of the important association between provision of water supply and
sustainable watershed management, LWUA has been supportive of the
initiatives of water districts for watershed related programs and
the early 1990s, LWUA funded and supported projects for watershed
projects implemented by WDs. Among the successful recipients of
the support were the watershed projects of Metro Cebu WD, Metro
Naga WD, Zamboanga City WD and Davao City WD. LWUA has its Central
Program Support Office for Sewerage and Sanitation (CPSO) and Watershed
Management Division to oversee and monitor watershed programs and
projects of water districts. In 2009 LWUA saw it fit to revitalize
its Watershed Assistance Program to WDs and thus the MoA on Watershed
Management among LWUA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) and the Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD)
came to be. To fast track matters, a Task Force on Watershed Management
was created to facilitate WD-led watershed projects.
need to encourage greater participation of WDs in watershed management
is a task that LWUA will endeavour to pursue in the coming years.
relation to this, a two-day summit was undertaken in June, this
year in the city of Puerto Princesa. This endeavor was initiated
by LWUA with the support of DENR, PAWD and the Puerto Princesa City
specific objectives of the summit are to:
Present the general Philippine situation on watershed and discuss
the legal and policy framework on Philippine watershed management
Highlight LWUA's vision and direction on sustainable watershed
management and present LWUA's Financial Assistance Package for
(3) Share experiences, best practices and issues/concerns on watershed
management programs implemented among water districts;
Secure commitment on the nationwide advocacy and dedication towards
sustainable management of watersheds, and
Plan to implement a nationwide activity to plant 15 million trees
in three years through WD led programmes.
on the State of Watersheds in the Philippines
Marlo D. Mendoza focused his discussion on the national watershed
management situationer, status of watersheds; laws and policies
- legal basis/framework, definitions, descriptions and delineation
of watersheds; protected areas, reservations, watershed management
principles and practices, watershed management arrangements and
highlighted the need to consider a comprehensive approach to watershed
management which includes both uplands and lowlands as well as coastal/marine
systems. The Director also mentioned the current state of watershed
resources and the importance of conducting a watershed characterization
for each watershed under the jurisdiction of WDs. In addition, his
presentation focused on how forest cover helps minimize floods.
Mendoza presented facts and statistics depicting the Philippines
as an impressive ecological nation decades ago, but since then has
rapidly worsened in the past few decades. Land use conversion, logging
and illegal farm practices are some of the reasons he cited for
the depletion of our forest cover at alarming rates. Relatedly,
he cited several technologies that have been developed to fast rack
reforestation, including genetic engineering of fast growing forest
the effects of climate change was also discussed by the Director.
Tree planting and forest protection contributes to carbon storage,
thereby limiting carbon emissions into the atmosphere. He explained
the global concept of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and
Degradation or REDD. Moreover, he introduced and explained the concepts
of carbon imprinting and carbon pooling as ways to measure and manage
a person's effect on the environment. REDD revolves around creating
carbon pools and protecting existing carbon pools. Dir. Mendoza
went on to discuss various instruments for forest management. He
discussed the national REDD plus its strategy components, to include:
enabling policy, governance, research and development, consultation
and capacity building, resource use allocation and management, MRV,
and sustainable financing. He reiterated the need for DENR to partner
with other stakeholders such as WDs in the appropriate and effective
management and protection of the environment, after explaining the
limitations of DENR in terms of budget and manpower.
to the problem of watershed requires "thinking out of the box",
being innovative and creative. He also emphasized the need for a
firm commitment, as we are not without resources and technologies.
He concluded his presentation by saying that sustainable watershed
management is necessary because it not only increases forest cover
but contributes positive impacts such as improved health, economic
gains and cost savings.
Advocacy on Tree Planting
Advocacy on Tree Planting aims to come up with a collective design
or template that would design a long-term management of the watershed,
considered the main contributory factor to the sustainable source
of water of WDs. He explained that targets for the tree planting
would be 5M trees planted in the 1st year of operation, then 10M
trees in the 2nd year, and 15M trees in the last year of the project.
This translates into a total target of around 10,000 trees to be
planted by each WD in the first year. If there are around 50,000
WD employees nationwide, and if they are willing to mobilize their
family and friends, this target is easily attainable. He mentioned
that the Guinnes Record for one day tree planting is in Pakistan
wherein 514,000 trees were planted in a day. He posted a challenge
to WDs to beat this Guinness record. Plans for this particularly
activity should be worked out at the national level and properly
coordinated with the WDs.
Confronting Implementation of Sustainable Watershed Management Programs
Confronting Implementation of Sustainable Watershed Management Programs
was discussed by Elmer T. Luzon from NORMIN Natural Resources Management
Council, and General Manager of San Francisco WD in Agusan del Sur.
He listed four major considerations, to wit: know your watershed,
build partnerships, put together a watershed management plan, and
determine the cost of development. He cited the experience of the
San Francisco WD in the protection and conservation of Mt. Magdiwata
Watershed. He outlined the processes and actual experiences of the
project from community entry, participatory rapid appraisal (PRA),
community organizing and social preparation, baseline survey establishment,
biodiversity survey and evaluation, land use (resource mapping),
rehabilitation and development, livelihood provision and basic social
services, and monitoring and evaluation.
also discussed the major policies and laws relevant to watershed
management and the relevant agencies and their corresponding functions.
He also cited several instances when they were forced to file cases
against quarry operators, small-scale mining, poaching in the watershed
area as part of watershed management. He emphasized the use of COPAR
(Co-Participatory Action and Research) methods in social preparation
and community organizing, and Intensified IEC instead of simple
lEC. He likewise advised the WDs to consider Indigenous Societies/Indigenous
Peoples (ISs/IPs) as vital partners in watershed development to
ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach.
on Legal Issues for Watershed Management
Gerthie Mayo-Anda gave extensive and well appreciated inputs on
the topic. The highlights of her presentation were as follows:
She enumerated and discussed the Environmental Legal issues including:
(1) land and resource use conflicts; (2) forest conversion, development
goals and plans; (3) mining in watersheds, natural forests and protected
areas; (4) overlapping institutional roles: LGUs, DENR, and, (5)
weak enforcement of environmental laws.
likewise discussed the five major thrusts of the Millennium Development
goals on ensuring environmental sustainability. She also cited national
laws and policies towards this end including: (1) RA 7586 (NIPAS);
(2) RA 9147 (Wildlife law); (3) 1997 national biodiversity strategy
and action plan (NBSAP); and the (4) 2002 Phil Biodiversity Conservation
Priorities Program to strengthen protected areas system and prioritize
attendant development plan for this endeavour is to establish 15
wildlife farms, massive reforestation, promote timber production
and agro forestry, delineation of 8.4M has. Of forest lands for
agro forestry, promote investments in permanent production forests
using tenurial arrangements.
discussed the threats to the realization of this in the form of;
logging (legal and illegal), mining operations, geothermal explorations,
dam construction, agriculture, rapid population growth/Upland migration,
conversion for development projects.
likewise discussed the responses made by the government in terms
of reforestation initiatives, the laws and policies formulated and
the development plans on reforestation, timber production and agro
forestry, delineation of forest lands, issuance of appropriate tenurial
arrangements, corporate and community-based area development, structural
migration for natural disaster prevention, opening of denuded areas.
ended her presentation by introducing the concept of intergenerational
equity which is also known as Intergenerational Justice, refers
to the right of present and future generations to a healthful and
balanced ecology and to use, benefit from and enjoy our natural
resource treasures, emphasizing that environmental justice is a
of a Watershed-Based Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP)
Casimiro Olvida, Uplands and Governance Specialist of the Philippine
Environmental Governance Project gave a brief Overview of Governance-Oriented
FLUP. Highlights of the presentation were as follows: (1) EcoGov
project, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
technical assistance project from the US government to the Philippine
government with Development Alternatives, Inc. as contract implementor.
The project assist in the formulation of Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP),
Coastal Resources Management (CRM), and Urban Environmental Management.
(2) FLUP as a key element in reducing conflicts in managing forest
and forest lands (FFL).
also introduced the concept of charging watershed management fees
as part of the water tariff by the WDs to generate assured funds
for watershed management.
"Puerto princesa Protocol"
Puerto Princesa Protocol was drafted which declared commitment of
the WDs to protect and protect and conserve the Philippines' vital
life - supporting watersheds through partnerships and joint undertakings.
The PAWD officers and the representatives of the WDs read the contents
of the protocol and ceremonially affixed their signatures to end
the Summit. The rest of the Participants then signed the Protocol.