Project Report on the Climate Vulnerability Assessment of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

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This Ifugao-led study is a climate vulnerability assessment of the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The assessment establishes why local communities value the terraces, and how these values, deeply rooted in indigenous knowledge, are impacted by climate change. The end goal is for communities to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity as they position to preserve and protect their cultural heritage.

Data was gathered by several focus group discussions among farmers in Nagacadan Hungduan, Mayoyao, Bangaan and Batad. This approach ensures the collection of critical data that truly reflects the lived experiences and needs of the indigenous Ifugao people. The assessment utilizes modern climate science and indigenous knowledge, as both realms of understanding are complementary and necessary to address the climate crisis more effectively.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces confront a web of climate challenges such as intensified typhoons, erratic precipitation patterns, prolonged droughts and increasing temperatures, which pose imminent risk of soil erosion, reduced crop yield or crop loss, landslides, and structural damage to the terraces. This threatens their ecological integrity, agricultural productivity, amplifies existing vulnerabilities, and can jeopardize the sustainability of this cultural landscape.

๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—Ÿ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€: ๐—” ๐—™๐˜‚๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜€

Donโ€™t miss the opportunity to participate in our Virtual Live Event for the Climate Change Vulnerability Risk Assessment of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines.

We are so excited to invite you to the report launch. Weโ€™re opening aย ten day countdown registration formย for our live virtual event, to present findings of the year long study Climate Vulnerability Assessment of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras onย June 27, 5:00 PM Philippine time, GMT + 8.

Register today for zoom link here: https://bit.ly/RegisterPLI

How can heritage sites contribute to a sustainable climate future?ย Join us as we exploreย Ifugao traditions in the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and uncover their invaluable lessons on adapting to and mitigating climate change. Discover the synergy between indigenous knowledge and climate science and learn how ancient practices can inform modern strategies for resilience and sustainability. Don’t miss this enlightening presentation on climate vulnerability assessmentโ€”where the past guides us towards a sustainable future. ย This project is a collaboration between National Geographic Society, ICOMOS, and Preserving Legacies.

This Ifugao-led study is a climate vulnerability assessment of the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The assessment establishes why local communities value the terraces, and how these values, deeply rooted in indigenous knowledge, are impacted by climate change. The end goal is for communities to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity as they position to preserve and protect their cultural heritage.

Data was gathered by several focus group discussions among farmers in Nagacadan Hungduan, Mayoyao, Bangaan and Batad. This approach ensures the collection of critical data that truly reflects the lived experiences and needs of the indigenous Ifugao people. The assessment utilizes modern climate science and indigenous knowledge, as both realms of understanding are complementary and necessary to address the climate crisis more effectively.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces confront a web of climate challenges such as intensified typhoons, ย erratic precipitation patterns, prolonged droughts and increasing temperatures, which pose imminent risk of soil erosion, reduced crop yield or crop loss, landslides, and structural damage to the terraces. This threatens their ecological integrity, agricultural productivity, amplifies existing vulnerabilities, and can jeopardize the sustainability of this cultural landscape.

Fortunately, their traditional values and indigenous knowledge systems make them moderately resilient. However,  they will need additional support from government to develop infrastructure, and develop technical capacities to  build more robust adaptive strategies and sustainable management practices to preserve ecological resilience and secure the livelihoods of the communities that call the terraces home.

ICOMOS Ph co-hosting Preserving Legacies: A Future for our Past & Climate Risk

Preserving Legacies is a global initiative supported by the National Geographic Society and funded by Manulife to address climate change. Climate change is the fastest growing threat to cultural – natural sites and the greatest danger to our planetโ€™s most spectacular natural heritage today. One in three natural sites and one in six cultural heritage sites are threatened by climate change impacts like floods, droughts, and rising seas.

To safeguard cultural heritage, there is an urgent need to equip communities worldwide with the tools to accurately anticipate worsening and future climate impacts, and empower them with training to turn that scientific knowledge into action that will safeguard sites, support community adaptation, and plan for unavoidable loss and damage.

For the Preserving Legacies project, about eight sites globally are cadet sites; they have been chosen to fully engage in climate heritage training and a peer-to-peer learning experience. Site custodians from these sites will shadow the full process of pilot sites located at Jordan and the Philippines, including attending their workshops, to better prepare for their own assessments in 2024.

Two primary sites will go through a more robust program to link climate science and site conservation by enabling access to locally downscaled climate change models and organize a community-led workshop of the sitesโ€™ climate vulnerability as well as impacts on local communities. Petra, Jordan and the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines are the beneficiaries of the first program. 

The Preserving Legacies leg for the Climate Risk and Resilience at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras conference was from October 11 and concluded October 13. Participants celebrated with the Kiangan rice harvest with eating, rituals, chants, and dancing, a site visit to the Nagacadan cluster of the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, presentations of the sites by farmers and local officials, lectures by Marlon Martin of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), a climate lecture by Dr. Ma Laurice Jamero, leader of the Resilience Collaboratory from the Manila Observatory, and roundtable discussions of the topics that were presented.ย 

With the knowledge base of both the international site custodians and local Ifugao community, the conference has put forth comparative analyses of climate change around the world, presented suggestions for increased adaptation capacities and mitigation strategies, and  recommendations for ways forwards for an environment that is sustainable and resilient.

ICOMOS Philippines joins Philippine Green Building Initiative

ICOMOS Philippines was invited to represent the heritage sector as a trustee of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI). In the photo are ICOMOS Philippines President Augusto F. Villalon and member Archt. Dominic Galicia at the induction of PGBI Board Members. They were sworn into office by Hon. Heherson Alvarez, Commissioner for Climate Change

PGBI is a non-profit, voluntary group of professional associations involved with the built-environment who share a common concern with the impacts of global warming and climate change. Its vision is to be the leader in developing a sustainable nation by promoting energy-efficient and environment-friendly design and construction.