How to protect diverse animals and plants from changes in climate

A new guidebook explains how to take into account climate changes that might affect biodiversity, say Rodel D. Lasco, Florencia Pulhin and Perlyn Pulhin


Because the effects of climate change are multifaceted, our challenge is to find comprehensive ways that strengthen the capacity of communities to cope and natural ecosystems to adapt.

To help achieve this, we have created a guidebook that can be used as a tool to ‘mainstream’ climate change into biodiversity planning and management, that is, include responses as a matter of course.

Mainstreaming climate change guidebook

Mainstreaming climate change guidebook

The guidebook is one of the first attempts in the Philippines to discuss the links between climate change and biodiversity as part of land management. While it is designed for managers and planners who recognize the need to take into account the changing climate, it will also prove useful to government policy-makers when planning resource allocations; donors and funding agencies when prioritizing which projects to support; and field and extension workers, local government units and other organizations who are charged with the task of conserving biodiversity. Its importance was recognised by USAID, who generously supported its production.

The book provides a basic overview of the concepts that underpin climate change and biodiversity and their current condition in the Philippines. It also explains the science of climate change, what might happen and the possible impacts on biodiversity. We discuss international responses to address the impact of climate change and the loss of biodiversity, particularly in relation to the Philippines’ efforts, including laws, policies, programs, local activities and other community initiatives. We also examine how biodiversity, adaptation, mitigation and development are linked at different levels, how the concept of ‘mainstreaming’ evolved over the years after it first gained attention at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, the barriers it faces and entry points and potential pathways for implementation.

The guidebook also provides examples of successful initiatives with step-by-step procedures on how to build responses to climate change into planning and management. Part of this work involves the use of vulnerability and risk assessment tools that can be used to support adaptive management in a rapidly changing climate. To demonstrate how the suite of tools can be used, we provide questions, worksheets and examples. Readers can select and combine tools to enhance their capacity to address threats and opportunities that are unique to their area.

The guidebook is intended to be an evolving project that can be added to over time. This will help ensure that the impacts of climate change are continuously addressed in biodiversity planning and management.


Edited by Robert Finlayson


Download the guidebook

Lasco RD, Pulhin F, Pulhin P. 2013. Guidebook on mainstreaming climate change in biodiversity planning and management in the Philippines. Los Baños, the Philippines: World Agroforestry Centre Philippines.


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This work is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry



Rob Finlayson

Robert Finlayson is the Southeast Asia program's regional communications specialist. As well as writing stories for the Centre's website, he devises and supervises strategies for projects and the countries in the Southeast Asia region, including scripting and producing videos, supervising editors and translators and also assisting with resource mobilization.

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