Renowned not just for its unique name but for the extensive wealth of its natural resources, the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) faces a promising future. The ballooning population of Davao City promises millions in revenues from tourism. Unfortunately, unsustainable development, agricultural runoff and climate change have already begun to assail IGACOS' beaches, reefs and lowland forests – negating its differential advantage as a tourism destination. WWF and the local government of IGACOS are attempting to build–up the resilience of the region's coastal ecosystems while identifying and reducing potential climate change–related vulnerabilities – all to improve the lives and livelihoods of native Samaleños.
Effective climate change adaptation strategies have already been developed and are being implemented within IGACOS. Related adaptation issues are being integrated into local planning frameworks for associated coastal and island ecosystems by newly-empowered stakeholders. The programme is part of a global initiative to develop climate adaptation mechanisms. The two other pilot sites are Madagascar and Columbia.
Thorough assessments of site vulnerabilities have been undertaken. Done in close cooperation with local stakeholders, the assessments shall be integrated into local adaptation plans. Pre-identified livelihood activities shall also be supported to help IGACOS cope with projected climate impacts, providing a model by which small island communities can survive climate shifts.
The Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) is a popular tourist destination, but is threatened by climate change and unsustainable development. (WWF-Philippines)
Compressed hazard and siltation maps crafted and ground-truthed by WWF-Philippines. (WWF-Philippines)
Want to learn more about the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS)? Then please watch this video.