06 March 2012

ILO: Fund Risk Resilient Communities

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is batting for the provision of financial packages for rural communities to buttress their resilience to climate change

By MARVYN N. BENANING | Manila Bulletin | March 4, 2012

Lurraine Baybay Villacorta, project manager of Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP) of the ILO in the Philippines, said financial packages with risk reduction and preparedness components will work to increase the adaptive capacity of resource-poor farmers.

Villacorta said these farmers are at the forefront of creating climate change risk-resilient communities.

This innovative package should include financial and non-financial services, weather index-based insurance and disaster risk reduction initiative with early warning systems.

A resilient community can anticipate and plan for a sustainable future, thus ensuring jobs to millions of people through agriculture, Villacorta said.

“In the Philippines, resource-poor farmers are the worst affected by impacts of climate change and their lack of capacity to adapt and cope to its impacts to agriculture is aggravated by lack of access to credit and financing,” she noted.

Villacorta, who spoke during the recently-concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sym-posium on Climate Change, said climate-related disasters represent a major source of risks for the poor, particularly farmers who are dependent on the weather for their survival and livelihood.

Hosted by the Philippines through the Department of Agriculture (DA), the symposium gathered representa-tives of APEC member-economies who shared climate change experiences and initiatives in their countries.

Villacorta said the unpredictable weather patterns climate change brings the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like typhoons, floods, and drought serve to make farming more risky and uncertain.

The inability of resource-poor farmers to adapt to these risks, aggravated by their economic conditions and lack of assets and access to credit and financing conspire to victimize them when disasters strike and climate change risks intensify.

Through the CCAP project of the ILO in Agusan del Norte, which was implemented from 2009 to 2011 in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Trade and Industry under the MDG-F 1656 United Nations and the Government of the Philippines Joint Program on “Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change,” 800 poor farmers were able to benefit through enhanced credit and finance access and heightened their adaptive and coping capacities to climate change.

ILO developed a package from a system of features preferred by the farmers and providers themselves.

According to Villacorta, access to market-based instruments often fails because they do not address the core problem, which is affordability to poor farmers.

Copyright 2012. Manila Bulletin | All Rights Reserved

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