MANILA–Top officials of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) met early this month to map out plans that will help the agriculture sector adapt to the changing climate and its adverse effects on farmers and their farmlands.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol sought the assistance of CCC officials led by Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman in launching initiatives aimed at achieving food sufficiency in the face of climate change.
During the meeting at the CCC headquarters in Malacañang palace on July 5, Piñol presented various projects that he wants to implement to make the agriculture sector climate change-resilient.
The projects are centered on water conservation and management and includes Family-Based Agro-Forestry Program, installation of solar-powered irrigation facilities in remote villages, and vegetable production in urban areas under the concept of “Vegetable Gardens in the City.”
Piñol said the program is “anchored mainly on the idea of stakeholder-ship where an upland family is designated as the caretaker of an area which has been planted with harvestable tree species to make the program sustainable.”
“The Family-Based Agro-Forestry Program will be a very big project because can you imagine how many millions of hectares are without trees right now? And the moment we are able to plant trees in these areas using that same concept, we would be able to help a big number of poor families,” Piñol said during his presentation.
“Can you imagine if we are able to say plant two million hectares, that’s one million families which would earn a big sum within the next five years, eight years. At the same time, we will be able to reforest a vast area effectively,” he added.
In response, De Guzman assured Piñol of CCC’s full support noting that the projects fall within the Commission’s framework on adaptation and mitigation. He also lauded Piñol for the partnership since CCC promotes and facilitates the convergence of government policies, plans and programs for climate and disaster resilience.
“The solar-powered irrigation envisioned by Secretary Piñol for piloting is actually a good example of adaptation measure linked to mitigation,” De Guzman said.
DA’s projects under Piñol, he said, are likewise in line with the CCC’s campaign for climate justice by promoting convergence of national and local agencies to protect the poorest and most vulnerable sectors including farmers, from climate change.
De Guzman said the CCC will also help the DA with its technical requirements of the projects to access funding from the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The CCC, which is under the Office of the President, is the lead policy-making body of the government coordinating, monitoring and evaluating state programs. It also ensures the mainstreaming of climate change programs in national, local and sectoral levels toward a climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines.