Integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation for land-use planning in the Philippines: A participatory, watershed-level approach

Climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCA&M) policies should be developed in an integrated manner to maximize their effectiveness. There is relatively little common understanding, however, as to how to best achieve this in practice. At the local level, holistic approaches to land-use planning and management have the potential to help meet this challenge. For example, conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems can reduce both the cause (greenhouse gas emissions) and potential impacts (e.g. stronger typhoons) of climate change. Based on this idea, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) – with support from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the International Research Network for Low Carbon Societies – launched a project in the Philippines in 2014. This project engages local governments as well as regional/national agencies (including the Laguna Lake Development Authority) in the Philippines, and aims to examine the necessary conditions for integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation measures into the land-use planning process at the watershed level. The project started with four local governments in one watershed (Silang-Santa Rosa watershed) in the year 2014, and it now spans 16 municipalities in five watersheds bordering the lake.