Bicol University R&D Journal

Official Refereed Journal of Bicol University

4500 Legazpi City,Philippines

Print ISSN: 0016-4139       Online ISSN: 2719-082X

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August 2023

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The Practicality and Applicability of Using Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Four Municipalities in the Province of Sorsogon, Philippines

Publisher: Bicol University
Abstract

Through a phenomenological approach, this study puts into writing traditional knowledge and practices related to disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in Sorsogon province. Elderly participants from the municipalities of Prieto Diaz, Casiguran, Irosin, and Sta. Magdalena were engaged in a series of focus group discussions (FGD) between February and June 2014. The indigenous technologies collected reflected Deken’s four pillars of local knowledge in disaster preparedness where observations were used to anticipate disasters: signs from animals (e.g. duck behavior before a typhoon), signs from the environment (e.g. sound of the rising of the river), unique signals for certain disasters (e.g. wild animals coming down the mountain slopes in an impending volcanic eruption), and weather superstitions (e.g. red skies associated with inclement weather). As a community, adaptation strategies (e.g. continuous ringing of bells) were verbally passed on to younger members to ensure survival of succeeding generations. Some signals were similar in other countries (e.g. a coiled snake floating in the ocean warns local residents of a storm; Nepalese, of flood) and some have scientific bases (e.g. bird migration when winds shift directions) but culture was vital in their integration to community practice. Indigenous knowledge, such as this inventory, is significant in contemporary times to further disseminate people’s patterns of livelihood and manifestations of resilience. As a baseline, it could enhance provincial-wide mitigation strategies as mandated by the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010 with high considerations for culturally-appropriate policies that acknowledge people’s ability to transfer knowledge within and between generations.


Maria Elma L. Mirandilla

disaster preparedness
indigenous knowledge
resilience
weather superstitions
traditional practices

December 07, 2020
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CHED-JIP Recognized Journal as per CMO NO. 50, s. 2018.

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Higher Education Regional Research Center, Bicol University East Campus, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines

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