Local governments want Pagasa to set climate early warning system for agriculture



By Jennifer A. Ng


05 March 2012, 7:53 PM






LOCAL governments in Tarlac, Sorsogon and Bohol will work with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to pioneer climate information and forecasting for agriculture.


Mayors of the towns of Gerona in Tarlac, Irosin in Sorsogon and Tubigon in Bohol, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Pagasa on Monday to provide continuous mentoring and capacity building in setting up their own local Automatic Weather Station (AWS) or Early Warning System (EWS). These are necessary infrastructure for the community-based EWS for agriculture or the Climate Field School.


Farmers from the three towns are expected to get sufficient warning on extreme conditions and be able to build defenses against the possible destruction of lives and properties.


Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) said in a statement that it has been working with the three towns on its project, Integrating Climate Risks Management into Local Agriculture Development Planning, since 2009.


“We are proud to declare that the project produced local development plans in agriculture that are premised on climate-change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The local chief executives put pesos and centavos in these plans and were included in the annual investment plan of each of the municipality leading to this MOU signing with Pagasa,” said Jessica Reyes-Cantos, R1 lead convener.


Under the MOU, Pagasa’s Climatology and Agro-meteorology Division will provide appropriate climate data to these municipalities; provide technical assistance in the operation of the local weather instruments; assist in analysis of climate and weather data for use in the Climate Field School of the municipality. 


Pagasa will also assist in the establishment of an agro-meteorological station in the municipality; assist in the installation, maintenance and calibration of weather instruments upon the establishment of the agro-meteorological station; and assist in personnel skills and methodological practice enhancement programs in the operation of the agro-meteorological station.


The local government, meanwhile, is committed to set up an agro-meteorological station compliant with the World Meteorological standards within the next three years; provide resources for the maintenance of instruments, building, observation ground and personnel salaries that will be trained and assigned at the agro-meteorological station through the supervision and management of the Municipal Agriculturist.


Local governments should also support the staff of Pagasa who will be providing on site skills training and assistance to the agro-meteorological staff in the future; support initiatives for agro-meteorological technical personnel skills development and methodological practice enhancement programs of Pagasa; sustain the Climate Field School program for the agriculture sector to optimize production and mitigate impacts of weather/climate-related phenomena; and institutionalize the expansion of use of weather/climate information in other services.













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