Restoring the Pagsangaan Watershed for Forest Biodiversity Conservation
- Proponent: Save Ormoc Bay Aggrupation, Inc. (SOBA)
- Amount: 800,000.00
- Project Start Date: October 01, 2012
- Project End Date: October 01, 2013
- Grant Type: Research Grants
- Area: Visayas
- Grant Status: Past
Project Goals and Objectives
SOBA envisions itself as a strong and effective coalition working for the protection and sustainable management of forest, coastal and marine resources, and the conservation of biodiversity for local communities’ welfare and the environment. Its mission is to become a continuing passionate advocate for the promotion and adoption of the theory and practice of sustainable community-based forest, coastal and marine resources management and biodiversity conservation as the framework for managing the country’s forest and coastal resources. SOBA has the following goals:
1. Empower people to become self-reliant and responsible managers and users of the forest, coastal and marine resources, following the ridge-to-reef concept of sustainable development.
2. Empower people to become capable, responsible and accountable stakeholders of the diverse forest, coastal and marine resources and actively participate in local governance to ensure sustainable forest and coastal resources management.
3. Promote sustainable management and protection of forest, coastal and marine resources, and biodiversity for the general welfare of the marginalized communities and the environment.
SOBA’s major programs and projects include the following:
Conduct of Municipal and Barangay-Based Electoral Forum
This is a regular program of SOBA that opens-up opportunities for the local communities to discuss with political candidates issues related to community welfare and the environment.
Environmental Forum and Ecosystem Rehabilitation
This is a yearly activity of the organization as part of its annual founding anniversary celebration. The activity is focused on building awareness among local communities on current situation, issues and concerns about the environment. It also covers identification and adoption of critical ecosystems in communities (eg. degraded mangrove forest) where SOBA initiates rehabilitation and protection activities for concerned communities to sustain.
Lobbying in LGUs on issues related to environment and community development
This program brings to the attention of concerned leaders at the Provincial, City, Municipal and Barangay LGUs, DENR and other concerned agencies issues and concerns on environmental degradation and threats to community welfare. Part of the lobbying program is to link local communities with support organizations for livelihood opportunities. Initial lobbying was worked-out with the Pagsangaan Watershed LGU leaders as a follow-through activity of the concluded November 2011 Sustainable Watershed Management and Forest Biodiversity Conservation Summit, to gain their attention and support for the proper protection and management of forests and biodiversity in their respective watershed geographical jurisdiction.
National, Regional and Local Conferences on Environment and Community Development
One of SOBA’s strength is organizing national, regional and local conferences with the aim of establishing stronger and consolidated commitment and support among stakeholders and donor agencies on matters concerning the environment and local communities. Among the major ones were the FPE-supported Sustainable Watershed Management and Forest Biodiversity Conservation Summit held in November 2010, and the Roundtable Discussion Meeting with Primary and Secondary Multi-sector Stakeholders of Pagsangaan Watershed in May, 2011 as a follow through activity of the well participated November 2010 summit.
Outputs and Outcomes
General Objective: To establish baseline information on the socio-economic and biophysical profile of Pagsangaan Watershed and its forest biodiversity.
- A multi-sectoral Watershed Research and Development Team (WaRDT) formed and trained for watershed characterization and forest biodiversity assessment.
Data on socio-economic and biophysical profile of the watershed and forest biodiversity consolidated and analyzed.
Watershed characterization and forest biodiversity assessment conducted.
General Objective: To improve the level of participation, capability, and commitment of LGUs, local communities and other stakeholders on forest restoration and biodiversity conservation.
- The level of awareness and understanding of local stakeholders about the importance of forest and biodiversity conservation enhanced.
Feasible forest and biodiversity-based livelihood options such as quality native forest tree seedlings production, adopted on a pilot scale.
Local arrangements/mechanisms created, and forging of formal co-management agreements between the concerned LGUs and the DENR on forest restoration and biodiversity conservation made.
The overall strategy and intervention the project will employ evolve around the concern to establish substantial consolidated baseline information about the state of forest cover and biodiversity in the watershed, and the local communities therein in relation to forest and biodiversity conservation. Project intervention will also deal with improving awareness, interest and local participation, and building-up local capabilities and mechanisms that will sustain the project’s development initiatives. The project’s component strategies are as follows:
This is a research component of the project that will deal with the conduct of biophysical and socio-economic profiling of the watershed and assessment of forest biodiversity. The biophysical and socio-economic survey will focus on determining the condition of the watershed’s forest cover and the profile of communities and other stakeholders therein. The activity will be highly participatory with the involvement of local people from concerned LGUs, and representatives from NGOs/POs, CENRO, and Energy Development Corporation (formerly Philippine National Oil Company) as part of the Watershed Research and Development Team (WaRDT) in every covered LGU. The involvement of local representation to WaRDT will open the opportunity for improving local capabilities on watershed characterization and biodiversity assessment, and heighten local awareness and interest about the watershed and forest biodiversity. The WaRDT later is being looked forward to become a formalized LGU-based Watershed and Biodiversity Monitoring Team that will sustain the research and development initiatives of the project after its life.
A continuing advocacy work is a critical component of the project that will establish the foundation on which the commitment and genuine participation of the local communities and other stakeholders can be guaranteed. A Watershed Advocacy, Livelihood and Training Team will be formed to ensure effective planning and implementation of advocacy work, capability-building, linkaging and creation of livelihood opportunities in local communities. Awareness-building and information-sharing using various effective schemes will be a continuing activity in order to keep the local people and leadership in communities aware and abreast of the state of forests and important biodiversity in the watershed, and of things related to the implementation of the project. This will pave the way for greater local support and participation.
Training and/or knowledge-sharing activities will build-up local capabilities which later are expected to become the working blocks that will sustain the project’s development initiatives. The project will also facilitate the creation of local mechanisms and arrangements that will sustain development efforts for forest restoration and biodiversity conservation. Accordingly, the project will facilitate for the concerned LGUs to enter into co-management with DENR through its CENRO which will give them better feeling of authority, responsibility and accountability over the management and protection of the forests and biodiversity. Linking the LGUs to available opportunities and support agencies will be part of the project initiatives, together with the creation of enabling environment for livelihood opportunities for local communities that are forest- and/or biodiversity-based, particularly rainforest nursery establishment and high quality seedling production.