The World Food Programme (WFP) has initiated a study on the impacts of climate change to the Philippines’ food security, nutrition, and livelihood, as well as to identify appropriate solutions.


The launch of the research initiative titled “Climate Change and Food Security Analysis” was supported by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), various government agencies, experts from different industries, advocates for climate resilience, and members of the academe to launch in a virtual event held recently.
The report revealed that aside from conflict, climate change is one of the main drivers of global hunger. 
Climate change impacts are also undermining agricultural production, where smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable.
It also noted that more than 80 percent of the world’s most food-insecure people are being hit by extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding, including other stresses, such as pest infestation and land degradation.
Changes in climate are affecting the production of staple crops—wheat, rice and maize—in both tropical and temperate regions. This situation is set to worsen as temperature increases and becomes more extreme, and rainfall becomes more unpredictable, it further pointed out.
In a statement, WFP OIC and Deputy Country Director Mats Persson cited that climate variability and extreme weather events are among the key drivers behind the recent increase in global hunger and one of the leading causes of severe food crisis. 
“To fill in the undeniable gap between climate change and food insecurity, WFP forged a partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and initiated a research study of the Philippines Climate and Food Security Analysis,” he added.
Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT managing director Stephan Weise pointed out how the changing climate is impacting food security in ways and in intensity, which we have not experienced before. 
“Just this year, for example, the Philippines had to bear the brunt of multiple typhoons that took lives, and caused damage and losses worth billions of pesos in the agriculture sector,” Weise said.
“If anything, this is a signal for organizations like ours to work closely together along with national authorities and institutions to build greater resilience in the food systems of the Philippines,” he added.
On January 10, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 101, creating the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger to put an end to the hunger problem in the country by 2030. 
The WFP has extended its support for the task force and its initiatives to help the country achieve its goals.
CCC chief of Policy Research and Development Division Jerome Ilagan commended the Climate and Food Security Analysis as it is consistent with the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. 
On the promise of food security, he said he expects that the results of the analysis will lead to a complementary and anticipatory adaptation mechanism that is founded on scientific drivers presented in partnership with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and local experts.
“The National Panel of Technical Experts from the Climate Change Commission can also share their views on how to do multi-scenario, multi-hazard impact projections; inasmuch as the productivity of the sector lies not only on the natural hazards but the complementary implications of other growth drivers such as land use, land industry optimization and incentives, green jobs creation, and the building of people’s movements so that they could start investing consistently with the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act,” he added.
The virtual event was organized by WFP in partnership with the CIAT, with the participation of the Zero Hunger Task Force.

Source: Manila Bulletin (