A Poverty Resource Hub of Focus on the Global South Philippines

Climate Change and the Poor

Climate Change and the Poor

Jan 14, 2012

Climate Change and the Poor Climate Justice underscores the inequality in terms of sharing the burden and impact of climate change. There is increasing recognition that when it comes to the climate crisis- some are more responsible than others. The paradox surrounding this crisis:  those who have contributed least to the climate crisis are hit hardest by its consequences and expected to endure considerable adjustments. Asking “will the poor suffer more?”, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) recently released data regarding climate change and the poor. Groups like Greenpeace have previously noted the irony that severe climate impacts in the Philippines are bound to hit areas with high poverty incidence, while aggravating hunger and water issues, displacement concerns, health risks and livelihood insecurity. The NSCB tables below show that climate hotspots cover mostly impoverished regions and provinces, such as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which will be the most vulnerable to a one-meter sea level rise and the most at risk to landslides, respectively. “In the most vulnerable regions, the poor are relatively at a greater risk to a one meter sea-level rise than the general population. If these statistics are right, the poor will most likely suffer more from climate change. Our poverty reduction program must therefore recognize the vulnerability of the poor to climate change and appropriate interventions must be designed accordingly,” says the NSCB.  

Table 1. Area at risk to landslides by Region

Region

Area at risk to landslide

Land area (in hectares)

Rank

CAR

         507,666

1

Region IV-B

      486,442

2

Region VI

         293,427

3

Region I

         280,704

4

Region V

      272,279

5

Region VIII

         265,558

6

Region XI

         255,540

7

Region II

         229,112

8

Region IV-A

         189,386

9

Caraga

         167,516

10

Region X

         152,811

11

Region III

         152,518

12

Region IX

           45,154

13

Region XII

           32,345

14

ARMM

             4,937

15

NCR

                  -

Region VII

                  -

PHILIPPINES

       3,335,395

Source: Report on the Geospatial Technology in Disaster Prediction and Agricultural and Natural Resource Management (2004) by Dr. Esteban Godillano of the Department of Agriculture, as cited in The Philippines: A Climate Hotspot, Climate Change Impacts and the Philippines (April 2007) by the Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Climate and Energy Campaign.  

Table 2. Five Most Vulnerable Regions at Risk to Landslides, Cumulative Percent Distribution of General Population and Magnitude of Poor Population

Vulnerability

Region

Vulnerability to landslide

Gen. population

% to Total

Poor Population

% to Total

Most vulnerable CAR          1.8          1.8
2 most vulnerable CAR and Region IV-B          4.9          6.9
3 most vulnerable CAR, Regions IV-B and VI        13.0        15.9
4 most vulnerable CAR, Regions IV-B, VI, and I        18.5        21.2
5 most vulnerable CAR, Regions IV-B, VI, I, and V        24.6        30.8
Source: NSCB

Table 3. Vulnerable to a one meter sea level rise by Region

Region

Vulnerable to a one meter sea level rise

No. of municipalities

Land area (in sq.m.)

Rank

ARMM

39

 137,635,200

1

Region IX

40

   81,129,600

2

Region IV-B

64

   75,807,900

3

Region VIII

92

   75,662,100

4

Region V

86

   74,277,000

5

Region VII

68

        52,747,200

6

Region VI

68

        38,118,600

7

Region XI

20

        30,107,700

8

Region IV-A

46

        23,805,900

9

Region I

48

        20,322,900

10

Region XII

19

        16,232,400

11

Caraga

40

        12,611,700

12

Region X

31

        12,109,500

13

Region II

18

          6,439,500

14

Region III

23

          4,252,500

15

NCR

1

            380,700

16

CAR

0

                     -

PHILIPPINES

703

      661,640,400

 
Sources of basic data: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/news/2005/story03-07-05.htm and http://beta.sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/lecz.jsp, as cited in The Philippines: A Climate Hotspot, Climate Change Impacts and the Philippines (April 2007) by the Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Climate and Energy Campaign.  

Table 4. Five Most Vulnerable Regions to a one meter sea level rise, Cumulative Percent Distribution of General Population and Magnitude of Poor Population

Vulnerability

Region

Vulnerability to a one meter sea level rise

Gen. population

% to Total

Poor Population

% to Total

Most vulnerable ARMM

 3.7

6.4

2 most vulnerable ARMM, Region IX

7.4

11.5

3 most vulnerable ARMM, Regions IX and IV-B

10.6

            16.6

4 most vulnerable ARMM, Regions IX, IV-B, and VIII

15.3

            23.6

5 most vulnerable ARMM, Regions IX, IV-B, VIII, and V

21.4

            33.2

Source: NSCB

Table 5. Twenty provinces vulnerable to a one-meter sea level rise

Province

Vulnerable land area

In sq.m.

Rank

Sulu

 79,728,300

1

Palawan

 64,281,600

2

Zamboanga del Sur

 37,818,900

3

Northern Samar

 33,882,300

4

Zamboanga Sibugay

 32,740,200

5

Basilan

 30,294,000

6

Cebu

 27,888,300

7

Davao del Norte

 27,005,400

8

Bohol

 23,895,000

9

Camarines Sur

 22,680,000

10

Quezon

 21,124,800

11

Tawi-tawi

 17,390,700

12

Masbate

 14,256,000

13

Negros Occidental

 13,996,800

14

Eastern Samar

 13,672,800

15

Camarines Norte

 13,591,800

16

Leyte

 10,926,900

17

Capiz

 10,748,700

18

Catanduanes

 10,643,400

19

Western Samar

 10,635,300

20

Sources of basic data: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/news/2005/story03-07-05.htm and http://beta.sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/lecz.jsp, as cited in The Philippines: A Climate Hotspot, Climate Change Impacts and the Philippines (April 2007) by the Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Climate and Energy Campaign.  

Table 6. Five Most Vulnerable Provinces to a one meter sea level rise, Cumulative Percent Distribution of General Population and Magnitude of Poor Population

Vulnerability

Provinces

Vulnerability to a one meter rise

Gen. population

% to Total

Poor Population

% to Total

Most vulnerable Sulu

0.8

1.1

2 most vulnerable Sulu and Palawan

1.6

2.2

3 most vulnerable Sulu, Palawan and Zamboanga

2.6

3.9

4 most vulnerable Sulu, Palawan, Zamboanga del Sur, and Northern Samar

4.5

5.8

5 most vulnerable Sulu, Palawan, Zamboanga del Sur,Northern Samar, and Zamboanga Sibugay

5.2

7.0

Source: NSCB (Published in: Focus on the Philippines April 2009, http://focusweb.org/oldphilippines/content/blogsection/8/6/9/18/)

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