Making land-use climate-sensitive: A pilot project to increase resilience of cities against weather-related disasters by integrating climate change into local land-use planning

Project outline

Using information and communications technology (ICT) tools such as geographic information systems (GIS), satellite imagery, land-use change models, and hydrological models, the project aims to make cities resilient to weather-related hazards, particularly floods, which are caused by the changes in land-use and climate, in order to make informed decisions for local policy-making.
(e-learning series).

In the past few decades, floods have become serious and prevalent around the world, especially in Southeast Asia. This is mainly due to the vast land conversion caused by industrialization and urbanization, further aggravated by the increase in precipitation induced by climate change. To prevent and / or alleviate floods, a pilot project has been implemented since 2014 in coordination with local governments in the Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed in the Philippines. The method called “Participatory Watershed Land-use Management (PWLM)” was developed and applied. As a result, climate change was integrated into key local policies during the design of Comprehensive Land-use Plans (CLUPs) and Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs).

PWLM/ICT helped in assessing the flood hazard, the people and assets exposure to it, and the effectiveness of countermeasures. With the support of the project, four local governments revised their CLUPs with the information on flood-prone areas and flood-affected population, as well as the measures to avoid / lessen the impact of natural hazards, while the City of Santa Rosa formulated its LCCAP. Currently, the project is being replicated in other subwatersheds (i.e. the Los Baños and Pila subwatersheds) in the Lake Laguna basin.

Land-use approach

Participatory Watershed Land-use Management (PWLM) consists of the following four steps:

  1. scenario analysis,
  2. risk assessment,
  3. countermeasure development,
  4. land-use plan improvement.


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The scenario analysis aims to understand the governments’ development and land-use plans for the next decade (to 2025). Risk assessment is done to estimate the total population at risk of flooding in the present day and in the year 2025. The development of countermeasures is conducted to devise possible actions for adaptation in consultation with the local governments. Finally, the improvement of land-use plans intends to support local governments to strengthen their land-use and related development plans through dialogue on the issues and recommendations generated from the previous three steps.

Project progress

Launched in 2014, the project consists of the following five phases with the completion of the first three phases:

  1. Developing methodology called “Participatory Watershed Land-use Management (PWLM)” with Information and Communications Technology (ICT);
  2. Applying PWLM/ICT to the Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, Philippines;
  3. Replicating PWLM/ICT in the two neighboring subwatersheds;
  4. Scaling up PWLM/ICT application to the entire Lake Laguna basin; and
  5. Promoting PWLM/ICT in other ASEAN countries.

In Phase I, the PWLM framework was developed as a structured decision-making process with four steps: scenario analysis, risk assessment, countermeasure development, and land-use plan improvement. The framework employs a combination of ICT tools such as: geographic information systems (GIS), satellite imagery, airborne LIDAR (light detection and ranging) height data, crowdsourced geographic data (from OpenStreetMap), land-use change models, and hydrological models. Participatory mapping was also used to engage local stakeholders in research and policy-making.

Study area:
Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed

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In Phase II, the PWLM/ICT framework was applied as a pilot project to the Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, one of the 24 subwatersheds constituting the Laguna Lake basin experiencing severe floods due to massive land conversion and precipitation augmentation caused by climate change. With support of the project, climate change adaptation was successfully integrated into the Comprehensive Land-use Plans (CLUPs) of the local governments in the subwatershed.

Currently in Phase III, the project is replicating the PWLM/ICT framework to two neighboring subwatersheds: Los Baños and Pila.

Eary results

Suggested readings

  1. Bragais, M. A., Johnson, B. A., Onishi, A., Endo, I., & Damasa B. Magcale-Macandog. (2017a).
    Flood extent of different land-use scenarios under event-based precipitation in Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, Philippines.
  2. Bragais, M. A., Johnson, B. A., Onishi, A., Endo, I., & Damasa B. Magcale-Macandog. (2017b).
    Outflow of different land-use scenarios under down-scaled GCM in Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, Philippines.
  3. Bragais, M. A., Magcale-Macandog, D. B., Arizapa, J. L., & Manalo, K. M. (2016).
    Vulnerability assessment using LiDAR data in Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, Philippines.
  4. Bragais, M., Johnson, B. A., Magcale-Macandog, D. B., & Endo, I. (2015).
    Land cover change and flood extent in Silang-Sta. Rosa sub-watershed.
  5. Didham, R., Endo, I., Chiba, Y., & Scheyvens, H. (2016).
    Advancing adaptation planning and implementation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  6. Endo, I., Johnson, B., & Skeehan, E. (2016).
    Relationsihp between land cover changes and water quality changes in Laguna de Bay, the Philippines, over the 2007-2015 period.
  7. Endo, I., Johson, B., Kojima, S., Chiba, Y., Nakata, M., Bragais, M., … Macandog, P. B. (2015).
    Making land-use climate sensitive: A pilot to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  8. Endo, I., Macale-Macandog, D. B., Kojima, S., Johnson, B., Bragais, M., Nakata, M., Macandog, P. B., Scheyvens, H., & Chiba, Y. (updated 2015-2016)
    Making land-use climate-sensitive: A pilot to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation (Updated 2015-2016)
  9. Endo, I., Macale-Macandog, D. B., Kojima, S., Johnson, B. A., Bragais, M. A., & Macandog, Paula Beatrice Scheyvens, H. (n.d.).
    Participatory land-use approach for integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation into basin-scale local planning. Submitted to Sustainable Cities and Society.
  10. Hironori Hamanaka. (2017).
    比と洪水リスク軽減の試験
  11. Iizuka, K., Johnson, B. A., Onishi, A., Magcale-macandog, D. B., Endo, I., & Bragais, M. (2017).
    Modeling Future Urban Sprawl and Landscape Change in the Laguna de Bay Area , Philippines.
  12. Johnson, B. A., Bragais, M., Endo, I., Magcale-Macandog, D. B., & Macandog, P. B. M. (2015).
    Image segmentation parameter optimization considering within- and between-segment heterogeneity at multiple scale levels: Test case for mapping residential areas using Landsat imagery.
  13. Johnson, B. A., Endo, I., Magcale-Macandog, D. B., Bragais, M., & Macandog, P. B. M. (2015).
    Recent land cover change in the Silang-Sta. Rosa sub-watershed of the Philippines, and implications for flood risk.
  14. Johnson, B. A., Endo, I., Onishi, A., Bragais, M., Magcale-macandog, D. B., & Skeehan, E. (2016).
    A land cover map accuracy metric for hydrological studies.
  15. Johnson, B. A., & Iizuka, K. (2016).
    Integrating OpenStreetMap crowdsourced data and Landsat time- series imagery for rapid land use / land cover (LULC) mapping: Case study of the Laguna de Bay area of the Philippines. Applied Geography, 67, 140–149.
  16. Johnson, B. A., Iizuka, K., Bragais, M. A., Endo, I., & Magcale-macandog, D. B. (2017).
    Employing crowdsourced geographic data and multi-temporal/multi-sensor satellite imagery to monitor land cover change: A case study in an urbanizing region of the Philippines.
  17. Magcale-Macandog, D. B., Endo, I., Johnson, B., Onishi, A., Nakata, M., Bragais, M. A., & P.B.M. Macandog. (2017).
    Improving land use to make cities low carbon and climate-resilient: the Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed the Philippines.
  18. Magcale-Macandog, D. B., Endo, I., Kojima, S., Johnson, B., Bragais, M. A., & Macandog, P. B. M. (2015).
    Integrating CCA&M strategies in the comprehensive land use plan: A pilot case in Silang-Sta. Rosa subwatershed, the Philippines.

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