by Lourdes V. Tibig Presented at the In-Session Workshop on Impacts of and Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, Bonn, Germany, 18 June 2004
The Philippines 7,107 islands total area: ~ 300,000 km2 total coastline : 33,900 km. total forest lands: 15 million hectares wetlands:14,100 km2 groundwater resources:50,000 km2
climate • high maximum and minimum temperatures • heavy annual rainfall : 1000 mm to 5000 mm • mean tropical cyclone occurrences : 20 per year • trends • increasing daytime temperatures, more hot days • increasing night time temperatures, more warm nights • no significant trends in rainfall
non-climate factors • demography: • ~ 80 million in 2000 with an annual growth rate of 2.4% • large population in megacities • economy: • mostly agriculture-based • land-use change: • enormous due to industrialization and population growth
How are climate variability /change risks perceived in the Philippines? • weather/climate-related hazards (in terms of damages, fatalities and social and economic costs) • socio-economic vulnerabilities (including environmental changes/degradation)
weather/climate-related hazards • floods • tropical cyclones • storm surges • intense monsoon rains • droughts - El Niño -related • Number and intensity of these extreme events have been seen to increase. • Damages due to these events have also been increasing.
Earthquake & Others 4% Drought 6% Floodings 13% Tropical Cyclones 77% PERSONS AFFECTED In 1995, 3 destructive tropical cyclones caused fatalities: 1,164 risk is 1 person in every 50,000 losses: US$ 601.75 million contribution of 1 person in every 91 or contribution of 708,000 persons to the GNP for 1995 Figure 2: Major natural disasters in the Philippines (1971- 2000)
vulnerability to climate variability Figure 3: The costs of disastrous tropical cyclones have exhibited an upward trend in recent decades.
Climate change risks for each sector • Agriculture and food supply sector • highly dependent on water (both a resource and a hazard) Figure 6:Philippine rice production.(Arrows indicate El Niño events.) In 1998, the El Niño event caused an 80% - drop in agricultural production. - for rice production alone, a US$ 100 million loss
Coastal resources Its vulnerability : - 10 cm/decade SLR in some coastal cities - long history of storm surges (48 known occurrences in 50 years with as much as 9-m storm surge height) - some areas already partially inundated
Coastal resources(continued) • endangered access to clean water during floods • intrusion of saltwater in its agricultural areas • aggravated flooding potential esp. in low-lying areas • higher risks to lives and damages in coastal areas • impacts on marine ecosystems (reefs, corals, etc.) - more frequent episodes of toxic red tides - migration of fish to areas with more favorable conditions leading to diminished harvest (coastal fishing = 40 – 60% of total fish catch)
Water resources impacts of La Niña /El Niño La Niña more intense rains floods, soil erosion more tropical cyclone occurrences El Niño diminished rains less groundwater • Climate change impacts • frequency of floods/droughts amount/quality of water (impacts on agriculture, power generation, public health, etc.) • shorter return periods of floods
Figure 7: Potential health impacts of climate and its change Human health sector • will further lead to climatic stress on human health
More extreme events willlead to: • disruptions of environmental health services and infrastructures (water supply,public sanitation, etc.) • significant rise in water-, food- and vector-borne diseases • conditions that could cause outbreak of diseases like dengue, malaria and cholera (esp. in depressed areas)
some expected climate risks for health • could cause an increase in epidemic potential of 12 to 27% for malaria, 31 to 47% for dengue, 11 to 17% for schistosomiasis, etc. • more frequent cholera and diarrhea incidences • could also cause an increase in respiratory illnesses
Summary: Climate change will alter the number and frequency of extreme events which could cause the exponential increase of adverse impacts on humans, natural ecosystems and the environment in the Philippines, (most important of which are human survival and the quality of life).
Climate change will have lasting consequences. In addressing climate change, the job is just beginning.