Measuring Adaptive Capacity of Farmers to Climate Change and Variability: Application of a Composite Index to an Agricultural Community in the Philippines
Farming households in the Philippines are most vulnerable to climate change and variability due to their climate/weather-sensitive livelihood and lack of resources to finance adaptation measures. In order to formulate appropriate programs and policies addressing this vulnerability, it is essential to understand their adaptive capacity. This study analyzed the adaptive capacity to climate change and vulnerability of 520 farming households in Dumangas, a town in central Philippines confronting climate/weather-induced risks. The objectives were: to determine the levels of adaptive capacity of farming households to climate change, analyze the factors that cause the differences in adaptive capacity and find out whether adaptive capacity translates to adaptation. The level of adaptive capacity of each farming household was determined using a composite index based on previous studies. The index included five indicators namely human resources, physical resources, financial resources, information and diversity. Results showed that variations in adaptive capacity were caused by differences in information resources, physical and financial resources. Farming households that scored low in these three indicators had lower adaptive capacity. It was also found out that despite their level of adaptive capacity, households employed measures to adapt to climate change and variability. Households with higher adaptive capacity however employed more adaptation strategies.