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Philippines takes first steps towards a national DRR strategy for agriculture

Philippines takes first steps towards a national DRR strategy for agriculture

04/05/2015

While the Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, it is also one of the most advanced countries in implementing the shift from a reactive emergency response to a proactive risk reduction approach. Now, through the leadership of the Department of Agriculture (DA), together with the technical assistance of FAO and financial support from the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Philippines will soon have a national disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy for agriculture and fisheries.

A national planning workshop to prepare the development of the strategy for DRR in agriculture and fisheries was held on 26 March 2015 at Subic Bay Freeport, with activities led by the Field Programs Operation Division of the DA. The workshop was attended by technical staff from various DA central office units as well as senior technical officers, DRR focal points and rice and corn coordinators from all DA regional field offices.

The first part of the workshop involved a brainstorming session on ways to integrate DRR in agriculture from both national and regional perspectives. The second part focused on the identification of DRR management-related priority actions, gaps and capacity development needs at different levels. Other points discussed in the workshop included proposed approaches to address mainstreaming in existing structures as well as climate change adaptation (CCA) and DRR complementarities. A planning workshop involving senior DA officials was then proposed to elicit high-level inputs that will guide the strategy design.

The workshop was supported by the FAO regional ECHO-funded DRR project supporting agriculture in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). With the overall leadership of the DA, the project is assisting select local government units (LGUs) and farming and fishing communities in identifying and establishing good practice options. It also trains DA regional staff and LGU extension workers on disaster risk management systems, community-based DRR and CCA planning, climate risk management and early warning, and information and communications technology-assisted post-disaster needs assessments in agriculture.

In the Philippines, the DA and FAO continue to work in close partnership to support ongoing efforts at all levels to integrate and mainstream the government’s DRR and climate change adaptation agendas in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.

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