Study proponents’ interview with elders of the Isneg tribe at Bontoc, Mountain Province.

One-on-one interviews were conducted with 391 members of the Isneg, Uma, and Bontok tribes who were 30 years old and older and have lived in the area for at least 20 years in the assumption that these respondents have more relevant observations and experiences on traditional weather and climate forecasting.

As a result, a total of 116 IKPs on weather and climate forecasting were identified.

These IKPs were grouped into insect indicators, bird behaviors, plant phenology, moon signs, sun signs, air temperature, wind direction, and others.

The most mentioned indicators were insect behaviors, animal behaviors, and plant phenology.

Common to all three tribes are the prediction of the impending long wet spell when black ants (Lasius sp.) emerge from their holes in large numbers to collect and store food.

Also, the presence of animal species such as the Pygmy swiftlet (Collocalia troglodytes), Siberian rubythroat (Calliope calliope), and frogs (Ranidae sp.) are signs used to predict looming rain, typhoon, or storm.

On the other hand, the appearance of the Serpent eagle (Spilornis holospilus) and Spotted-wood kingfisher (Actenoides lindsayi), the shedding of leaves of narra (Pterocarpus indicus), yemane (Gmelina arborea), and mahogany (Sweitenia macrophylla), and the flowering of some bamboo species are indicators of the dry season.

Results also revealed the different threats and challenges to these IKPs. One threat is the remarkable reduction in the number of some of the insects, birds, and plants being used in indigenous weather and climate forecasting.

In this regard, it has become difficult for the younger generations to learn and appreciate the IKPs when some of the insects, birds, and animals being used are difficult to encounter.

Another challenge is that the knowledge resides in the head of the beholder and when they die, the knowledge dies with them.

Further, these IKPs are only being transmitted orally and it was believed by the respondents that if these are not put into writing, this traditional knowledge that has been a product of life-long observation, will be lost.

The documentation of IKPs could be a good resource for the establishment of an IK forecasting database in the three study sites and could be an important resource in the establishment of effective adaptation strategies to improve the agricultural activities and disaster management and preparedness therein.

These IKPs can provide significant value in the improvement of forecasting accuracy and reliability if it will be systematically documented, researched and subsequently integrated into conventional forecasting systems.

It is also recommended that local policies on the conservation and protection of wildlife and biodiversity within the study sites be implemented in order to ensure the preservation of the wildlife being used as indicators in indigenous forecasting. Clivene O. Toctocan, WWRRDEC