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CISC research team holds capacity building activities among lakeshore communities in Libon, Albay

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by Francisca O. Tan

A research team from the Community Innovation Studies Center (CISC) of CPAf conducted a climate change-related lecture-seminar and participatory action planning training-workshop in Libon, Albay. These are among the major activities of the research project titled “Developing Strategies towards More Resilient Fishing Communities Amidst Climate Change: The Case of Major Lakes in Luzon.”

The Awareness-Raising Lecture-Seminar on Climate Change was held separately in two lakeshore barangays of Nogpo and Buga in Libon, Albay. A total of 93 stakeholders, 56 from Nogpo and 37 from Buga, participated. They were mostly fishermen; others were members of the Barangay Council and Barangay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (BFARMC), representatives from Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO), farmers, and wives of the fishermen. The respective Barangay Chairpersons of Nogpo and Buga attended the activity and gave the welcome remarks.

Ms. Samantha Geraldine G. De los Santos of CPAf discussed the concept of climate change and its effects on the fisherfolks’ livelihood and on their major water resources. She also shared some climate change adaptation strategies being done in other areas. Aquaculturist of the City Agricultural Services Department of Calamba City, Ms. Cynthia C. Buen, shared the mitigation and adaptation strategies on climate change effects being practiced by fishing communities in lakeshore areas in Calamba City.

Since 2018, lecture-seminars have been conducted in the six study sites to capacitate fishing communities on climate change adaptation. Another activity was the Participatory Community Resilience Action Planning (PCRAP) training-workshop with fishing communities in order to increase their resiliency in the face of challenges posed by climate change. The PCRAP training-workshop in Libon was conducted at Antonette’s Place on March 26-27, 2019. The 42 participants include representatives of four lakeshore barangays of Lake Bato, the Municipal Agriculture Office,f, theBFARMC, and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. 

During the said workshop, participants were grouped into two: those who are engaged in Open Water Fishing (OWF) and those in Fish Cage Operation (FCO). For the OWF group, declining fish catch due to overfishing and increasing number of fishermen, pollution, shallowing of lake, decreasing area for open fishing, and illegal fishing were the identified challenges. On the other hand, FCO group identified low income and fish harvest due to limited or lack fishing gears, slow growth of fishes,  shallow lake), and loss of  fish from the cages.

The CISC-based research project is funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture. It started in January 2017 and will end this June 2019. It is led by Dr. Miriam R. Nguyen (project leader), with CISC Director Blanquita R. Pantoja, Ms Maria Francesca O. Tan,  and Ms. Francisca O. Tan as study leaders. Also with the Team are Ms. Samantha Geraldine G. De los Santos and Ms. Roxane A. Banalo as project staff. The project covers five major lakes in six provinces: Laguna Lake (Laguna and Rizal); Taal Lake (Batangas), Naujan Lake (Oriental Mindoro), Lake Buhi (Camarines Sur), and Lake Bato (Camarines Sur and Albay).

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