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Baselining and Mapping of the Status of Mangroves and Fishponds in Six Selected Regions in the Philippines

The project is an attempt to consolidate existing data from various government agencies and put them into useful information for both policy makers, decision makers and resource managers. The project will be implemented in five pilot regions, which include Region IV-A (CALABARZON), Region V (BICOL REGION), Region VIII (EASTERN VISAYAS), Region IX (ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA) and Region XIII (CARAGA REGION). Due to Super Typhoon Yolanda, activities intended for Region VIII were halted and instead REGION IV-B (MIMAROPA) was added. These pilot areas are determined during the Iloilo Conference last April 2013 based on a number of criteria. The five pilot areas exhibit high number of FLAs and are highly vulnerable to geological hazards (See Table 1). The project is a response to the need for relevant information to create a conducive policy environment to facilitate the turn-over of AUU areas under FLAs from the DA-BFAR to the DENR and the eventual rehabilitation of these areas by the latter. One of the resounding calls that was raised in the conference is the need to consolidate information to assist mangrove resource managers. Through this project, existing information will be consolidated to serve as baseline for mangrove management interventions such as reforestation. This project is also in line with DENR CMMO’s and GIZ’s thrusts to formulate and implement guidelines on the biophysical reversion of AUUs into mangroves. These AUUs are areas wherein FLAs have been cancelled and areas that are officially turned over from DA BFAR to DENR. Under the JAO 01 series of 2008, the DENR, DA-BFAR and the DENR are mandated to formulate guidelines on FLA-cancellation and AUU reversion to mangroves.

Moreover, the project underscores the importance of mangrove ecosystems in reducing impacts of climate change on fishing communities. Through this project, baseline information shall be consolidated to be used in updating the mangrove country report and the mangrove national action plan that were published by the DENR in 2004.

NFR, GIZ and BMB Conduct Public Forum on the Status of Fishponds and Mangroves in the Philippines

More than 100 participants attended a public forum last February 27, 2014 on the status of fishponds and mangroves in Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VIII, IX and XIII at Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City. Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (formerly Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) gave the welcome remarks. She emphasized the need to protect mangrove forests because they are proven to be effective natural barriers against storm surges and typhoons. Atty. Benjamin Tabios, Assistant Director for Administrative Services of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, highlighted the need for inventory of all fishponds in the Philippines. Ms. Ariane Jaraplasan, NFR’s Program Officer, presented the results of the 5-month research. Mr. Lorenzo Makalintal of the Institute of Social Order presented the technical maps showing the geographical location of mangroves and fishponds.