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Environmental change, capacity building and indigenous communities in the Philippines – University of Reading

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  • The Newton Agham Institutional Links Project

Environmental change, capacity building and indigenous communities in the Philippines

Supporting agricultural productivity and managing impacts of climate variability and change in indigenous communities in Aurora Province, Philippines

The University of Reading and Aurora State College of Science and Technology (ASCOT) have joined forces to develop community-based climate change adaptation (CCA) strategies with indigenous communities through the fusion of local knowledge and scientific technologies.

Why is this project so important?

The livelihoods of most of the population in the Philippines are dependent on agriculture, yet the country is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events (EWEs) and is ranked as one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world.

Some provinces, such as Aurora state, lie in a typhoon alley, where weather conditions hinder agricultural productivity, resulting in low incomes that affects their ability to meet basic needs. The indigenous communities in this region rely heavily on fishing and farming, so identifying, adapting and creating more resilient agricultural techniques is vital.

The project

The project takes a participatory approach to identify best local CCA practices and works with communities to strengthen their capacities to meet their needs.

It aims to:

  • Analyse the climate change adaptation knowledge of indigenous groups in Northern Aurora regarding agriculture and fisheries
  • Identify, combine and strengthen local innovations, technologies and practices that will strengthen local climate change capacity and resilience among indigenous people's groups in Aurora Province
  • Develop community-based climate change adaptation livelihood strategies in agriculture and fisheries and disseminate them through strategic communication
  • Develop and implement training and learning materials to support continued skills building on research in climate change adaptation, knowledge enhancement and community livelihood improvement in ASCOT

Strategies developed through the project will be rolled-out by ASCOT. The outputs of the project will continue to build the capacity of ASCOT beyond the project, through the creation of research and learning materials.


This work was supported by a Institutional Links grant, ID 20180207, under the Newton-Philippines partnership. The grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and CHED and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit  

the team

The project team is headed by Dr. Sarah Cardey in the UK and Partner country principal - Dr Doracie B. Zoleta-Nantes in the Philippines.

The project brings together the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team at Reading comprised of Henny Osbahr, John Hammond and Donna Hatchett. Training in PISCA will be provided by Peter Dorward and his team. Training and development of the Visual Problem Appraisal methodology is being provided by Loes Witteveen from Van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands.

The University of Reading has the expertise to provide the much-needed capacity to the College with its specialization in agriculture and climate variability and change.


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