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The Role Of Protected Areas In Philippine's Sustainable Development


Due to the devastation of powerful typhoon Ketsana, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Ondoy, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Proclamation 296, declaring the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) as a protected area (PA) under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), covering an area of 26,125.64 hectares (100.87 sq. miles).

The proclaimed PA is now undergoing rehabilitation where more than 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) has been tree-planted

Constructed checkdams to reduce water velocity thus reducing flash flood, trap the solid materials (soil, rocks, etc.) that fill waterways causing siltation to water passage, and water collected serve as source of water for irrigation and for other domestic purposes.

Livelihood assistance were also provided to wean the attention of the people from doing illegal activities, e.g, wildlife gathering, mineral extraction, etc.

Part of the area has been set aside and planted for fuelwood due to increasing cost of fossil fuels (cooking gas)

Support to previous proclamations and property rights and without prejudice to the rights especially of the indigenous peoples

Problem, challenge or context: 

The Proclamation has now clearly delineated the area limited to conservation and protection of wildlife; previously it was not delineated.

The area has experienced flash floods in the lowland so that daily activities were disrupted and economic losses were sustained

The area has a high level of poverty. The proclamation is aimted at addressing this, as poor people will now have a source of livelihoods in terms of ecotourism, employment and other income-generating activities.

Specific elements of components: 

With the adoption of the PA Management Plan, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), as the decision-making body, composed of multi-sectoral representatives is now properly managing the PA 

People living near the area now partners in its development and protection after they were organized and capacitated

People’s Organizations are hired using the community development approach in the various aspects of developing and protecting the PA where they are reasonably compensated

Key lessons learned: 

Government intervention plays a major role in the implementation of various activities for the benefit of the greater majority

Government resources in terms of money, manpower and other logistics being provided is becoming visible as the big part of the PA is now green

Government cannot do it alone - citizens’ participation has a lot to do in realizing success in the endeavor

Impacts and outcomes: 

With the jobs created and livelihood assistance being provided, the economic life of the people that depends on the PA has improved

Wildlife, e.g. birds, wild deer and plants are now being observed which are being reported at least twice a year through the Biodiversity Monitoring System

Contact details: 
Dr. Angelito Fontanilla, Director, Financial and Management Service, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and Raymundo Crisostomo, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO)
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