Garcia, Jose Nestor M.
Strengthening Capability of State Universities on Vulnerability Assessment to Enhance Their Role in Climate Change Adaptation for Agriculture by
Amparo M. Wagan, Jose Nestor M. Garcia, and Simplicio M. Medina
Agricultural Systems Cluster, University of the Philippines Los Baños
“Agricultural universities in the Philippines have a number of important roles to play in climate change adaptation. This paper aims to discuss experiences in capability enhancement of selected agricultural state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the use of the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity Assessment for Different Agroecosystems (VAST-Agro), a vulnerability assessment methodology developed for agriculture. It also aims to show the use of the VASTAgro that may lead to better involve state universities in developing site-specific interventions for agriculture in their regions. At least two representatives from six SUCs were trained to implement the VAST-Agro in different production areas including vegetable and strawberry in Benguet, mango production in Pangasinan and Iloilo, banana production in Mindoro, Bukidnon, and Iloilo and coconut-based production system in Quezon. The VAST-Agro is a quick process that involves community participation in data collection, thus captures community experience on climate hazards and describes the effects of climate hazards on food production areas and on specific crops. It also reveals local knowledge, practices, tools, and techniques for coping with climate stress; the effects on crops and crop production systems; and the available and missing local support services to overcome the effects of climate stress. More importantly the VAST-Agro provides opportunity to identify site-specific interventions for climate change adaptation in agriculture. It also provides a vulnerability index which can be used by the local planners as a basis for prioritizing production areas for intervention. The tools and techniques for data collection using the VAST-Agro and relevant findings on vulnerability assessment in different crop production areas are highlighted in this paper.” (source: http://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/)