【Title】Local perceptions of climate change and adaptation needs in the Ifugao Rice Terraces (Northern Philippines)
【Author】Mario A. SORIANO Jr.1,2*; Johanna DIWA1; Srikantha HERATH1
【Addresses】1 Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, United Nations University, 5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan; 2 School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, 195 Prospect St., New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA
【Citation】Soriano Jr. MA, Diwa J, Herath S (2017) Local perceptions of climate change and adaptation needs in the Ifugao Rice Terraces (Northern Philippines). Journal of Mountain Science 14(8). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-4250-6
【Abstract】The Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines is recognized worldwide as a sustainable landscape where humans live in harmony with nature. The success of the Ifugao Rice Terraces largely depends on the attunement of local farmers to their environment and their ability to adapt to perceived changes, as manifested in their complex body of traditional ecological and climatic knowledge. This paper examines the local perceptions on climate change and other challenges to sustainability through focus group discussions with farmers and traditional knowledge holders. Our main findings can be summarized as follows: (i) Ifugao farmers were able to observe climatic changes in recent years, and these changes were intimately linked with broader environmental and socio-cultural changes in the Ifugao social-ecological system; (ii) The climatic changes qualitatively observed by the farmers were in agreement with trends in datasets commonly used in scientific assessments, although this agreement depends on the spatial and temporal resolution of the dataset, and the type of statistical analysis performed, and; (iii) The Ifugaos stressed the importance of traditional knowledge and culture in climate change adaptation, and preferred measures which could increase internal adaptive capacity while addressing broader sources of community vulnerability. Our results support calls to recognize Indigenous and Western science as equally valid ways of knowing. Discussions with the farmers revealed that in the Ifugao context, climate change may be better framed in the context of multiple stressors on rural livelihoods, with adaptation integrated into broader development objectives. Our findings also emphasize the need for greater engagement of indigenous Ifugao people in planning processes in order to identify adaptation strategies that are culturally appropriate, equitable, and effective in responding to local needs.
【Keywords】Ifugao Rice Terraces; Climate Change; Traditional Knowledge; Indigenous Adaptation; Social-Ecological System; Sustainability