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Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Communities

Coastal and marine ecosystems are vital to Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, as each of these countries depend on fish and other marine products to fuel their economy and feed their people. However, the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, storm surges and typhoons, mean that these coastal ecosystems and the communities who depend on them are more at risk than ever before. Indeed, it is now necessary for these countries to increase the resiliency of coastal communities to such impacts.

Increasing Food Security in the Philippines through Aquaculture

Production from small-scale and commercial fishing has declined significantly in the Philippines in recent years due to diminishing productivity, depletion of fish stocks, degradation of fisheries habitats, inefficient post-harvest practices and higher fuel costs. This has resulted in large numbers of disadvantaged people working on an increasingly declining resource base, making the fisheries sector a significant concern both economically and socially.

Moving Towards an Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Approach

Biomass levels of coastal fish stocks in parts of the Philippines are now only 10-30% of the levels of the late 1940’s. In addition, 25-30% of total catch is lost due to improper handling, inadequate storage and inefficient marketing. This depletion in biomass has been caused by the lack of effective fishing controls, rapid increase in coastal population, insufficient government support for sustainable fisheries resources management programs, deteriorating marine habitats and worsening marine pollution.

Ridge to Reef Biodiversity Conservation

Despite the importance of the Philippines’ coastal zone to the country’s national economy, it has not been sustainably managed and faces key challenges arising from habitat deforestation, inter-tidal reclamation, mangrove destruction, river damming, coral removal, destructive fishing methods, over-fishing, the discharge of land-based pollutants and unregulated logging. Over the last 30 years, 70% of mangroves and 20% of sea grasses have been destroyed, while nearly 90% of coral reefs are under threat. All of these factors have led to reduced productivity, diminished livelihoods, increased poverty incidence and a reduction in health quality in the communities that depend on these coastal resources.

Knowledge Management within the Coral Triangle

The Coral Triangle is an expanse of ocean covering 5.7 million square kilometers and is considered to be the epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity on the planet. Located along the equator at the confluence of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, the boundaries of this region cover all or part of the exclusive economic zones of six countries (CT6): Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

Improved Food Security

About 75% of Philippine coral reefs, lakes, mangroves, primary forests, and rivers have been destroyed or damaged, principally as a result of unsustainable practices and population growth. This degradation threatens the food security and health of millions of Filipinos, with the incidence of poverty in rural areas at 54%, more than double that of urban areas (25%).


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