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Publication | 2021

Philippine Climate Change and Food Security Analysis

Impacts of climate change on water

  • Historically, increased rainfall variability has been one of the most significant impacts of climate change in the Philippines. Future projections indicate that seasonal rainfall volumes will exceed historical averages by approximately 40% across the nation.

  • Analysis of flood risk and livelihood mapping suggests that rainfall is likely to increase in frequency and severity in many parts of the Philippines from 2020 to 2050, resulting in moderate to high exposure of rice and vegetable production zones under various management types, from irrigated to rainfed to annual crop zones.

  • Sea-based hazards, such as sea-level rise (SLR), storm surge (SS), and saltwater intrusion (SWI), will have significant impacts on coastal and freshwater fisheries, especially those located in coastal communities of Visayas and Mindanao that are less accessible and have high incidences of poverty.

Impacts of climate change on crop productivity

  • Future climate scenarios show more conducive environments for rice production throughout the country. This is especially true for Luzon, but not for inland pockets in Mindanao.

  • The impact of climate change on future maize production is more variable, with some areas seemingly more suitable than others.

  • For banana, suitability is quite regionally determined, with enhanced conditions in southern Luzon, Visayas, and southern Mindanao, but poorer conditions in northern Luzon.

  • Vegetable production potential is mixed: garlic conditions remain similarly suitable, while the requirements for onion production will be positively affected and eggplant will be negatively affected.

Impacts of climate change on crop diseases

  • The areas that depend on rice and vegetable production as the primary livelihood source are the most likely to be impacted by an increased incidence of plant diseases.

  • By 2050, the temperature is expected to continue to rise, resulting in heat stress (temperature greater than 30 °C) for most of the areas producing rice and annual crops, which is conducive to the spread of plant diseases.

Impacts of climate change on livestock

  • Increased temperature can negatively affect livestock performance, including stunted growth, more deficient good-quality meat and by-products, and decreased reproductive capacity, in addition to diminishing the quality and quantity of feed supply.

  • The majority of the livestock sector that will be affected by an increase in temperature is in mainland Luzon and the islands of Mindoro.

  • The top three main livelihood zones threatened by climate change associated with livestock farming are pasture mixed with urban zones, pasture mixed with perennial commodity zones, and pasture mixed with vegetable farming zones.

Impact model analysis across key food commodities

  • Currently, the diets of urban households constitute a higher demand for rice, while rural households’ diets mainly depend on vegetables and root and tuber crops.

  • The demand for maize for animal feed is expected to increase significantly from 68% to 89% from 2020 to 2050.

  • Livestock in the Philippines is expected to experience major growth from 2020 to 2050 under the RCP 4.5 scenario, while poultry production will increase by a projected 86%, beef by 90%, and pork by 42%.

Impacts of climate change across social sectors

  • The Philippines is predominantly rural and dominated by the agricultural and fishing sectors, for which livelihoods are inextricably linked to food production.

  • The agricultural sector is the most vulnerable sector in the country to almost all climate-related hazards, rendering rural communities especially vulnerable to climate change.

Climate-sensitive food security zones in the Philippines

  • The spatial distribution, incidence, and risk of climate-related hazards in the Philippines vary across geographic areas. To capture this spatial variability, a hazard risk map was developed at the municipal level to match the data on livelihood zones and socioeconomic datasets.

  • The results indicate that combined climate hazards such as typhoon, flood, and drought will cause serious threats to food security.

  • One of the major risks associated with the occurrence of these climate-related hazards is price volatility of food items, such as an increase in the prices of basic goods, largely due to the disruption of food production in the affected areas.

Climate-sensitive nutrition zones

  • The areas exposed to climate hazards that pose the greatest risks to nutrition security were identified based on geographic and demographic information related to food security and nutrition, such as poverty, stunting, wasting, and accessibility.

  • The analysis found that, across the Philippines, the very low-density population cluster is characterized by very high poverty with the greatest prevalence of stunting and wasting. These vulnerabilities are likely largely linked to a lack of diversity in sources of income.