Amidst the threat of typhoons, hot temperature, and earthquakes in the Philippines,Region 1 residents showed “high” extent of adaptive practices against climate change effects, according to the study of University of Northern Philippines (UNP). The study was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
Though climate change has steered intense debate, human activities are still pointed as its main cause. Climate change, however, poses risks not just on individuals’ health but also on the environment and agriculture. Storms, droughts, and extreme temperature continue to intensify, especially in tropical regions, which lead to challenges in agricultural production and prevalence of health risks.
The study found different practices of Region 1 residents to adapt on the continuing effects of climate change. To beat the extremely hot temperature, most of them drink more water to prevent dehydration. Their immediate concern on dehydration is influenced by their occupation of farming and fishing, where they toil under the heat of the sun.
Since extreme hot temperature is caused by gases produced from burning fossil fuels for electricity, residents switch off their appliances at home when not in use. Researchers explained that residents also wanted to avoid paying high electric consumption.
In case of drought, agricultural productivity in the region decreases, resulting to food shortage. Thus, residents plant vegetables in their backyards for alternative source of food.
The “high” extent of adaptive practices among residents of Region 1 is associated with their “very high” level of knowledge on the climate change effects along their health, environment and agriculture. Therefore, researchers recommended to increase awareness of communities on climate change effects and possible adaptive practices to fight these adverse effects.
As part of raising awareness on climate change, the Department of Health (DOH) declares November 19-25, 2013 as climate change consciousness week.
- Written by Hope R. Bongolan