Angela Whitney, MESc

2012 TRI Fellow in Philippines

Evaluating perceived climate change vulnerability within resource-dependent coastal communities in the Philippines


The Philippines is projected to be one of the most highly impacted countries in the world by climate change. Coastal communities and resources are among the most affected by increasing storm events and variable weather patterns. This research investigates the perceptions of three resource dependent communities in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines as a way to understand vulnerability to climate risk. The research took place on one mainland community on the island of Bohol, one site on an inner barrier reef island in the Danajon Bank off of the coast of Bohol, and one outer barrier reef site. The research investigated the risk factors which make it difficult for fishermen in these communities and how climate risk contributes to overall perceptions of vulnerability. This research suggests that communities perceive climate risk factors such as weather predictability, typhoons, and increasing sea-level rise. Results indicate that community members believe these risks are worsening and that they have a very high impact on livelihoods. These findings will help inform local and regional climate change adaptation strategies by illustrating which risks most concern communities.