands in the Abuan watershed. Upland farmers are taught to plant trees and crops along the contour using A-frames to minimize soil erosion and maximize water infiltration.
- Catalyze private sector investments in water supply, reforestation and watershed management.
Through public-private partnerships, the AIWMP implements activities that support CCA, reforestation and provision of water supply in Abuan communities. These include PPPs with IBM-Philippines, Sunlife Co., National Geographic Philippines, Megaworld Co., Ayala Malls, PowerMac, BDO, Isuzu-Philippines and other corporations.
- Improved access by farmers and extension workers to accurate and timely weather forecasts and farm advisories to support farming decisions
- Early flood warning system established in the Abuan watershed
- Improved access by upland communities to domestic water supplies
- Disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation mainstreamed into local land use plans and policies.
- Enhanced capacities of barangay communities, LGUs, National Agencies and other stakeholder groups for DRR, CCA and watershed management
- 320 hectares established for agroforestry
- 200 farmers trained on agroforestry
To catalyze local stakeholder support in improving the adaptability of watersheds, farmlands and other economic sectors in the Abuan Watershed to climate change.
Last updated: November 02, 2016