Forest ecosystem services are critical to building climate resilience in the Philippines. With two-thirds of the poor living in rural areas and relying heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods and subsistence, healthy forests are a natural, low-cost adaptation strategy against the impacts of climate change and a vital asset to income and wealth generation.
This study sheds new light on two important aspects of climate change and forest ecosystems. It looks at how forest ecosystems help enhance people’s resilience to climate impacts, and how forest ecosystems support livelihood development for the poor. In applying a mix of analytical approaches, including ecosystem accounting models, focus group discussions, and participatory scenario development, it valuates forest benefits, implements forest use surveys, and performs trade-off analysis at three case study sites in the Philippines. Landscape simulations were developed to test ecosystem service provision under different land cover extent and spatial arrangements within a watershed. Together, the analyses help inform a better understanding of how forests and their ecosystem services contribute to poverty alleviation in the Philippines and at the same time enhance resilience to climate change.