The Conservation Agreement as an Ecosystem-based Adaptation Strategy to Address Climate Change in Silonay, Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
AbstractClimate change has been affecting the lives of people in coastal communities. As a response, the search for strategies that will address its impacts has urged for more attention. Ecosystem-based adaptation, an emerging adaptation opportunity, presents a viable option through the conservation agreement. The study aims to explore conservation agreement as an ecosystem-based adaptation strategy addressing climate change in Silonay, Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Specifically, it seeks to: (1) discuss the conceptual model of the conservation agreement as an adaptation strategy in Silonay, and (2) expound on its application through the stages of the conservation agreement in Silonay. The study utilized qualitative assessment of the gathered information from key informant interviews, focus group discussion and secondary data collection. Results have shown that conservation agreement in Silonay was patterned from the conceptual model of conservation agreement of Conservation International. It emphasized on two specific actions that would promote coastal protection and adaptation such as mangrove rehabilitation and income diversification. The type of conservation actions served as the key factor differentiating the conservation agreements from each other. The interventions differs because conservation agreement depends on the specific climate impacts of the site where it has to be implemented. For the intervention to work, the benefits from it should be greater than the forgone potential gain of the people from using the resources. Consequently, the stages of conservation agreement in Silonay followed the nine-step procedure on a conservation agreement by Conservation International.Improving the adaptive capacity of Silonay to climate change has taken extensive human and financial capital as found out in the preparatory and implementation phase of the conservation agreement. While the conservation actions of mangrove rehabilitation and livelihood diversification were completed, sustaining the project posed great challenges especially for the livelihood component. It was concluded that conservation agreement is a site specific, incentive-based, binding contract used as an adaptation strategy towards climate change. Sustainable community enterprises adhering to the principles of local economic development should be strengthened in the conduct of a conservation agreement.
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