Challenging Governance: Resilience and Adaptation Strategies from the Margins

Organizer: Philippine Sociological Society

The panel features lessons learned from marginalized sectors and communities based on the  experiences of urban poor, women, and indigenous peoples in adapting to and solving problems and overcoming vulnerabilites in disasters. The studies presented in the panel draws from empirical research on communities whose displacement, exposure to vulnerabilities and coping strategies present a challenge to outdated approaches through mainstream governance, and provide new insights such as localized warning systems and improvised responses to disaster, the importance of place and sector-based vulnerabilities, and collaborative partnerships between communities, government and civil society groups.

Disaster Adaptation Strategies among the Mamanua in Surigao del Norte, Southern Philippines
Dr. Nimfa L. Bracamonte, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology

The wisdom, knowledge and practices of indigenous people gained over time through experience may provide alternatives in solving problems related to climate change. The paper articulates the notion of adaptive strategies capacity which consists of all the available resources and strengths which a community, society, organization or individual can utilize to minimize the level of actual or expected climatic risks, or effects of disaster; or exploit beneficial opportunities (RA 10121). The study aimed to investigate the adaptation strategies employed by the Mamanua in dealing with disaster by key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The results revealed that the Mamanua cope with old and new vulnerabilities in this era of global warming and easily adapt to natural disasters. The animals and plants in their vicinity serve as their early warning system. The small hut built by households in a safe area near the settlement which they call “kurob” is an interesting improvised hut to respond and adapt to natural disasters.  Even while the Mamanua face natural hazards, there are also continuing economic challenges that affect their adaptive way of life. The entry of mining enterprises within their ancestral domain is now poised to modify their lowland agricultural practices, the latest in a long cycle of displacement and adaptation.

Climate Disasters and Community Resilience: Challenging Governance and Human Security Needs
Dr. Emma Porio, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University

Climate change and flooding in Asian cities pose great challenges to the environmental and human security of the population and their governance systems. This paper examines the intersections of ecological-environmental -social vulnerabilities and the adaptive responses of urban poor communities and commercial-industrial establishments in Metro Manila to floods and other climate change effects. These weaken the communities’ ecological-environmental systems, threaten the well-being and security of the people and strain the resources of city governments. Disaggregating the ecological-environment vulnerabilities of cities and communities according to specific places/spaces (place-based vulnerabilities) allow us to appreciate variable response patterns to flooding among different groups/sectors.

Based on a sample of urban poor households and industrial-commercial establishments along the Pasig-Marikina River Basin of Metro Manila, this study utilized household surveys, key informant interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and secondary data sources, in analyzing the sources of their vulnerabilities and bases for resilience building initiatives. Existing studies generally focus on the vulnerability and adaptive responses of urban-rural populations, failing to address the interaction of place-based vulnerabilities with sector-specific vulnerabilities that reconfigure flood impacts and responses among the urban poor communities and commercial-industrial establishments during and after floods. In particular, poor and female-headed households residing in highly degraded environments within and across urban poor communities suffered higher damages and losses compared to better-off households and establishments. The interaction of these drivers of vulnerability further heightens and compromises the environmental and human security needs of poor people, their communities and those in the private sector that local-national governance systems need to systematically respond.

Building Sustainable Futures: lessons from Indigenous Peoples Communities in the Margins
Dr. Cecilia T. Medina, Asian Center, University of the Philippines

The paper looks into the response of Indigenous Peoples Communities response to encroachments in their territory and environment by state and non-state agencies and interests. The IP’s customary laws and traditions, changing organization and its networking with civil society organizations will be analyzed as its contribution to sustainable and inclusive development and governance.

Institutional Partnerships and Community Engagements in Integrating Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Lanao del Norte
Arnold P. Alamon, Septrin John A. Calamba and Hazel D. Jovita, Mindanao State Univesity-Iligan Institute of Technology

This paper presents the collaborative effort of the different local and international stakeholders in integrating CCA and DRR. It draws insights from the experiences of the communities which are vulnerable to disasters and eventually, this ignites to capacitate and strengthen local governments and state universities in integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. In the case of Iligan which was affected by typhoon Sendong and Lanao del Norte which also has communities susceptible to disasters, the institutional partnership has been formalized.

In general the main concern of this article is to present how a successful partnership of different stakeholders through implementing small-scale projects and programs could increase disaster resiliency. And with monitoring and evaluation, this kind of endeavor will be sustained and could provide more related activities.

The institutional partnerships and community engagements provide the opportunity for extension work and meaningful collaborations that will strengthen the relevance of the university in the surrounding communities especially in the field of DRRM and CCA. Through the activities, it’s possible to sustain the partnership of local government units in both city and provincial level with the academe as they endeavor to transform communities into having a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation consciousness