Multiple indices rank the country as among those most affected by extreme climate events. Over the past decade, highly destructive typhoons have hit almost every year, with related annual losses estimated at 1.2 percent of the overall gross domestic product (GDP).
In July, Typhoon Doksuri brought widespread flooding and landslides to the Philippines, killing at least 39 people and forcing 12,000 people from their homes.
To combat the growing impacts of climate change in the region, Perino coordinates a locally-organized project under the community-based organization, Bukidnon Umayamnon Tribe Kapu-unan To mga Datu (BUKDA).
Supported by the UN via an AFICIA grant, the project also seeks to tackle deforestation and pollution while generating sustainable income for indigenous peoples by promoting the planting of bamboo and cocoa by local farmers in Mindanao. That includes training people on cultivating, harvesting and marketing.
Highlighting the value of bamboo in protecting the forest by helping to prevent erosion and helping restore degraded soil, Perino explained that the initiative is slated to plant 20 hectares of vegetation along the Pulangi River. Bamboo is also favored by the community to, among other things, build houses that are more resistant to floods and storms, he added.
After creating new bamboo and cocoa plantations in July 2022, farmers have already started to benefit. The project is currently providing income to farmers through temporary labor opportunities and is supporting families to buy food and other basic items.
“Since we got AFCIA support,” Perino said, “we could see a few benefits in our community, such as income from employment due to land protection, a sense of cultural pride and joy that we can contribute to the mitigation of climate change impacts and have hope that the once barren and idle land of the indigenous peoples will one day be our refuge from the negative impacts of climate change and be a source of our financial sustainability including our next generations.” UN News