Workshop Report: Achieving Coastal Resilience Through Local Knowledge-Based Adaptation Planning: A Pilot Project in Guimaras Province, Philippines

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Coastal communities are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change on the ocean, including depleted marine ecosystems, sea-level rise, and coastal hazards such as storm surges. These climate change-related impacts have been experienced by Guimaras, a small island province located in Western Visayas, Philippines. IGES and PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF) launched a pilot project that aims to facilitate the formulation and implementation of appropriate and timely Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures, in coordination with Guimaras Local Government Units. This project is funded by Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) microgrant programmes with the purpose of accelerating coproduction of adaptation knowledge around the globe. This project was expected to produce local adaptation knowledge that helps local communities deepen their understanding of future climate change and design transformative adaptation strategies, which is defined as “changing the fundamental attributes of a socialecological system in anticipation of climate change and its impacts” (Matthews et al., 2018). To this end, we organised a stakeholder workshop where the following questions were considered: what type of adaptation responses are the most effective? Which locations are priorities for implementation? And which timescales should be considered when planning for their implementation? (Magnan et al., 2020). This exercise is designed to inform local policy planning in response to climate change in the future. As a tangible outcome of the workshop, we intended to co-produce a “local adaptation pathway” which has been considered an effective approach for facilitating transformative adaptation that deals with uncertainty over long-term climate change (Wise et al., 2013; Ranger et al., 2013; Buurman and Babovic, 2016). Previously, Barnett et al. (2014) revealed that a local adaptation pathway is feasible at the local scale, offering a low-risk and low-cost way to begin the long-term process of adaptation to sea-level rise. We applied the pathway approach to the coastal areas of Guimaras, with special attention to integration of scientific knowledge with local knowledge. Our interests also included how Guimaras’ past experience with Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) functions in the pathway development processes because the ICM also sheds light on the integration and co-production of knowledge among different stakeholders at the local scale.
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