Two UCRD staff join climate change RND confab

Two staff from the University Center for Research and Development (UCRD), Dr. Elsie C. Pilar, and Engr. Rolando Javelonar, the Director and Assistant Director of UCRD respectively, attended a Climate Change Research and Development Conference held last November 29, 2011 at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Training Center, Batac City, Ilocos Norte.

Technical papers on potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and water resources among others were presented in the conference. Dr. Raul Alamban of Philippine Council for Agriculture & Aquaculture Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) discussed the PCAARRD S&T Agenda on Climate Change. His paper emphasized that the life support systems such as agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) are highly vulnerable to climate change effects, thus an urgent need to take decisive actions to mitigate the threats and adapt to the consequences of climate change. He added that based from studies conducted, cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog of MMSU presented two technical papers entitled "Assessment of Climatic Variability and its Potential Impact to Agriculture and Water Resources" and "Predicting the Hydrologic Response of the Laoag River Basin to Climate Change using the SWAT Model". The first study revealed that there is surplus water during the rainy season while deficit during the dry season and an increase runoff resulting from increase rainfall intensity or extreme events may aggravate water deficit during the season.

"Structures must be put in place to store excess rainfall and enhance infiltration and groundwater recharge to address water problem especially during the dry season”, Alibuyog said. On the other hand, his other study was on “Predicting the Hydrologic Response of the Laoag River Basin to Climate Change using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model".

"It is premised that understanding the different hydrologic processes within a watershed as affected by climate change is very important for assessing its future environmental conditions and for developing policy interventions and sound mitigation and adaptation mechanisms to climate change", he added.

"Drought and dwindling water supply are major farmer’s problem worldwide".

There were two phases of the evaluation process which consists of Field Evaluation on the “phenotypic acceptability” of the variety/lines and Cooking quality and/or taste test,” Edwin Joseph A. Franco of the Department of Agriculture Region 1 (DA 1) said as he presented a study on Participatory Variety Trials for Rainfed (Drought Tolerant) Rice Cultivar Evaluation.

The research “Knowledge and Practices among Residents in Ilocos Sur Related to Climate Change” presented by Dr. Largita Reotutar of UNP, Vigan City determined the knowledge and adaptive practices of the residents in Ilocos Sur associated with climate change. Result indicated that socio-demographic profile has a significant relation as to level of knowledge on climate change and that the print media is the most common source of information about the topic.

“Incidence of Illnesses in Relation to Global Warming” presented by Dr.Ma.Linda Dumlao of UNP determined the incidence of diarrhea, leptospirosis, dengue and malaria in Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte in relation to global warming for the year 2007 to 2009. It showed that most of the identified illnesses are significantly related to temperature, relative humidity and mean sea level.

Dr. Fe Domingo of the National Education and Development Authority Region 1 (NEDA 1) presented the NEDA Research Agenda for Region I. The NEDA research agenda included the following: agri-business, trade, industry and tourism, social, infrastructure, governance and environment and natural resources.