By CWEARC (PR)
BAGUIO CITY — In a recently released study, it was pointed out that it is of no sense for government to be talking about climate change mitigation and action plan on climate change if extractive and pollutive industries remain to be the national economic development strategy of the Philippines.
This was among the urgent recommendations of the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC) study on Climate Change and Indigenous Women in Traditional Agricultural Communities made in the Cordillera Region.
The research was a result of a participatory workshop-discussion with indigenous peasant women combined with key informant’s interviews and community meetings, in 6 communities, namely:
Lenneng in Baay-Licuan in the province of Abra; Naguey and Pasdong in Atok of Benguet Province, Angkileng, Sagada and Bantey, Tadian in Mountain Province, Conner in Apayao Province and Nangalisan and Cudal in Tabuk and Ag-agama, Lubuagan in the province of Kalinga.
The research began in the last quarter of 2009 to the 1st quarter of 2011. The study communities were primarily chosen for the persisting practice of traditional indigenous agriculture methods.
Except for the communities of Cudal, Nangalisan and Conner where agricultural production is already dominated by commercial production. The study communities are all affected by corporate mining projects.
The report begun on the thesis that indigenous peoples in general contribute least to climate change and contribute most to earth’s sustainability yet they (IP) are made to suffer the most of hunger and disasters brought about by the climate crisis; and the unprecedented industrial extraction of the worlds resources now mostly found in indigenous territories.
This material is contributed by CWEARC to the indigenous women’s movement of the Cordillera region as a venue to make their voices heard in the discourse on climate change which is urgent global concern today.
Vernie Yocogan-Diano, Executive Director of CWEARC, said they hope this will serve as an educational and advocacy material in support of indigenous women’s calls and actions for more decisive and prompt actions from government to mitigate climate change and the earth’s sustainabilty.
The study’s objectives of determining the vulnerabilities of indigenous peasant women under climate change especially on their community’s food security, learn of their coping strategies and draw recommendations for community and government actions.
Climate change in the study communities is demonstrated by erratic weather patterns and changes in temperature. Findings on the impact of climate change to food security include crop loss, loss of other food sources and biodiversity, reduced water level and increased pests and diseases. The comparison was made with the present to their situation ten years ago.
As proven by the study, the viable indigenous agricultural practices and management of natural resource and the subsistence nature of communities, are a strong support for indigenous peasant women to cope with the impacts of climate change on their agricultural production.
The study concluded that indigenous peasant women and their communities have always developed their resilience to the changes but now this resilience is however vanquished by the degree of disastrous impacts, hence requiring more decisive actions from government.
According to the study, principles and practices of sharing, respect, reciprocity, cooperation and sustainability have guided community responses to climate change.
These practices also reduce the impact of crop infestation, improve soil fertility and viability. Community pooling of labor (innabuyog/ubbo/alluyon) is especially valuable in times of hardship and women are also mobilized for endeavours such as clearing landslides, rescuing crops, repairing irrigation canals and damaged homes in the disasters caused by the erratic weather patterns.
The study also recommended, “Mitigation measures formulated by government should embrace principles of sustainability and employ practices suitable to the needs of these indigenous peasant women and their communities.”# nordis.net