Mapping Filipinos' Knowledge, Understanding, and Actions on Climate Change

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:15 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Gianne Sheena SABIO , Social Weather Stations, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Linda Luz GUERRERO , Social Weather Stations, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
A recent Climate Change Vulnerability Index identified 16 out of 170 countries as extremely vulnerable to climate change; of this set, the Philippines was ranked sixth (Maplecroft 2010). Despite advancements in technical strategies to adapt to the impact of a changing global climate, understanding the complex socio-behavioral dimensions of climate change remains a challenge.

Using the data from a survey module on climate change commissioned by the World Bank and implemented by the Social Weather Stations (First Quarter 2013 National Survey), the study aims to know:  (1) What factors shape Filipinos’ awareness and knowledge on climate change? (2) In a more qualitative sense, how do they conceptualize or understand the effects of this phenomenon? (3) What factors affect citizens’ participation in efforts to address climate change? Do awareness and knowledge actually translate into tangible efforts?

Correlation analyses reveal significant relationships (moderate to strong) between awareness and knowledge on climate change and these variables: locale (higher among urban dwellers), socio-economic class (higher among upper classes), and educational attainment (higher among those with greater education). Climate change resonate to average Filipinos as a public health issue. When asked to identify the effects of climate change, half of them cited “increased incidence of illnesses”—significantly greater compared to other responses such as degradation of natural resources, ozone layer depletion, and rise in sea level. Participation in efforts to mitigate climate change is higher among those in rural areas and the youth (with moderate to strong correlations). There exists very weak relationship between awareness on climate change and participation. However, there is moderate evidence to support that those with more extensive knowledge on the impact of climate change also have greater tendency to participate in actions on climate change.