ENVIRONMENT   A N D D E V E L O P M E N T I N C O A S TA L R E G I O N S A N D I N S M A L L I S L A N D S                ...
PA C I F I C                                                                       OCEAN                                  ...
CSI info N° 12An ecological assessment of        Ulugan Bay              Palawan, Philippines
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this document do not implythe expression of any opinion ...
PrefaceBalancing conflicting priorities, such as those          aspects of the assessment is that it was conducteddeemed e...
AcknowledgementsThis ecological assessment would not have been          institutions have made important contributionsposs...
Table of contentsList of acronyms       6Executive summary           71.    Introduction              9      Background to...
List of acronymsCADC             Certificate of Ancestral Domain ClaimCSI              Environment and Development in Coas...
Executive summaryThis document describes the approach,                     came from a broad range of institutions andmeth...
IntroductionThe coastal ecotone – a transitional belt linking          scientific disciplines themselves, and betweenthe t...
‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human           environmental standards. The capital city of                 Devel...
to the field project as well as otherprojects, and serves as a focus forinnovative training for the studentsand future coa...
Biophysical and                  social settings                                                                         s...
the bay’s barangays; agriculture comes a closesecond. In the mangrove areas, fisher folk harvestthe abundant shrimps, crab...
Coastal resources               assessment               Objectives                                               2. To tr...
Integrated coastal management principles are          Site selectiononly useful if they are founded on solid scientificand...
15                                                                                                   14                   ...
lengths (TL). In a 150 m line, the three TLs were                   Comparingthe first-, middle- and end-segment of the li...
particularly marked at the more protected                                                                                 ...
Of interest is the direct relationship between                                     term monitoring of growth, mortality an...
It appears that the bay, as represented by the          total bay area. Whether this figure represents anseagrasses at the...
A surprisingly high percentage of the trees wereyoung, with dbh values between 5 and 20 cm.Only one tree, a Xylocarpus gra...
recorded for seedlings was established for the         waters ranged from transparent, clear to very clearremaining specie...
Preliminary applicationof assessment to planningWhile gathering and analysing scientific data onUlugan Bay’s environment a...
Table 3.    Criteria for the determination of management optionsEcological CriteriaDiversity                              ...
Concluding remarksIn the Philippines, the last ten years have witnessed   sustainable competitive advantages in coastal an...
References &further readingALINO, P. M. 1994. Patterns in the distribution of          Palawan Island, the Philippines. Re...
ordered two-way table by classification of              SCHOOL   OF   URBAN   AND   REGIONAL PLANNING. 1997.   individuals...
Appendix IFIELD    PROJECT SUMMARYCoastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizingsust...
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan
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An ecological assessment of
Ulugan Bay
Palawan, Philippines

UNESCO, 2002.

CSI info N° 12, UNESCO, Paris, 46 pp.

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An Ecological Assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan

  1. 1. ENVIRONMENT A N D D E V E L O P M E N T I N C O A S TA L R E G I O N S A N D I N S M A L L I S L A N D S N° 12 Palawan, Philippines An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay
  2. 2. PA C I F I C OCEAN PH IL IP P IN ES Palawan I N D O N E S I AGEOATLAS® WORLD VECTOR - GRAPHI-OGRE® - France - 1997 PALAWAN Ulugan Bay PUERTO PRINCESA CITY Puerto Princesa Ulugan Bay Subterranean River National Park Rita Is. SULU SEA Puerto Princesa P U E RTO P R I N C E S A C I T Y N 0 6 12km Figure 1. Location of Ulugan Bay
  3. 3. CSI info N° 12An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay Palawan, Philippines
  4. 4. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this document do not implythe expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the UNESCO Secretariat concerning thelegal status of any country, territory, city or area or of their authorities, or concerning thedelimitation of their frontiers or boundaries. Reproduction is authorized, providing that appropriate mention is made of the source, andcopies sent to the UNESCO (Paris) address below. This document should be cited as: UNESCO, 2002. An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines. CSI info N° 12, UNESCO, Paris, 46 pp.Within the limits of stocks available, extra copies of this document can be obtained, free ofcharge, from: UNESCO Jakarta Office and Regional Bureau for Science JL. M.H. Thamrin 14 Tromolpos 1273/JKT Jakarta 10002, Indonesia fax: +62 21 315 03 82 e-mail: jakarta@unesco.orgThe ‘CSI info’ series was launched by the Organization in 1997. Information on CSI activities canbe obtained at the following address: Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI) platform UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08 e-mail: csi@unesco.org website: http://www.unesco.org/csiPhoto credits: Gillian Cambers, Stefano Fazi, Miguel FortesDesign and layout: Micheline TurnerPublished in 2002 by the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SPPrinted in UNESCO’s workshopsPlease recycle© UNESCO 2002Printed in France
  5. 5. PrefaceBalancing conflicting priorities, such as those aspects of the assessment is that it was conducteddeemed essential for improving individual and by persons representing the communities,collective livelihoods by local communities and government and non-governmental organizationsthose perceived as being in the national interest active in this part of Palawan. Not only were theseby governments, is always difficult, and never persons trained in the collection of scientific data,more so than in a beautiful and relatively pristine but also in applying the information to theisland, such as Palawan in the Philippines management of Ulugan Bay. By adoptingarchipelago, often deemed the ‘last frontier of the approaches such as this one, through all the projectPhilippines’. activities, it is anticipated that the resources of It is these very conflicts, together with a host Ulugan Bay can be utilized by existing generationsof others, which are addressed in an ongoing and those still to come.field project: ‘Coastal resources management andecotourism: an intersectoral approach to Dirk G. Troost.localizing sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Chief, CSI.Palawan, the Philippines’. This project, whichcommenced in 1996, is one of the 23intersectoral and interdisciplinary field projectsinitiated by UNESCO’s platform for ‘Environmentand Development in Coastal Regions and inSmall Islands’ (CSI).Approach and methodologyWith the added support of the UNESCO Chair inIntegrated Coastal Management for SustainableDevelopment in Coastal Regions and in SmallIslands at the University of the Philippines, andthe Internet-based discussion forum on ‘WiseCoastal Practices for Sustainable HumanDevelopment’, this project involves thecommunities and other stakeholders in thedevelopment of sustainable livelihoods for the6,000 inhabitants of Ulugan Bay. One of themajor activities focuses on the development ofecotourism, as a sustainable and locallycontrolled activity. This report documents one of the preliminaryproject activities, an ecological assessment of thebay, conducted in 1997–1998. While the results areimportant, perhaps one of the most interesting An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 3
  6. 6. AcknowledgementsThis ecological assessment would not have been institutions have made important contributionspossible without the important contributions of to this assessment.a considerable number of agencies, institutions Furthermore, we are much indebted to theand individuals. Firstly, we would like to thank local communities of Ulugan Bay (Barangaysthe Marine Science Institute of the University of Bahile, Macarascas, Buenavista, Tagabenit,the Philippines, the National Committee of Cabayugan) and the two indigenousMarine Science under the UNESCO National communities (Certificate of Ancestral DomainCommission of the Philippines, and the Puerto Claim – CADC) Cabayugan and Kayasan who,Princesa City Government, in particular through their commitment and co-operation,Mrs Melissa Macasaet, Mrs Tutu Almonte and have made this project a success.Mr Roy Magbanua from the Agriculture Office. Finally, we would like to thank the UnitedAmong the national institutions we would Nations Development Programme (UNDP), whoespecially like to thank the Palawan Council for provided financial and technical support for theSustainable Development (PCSD), the Naval activities following on from this ecologicalForces Western Command and the Coast Guard, assessment.the National Economic and Development For the preparation of this report, weAgency (NEDA), the Department of Tourism acknowledge the equal contributions of Stefano(DOT), the Department of Environment and Fazi, Miguel D. Fortes and Hans D. Thulstrup,Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department and for the editing, Gillian Cambers and Claireof National Defense (DND). All of these Blackburn.4 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  7. 7. Table of contentsList of acronyms 6Executive summary 71. Introduction 9 Background to the project 102. Biophysical and social setting 123. Coastal resources assessment 14 Objectives 14 Approach and methodology 15 Site selection 15 Parameters investigated 16 Research findings 16 Coral reefs 16 Coral fish 18 Seagrass beds 19 Seaweeds 20 Mangroves 20 Water transparency 224. Preliminary application of assessment to planning 235. Concluding remarks 256. References and further reading 26AppendicesAppendix I Field project summary 28Appendix II UNESCO chair summary 31Appendix III Contributions from the Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum relating to Ulugan Bay and the Philippines 35Appendix IV Fish data 39Appendix V Seagrass data 41Appendix VI Seaweed data 42Appendix VII Mangrove data 44 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 5
  8. 8. List of acronymsCADC Certificate of Ancestral Domain ClaimCSI Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small IslandsCS-ESP College of Science – Environmental Science Programdbh (mangrove) diameter at breast heightDENR Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesDND Department of National DefenseDOT Department of TourismELAC Environmental Legal Assistance CenterESCAP United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificEU European UnionGPS Geographical Positioning SystemICM Integrated coastal managementLCC Live coral coverLIT Line intercept transect methodMAB Man and the Biosphere ProgrammeNEDA National Economic and Development AgencyNGO Non-governmental organizationPCG Philippine Coast GuardPCSD Palawan Council for Sustainable DevelopmentSD Standard deviationSSI Sorensen’s Similarity IndexTL Transect lengthsUNDP United Nations Development ProgrammeUNEP United Nations Environment ProgrammeUNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationURL Uniform Resource LocatorWiCoP Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development (forum)6 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  9. 9. Executive summaryThis document describes the approach, came from a broad range of institutions andmethodology, results and application of an organizations including the local government,ecological resource assessment at Ulugan Bay, provincial institutions, the national park, thePalawan, the Philippines. This assessment was Navy, and other non-governmental organizations.conducted as one of the activities of a field The assessment had two main objectives, toproject which is part of a global initiative of provide input to a fisheries and biodiversityUNESCO’s ‘Environment and Development in database and to train participants in dataCoastal Regions and in Small Islands’ platform. collection and the application of the scientific Ulugan Bay was selected because of its unique information to resource management andcombination of environmental, social and planning. A training course was held for thelocational aspects as well as its future potential role participants prior to the data collection. After theas a major site for ecotourism. Home to 15% of the data collection, analysis and application, theremangrove forests of the Philippines, and an was a post-assessment briefing and evaluation ofimportant site for coral reefs and seagrass beds, the the entire exercise.area has extensive natural, biological and During 1997–1998, data were collected oneconomic value. Furthermore, its location adjacent coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, fish,to the famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River seaweeds and water quality. These data areNational Park and World Heritage Site, and its presented and discussed in this report. Keyadditional function as an important natural criteria were used to establish the current statusharbour for the Armed Forces, make it a place of of the ecological resources and environmentalgreat significance to a wide range of interests. conditions of Ulugan Bay. The resource assessment was preceded by Such ecological assessments, particularly whenconsultations with officials from the five they involve a broad range of participants such as Mouth of Oystercommunities (barangays) surrounding the bay, so at Ulugan Bay, represent an important part of the Bay, viewedas to formalize the role of the local community in process necessary to achieve comprehensive from thethe process. Persons involved in the assessment coastal planning and sustainable development. northeast An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 7
  10. 10. IntroductionThe coastal ecotone – a transitional belt linking scientific disciplines themselves, and betweenthe terrestrial and marine environments – is science and the challenges of the real world thatextremely complex and requires interdisciplinary face coastal managers and the people who maketeamwork for understanding and management. their homes in coastal cities and on small islands.For truly integrated coastal management to take A series of field projects initiated around theeffect, co-operation across academic disciplines globe seek to establish examples showcasing thefrom the natural, social and human sciences is positive impacts of wise practices in sustainableneeded, coupled with political, public and private coastal management. To date, over 20sector participation. intersectoral field projects have been established UNESCO’s platform for Environment and in 60 countries, involving all sectors of society.Development in Coastal Regions and in Small From initial, integrated entry-points, theseIslands (CSI) was initiated to help foster such projects expand to encompass other related issuessynergy. UNESCO’s broad and essentially and further broaden their scope. This strategyintellectual mandate as the United Nations allows project partners to learn how intersectoralspecialized agency for education, science, culture co-operation is best put into practice, therebyand communication places the Organization in enhancing the strength and quality of responsean ideal position to take the lead in bringing to coastal and small island issues.together the various agencies and institutions University chairs in sustainable coastalwith potential bearing on sustainable coastal development and university twinning networksdevelopment. Launched in 1996, CSI’s approach are being established at educational institutionsis intersectoral and interdisciplinary and employs worldwide to support the pilot projects and to three main modalities: field foster new interdisciplinary ways of thinking and projects, university acting. They provide training and capacity chairs/twinning and a building for environmentally sustainable, socially web-based discussion equitable, culturally appropriate and forum on wise practices. economically sound development in coastal The initiative attempts regions and in small islands. to build bridges An Internet-based between the discussion forum on An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 9
  11. 11. ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human environmental standards. The capital city of Development’ (WiCoP forum) seeks to widen the Puerto Princesa has for a number of years been framework of participation and expose the known as the ‘cleanest and greenest city in the findings on wise coastal practices, obtained from Philippines’. Palawan is home to two UNESCO the field projects and university chairs, to a much World Heritage Natural Sites: Tubbataha Reef wider audience. Marine National Park, one of the most species- Linking the various knowledge systems to diverse coral reefs in existence; and the Puerto management is a major component of the CSI Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which platform. It is planned to achieve this through lies directly northeast of Ulugan Bay, and centres the elaboration of wise practices, guidelines and on the Saint Paul Mountain Range, a spectacular principles, and ethical codes of practice for limestone region, through which flows the specific domains, thereby promoting the longest underground river in the world, the Saint equitable sharing of coastal resources – which will Paul. This river passes through eight kilometres of provide a basis on which societies in small islands diverse cave formations before entering the sea. and coastal regions can further develop their own Considering this background, it is perhaps not agendas for sustainable living in a world surprising that Palawan as a whole, and in undergoing globalization. particular the provincial capital Puerto Princesa, has chosen to focus on tourism as a cornerstone of the provincial economy. Tourism centres to an Background to the project overwhelming extent on the coastal zone. Some areas in northern Palawan such as El Nido and This document presents and examines in detail an Coron are already well-established names in the ecological assessment carried out in 1997–1998 at tourism industry. Exploring the development of Ulugan Bay in Palawan, the Philippines. Ulugan environmentally sound and sustainable tourism Bay is one of three CSI field project sites in has become a key issue for Palawan, in the hope southeast Asia, the others being Jakarta Bay in that the less fortunate development experiences Indonesia and the Surin Islands in Thailand. elsewhere in the country and the southeast Asian Often deemed the Philippines’ ‘last frontier’, region may be avoided. Among the key concerns Palawan is home to a natural splendour rarely is the development of a tourism industry that found elsewhere in the Philippines. The entire benefits, and takes place on the terms of, the Underwater province has, since 1992, been classified as a local population. scenario UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a reflection of the In recognition of this, the CSI platform at thein Ulugan Bay Philippine Government’s recognition of the UNESCO Jakarta Office began to elaborate, in island’s unique environment. The 1996, a framework for activities targeting the Palawan Council for management of coastal resources and the Sustainable Development development of sustainable tourism at Ulugan was set up under the Bay. A field project entitled ‘Coastal resources direct authority of management and ecotourism: an intersectoral the President of approach to localizing sustainable development, the Republic to Ulugan Bay, Palawan, the Philippines’ was started guide the in 1996 (see Appendix I for the project development summary). Then in 1998, a UNESCO Chair in of the ‘Integrated Coastal Management for Sustainable province in Development in Coastal Regions and in Small accordance Islands’ was initiated at the University of the with the Philippines and formally established in 2000. The highest chair provides interdisciplinary research support 10 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  12. 12. to the field project as well as otherprojects, and serves as a focus forinnovative training for the studentsand future coastal managers (seeAppendix II for a summary of thechair activities). Ways in which the field projectand university chair activities have View of Uluganinterlinked are discussed in the WiCoP forum, A special section of the meeting focused on the Bay from thewhere ideas are exposed to a wider international island of Palawan. observationaudience. Appendix III contains extracts of three • The St. Paul World Heritage Nomination tower on Rita Islandcontributions to the forum, one dealing with the Forum and Workshop, held 4–5 Decemberlinkage between research and training at Ulugan 1997 at Puerto Princesa City, with theBay, another with illegal logging and tourism objective of assisting the Government of theoperations in Palawan, and a third with the Philippines in ensuring the successfulproblems caused by migrant fishers in Ulugan Bay. re-nomination of the St. Paul River and its Ulugan Bay was selected as the project site surroundings as a World Natural Heritage site.because of its unique environmental, social and The workshop was supported financially bylocational features as well as for its potential as a the World Heritage Centre.major ecotourism destination in the coming • Coastal Resources Assessment (discussed inyears. Several events have taken place under the this document) meeting, held in June 1998CSI umbrella of activities in and around Ulugan at Puerto Princesa City and Ulugan Bay.Bay since 1996. Key among these are: Associated with the assessment, several other events were organized, principal among these• A Strategic Planning Workshop for the the Advanced Training Course for Coastal Stakeholders of the Ulugan Bay Area, Palawan, Zones Assessment and Zonation, held 8–12 the Philippines, 27–29 November 1996. The December 1997. workshop was held at the Palawan State • A Participatory Rural Appraisal Training University, sponsored by the Palawan Council Course organized in December 1998 by for Sustainable Development and the UNESCO in co-operation with the City UNESCO Jakarta Office, and attended by 36 Government of Puerto Princesa and the stakeholders from the Ulugan Bay area. Tambuyog Development Centre.• A series of local consultations among the communities of Ulugan Bay, focusing on Following these activities, fieldwork started in identification of alternative income- January 1999 on the UNESCO-UNDP project generating activities. These were conducted Coastal Resources Management and Sustainable over the course of several field visits by Tourism. This project seeks to assist the City of UNESCO staff during 1997 and 1998. Puerto Princesa and its sister authorities in• UNESCO and the United Nations ensuring the ecologically sound, economically Development Programme (UNDP) organized sustainable development of Ulugan Bay. a national symposium on Sustainable Tourism The flow of consecutive activities building and Coastal Management for the 21st upon one another illustrates the key field project Century, 2–3 December 1997. This objective of developing tangible frameworks for scientifically-based discussion focused on the collaborative action among sectors, agencies and role of ecotourism in sustainable coastal stakeholder groups. development and in biodiversity and cultural diversity conservation in the Philippines. An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 11
  13. 13. Biophysical and social settings small rivers drain Ulugan Bay’s catchment area. Palawan experiences a tropical/monsoon climate. It is subject to the influence of tropical depressions but only occasionally experiences typhoons, the northern area being the most prone. However, in December 1998, after the Aerial view of resource assessment exercise was conducted, the Ulugan Bay Ulugan Bay covers an area of approximately most severe typhoon in memory struck theand Rita Island 71 km , and is located slightly north of the 2 Ulugan Bay area, causing extensive damage to the geographical centre of the 450 km-long island of forests and coral reefs, including those off the Palawan, the main land mass of the westernmost coast at Sabang. province of the Philippines. Palawan lies between In terms of floral and faunal regimes, the the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea, and is island of Palawan resembles its giant neighbour orientated in a northeast-southwesterly direction, to the south, Borneo, more than it does the other surrounded by more than a thousand smaller main islands of the Philippines. Ulugan Bay islands and islets (see Figure 1 on inside front claims international recognition for its natural cover). environment. Home to an estimated 50% of the Ulugan Bay itself can be visualized as a deep province’s mangrove forests and to 15% of the indentation in Palawan’s fairly straight South total mangrove cover of the Philippines, the bay’s China Sea coastline. The southern tip of Ulugan mangrove resources alone merit global attention. Bay marks the narrowest point of the island. However, Ulugan Bay also harbours extensive The area around the bay is flat, consisting of seagrass beds and coral reefs, as well as abundant alluvial material, sandstone and shale. The fish and other marine fauna. coastal plain does not extend more than a few Five rural communities – ‘barangays’ in kilometres inland before rising steeply to form Philippine administrative terminology – surround a rugged hinterland. In the lowland areas, the Ulugan Bay. Proceeding clockwise from the forest cover has been largely cleared for northeastern tip of the bay, the communities are agriculture and settlement; however, the mid to Cabayugan, Tagabenit, Buenavista, Macarascas, upper slopes still retain extensive areas of and Bahile. Fishing is the main livelihood of the secondary and primary forest. Eleven relatively approximately 6,000 inhabitants of the villages in 12 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  14. 14. the bay’s barangays; agriculture comes a closesecond. In the mangrove areas, fisher folk harvestthe abundant shrimps, crabs, oysters and othershellfish, while the coral reefs and deeper watersare home to a wide range of commerciallyvaluable fish species. A survey conducted in 1998 by the CoastalEnvironment Program of the Department ofEnvironment and Natural Resources (DENR)shows that agricultural land in Ulugan Bayproduces rice, coconuts, cashews, peanuts, cornand a variety of fruit and vegetables. Particularlyfor the inhabitants of Cabayugan, tourism isgrowing in importance as an alternative source of Traditionalincome. This barangay is close to the best-known means oftourist attraction of Palawan, the Puerto Princesa military circles, and with the emphasis on the transportationSubterranean River National Park, and includes role of ecological balance being in the best of the localthe township of Sabang, also experiencing its interest of Filipinos, there might be hope for a and indigenoustourism development. functional co-existence among all the communities Population growth in Ulugan Bay is stakeholders in the bay, including the military.significant to the extent that, over the next To the fisher folk of Palawan, Ulugan Bay andtwelve years, the population is expected to its surrounding waters represent a fishing groundincrease by as much as 60%. While fishing and and nursery of unequalled significance and, toagriculture provide a steady income for most some, a place to secure a quick profit.inhabitants, social problems and hardships do To the tourist, Ulugan Bay is neighbour to theexist. In a recent survey, 388 children in Ulugan Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park,Bay were found to be suffering from the primary tourist attraction of Palawan and amalnourishment (Rivera-Guieb, 1999). World Heritage Site. It is an unexplored wilderness Due to its strategic location, its wealth of of pristine mangroves and corals, hidden andresources and its natural beauty, Ulugan Bay is a secluded beaches, and coves. It is a place theplace of great significance to a very wide range of passing traveller can view in wonder, at a distance,interests. To each interest group, indeed to each on their way to other established touristindividual, the bay signifies something distinct destinations. To conservationists and eco-tourists,and personal. Ulugan Bay is a site of spectacular scenery and For the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the home to the best-preserved mangrove forests ofbay is a point of extreme strategic importance in the Philippines, as well as to a magnificent varietyterms of national security. In military terms, of coral reefs, seagrasses, fish and water birds.Ulugan Bay is the only significant indentation on But most important of all, to its some 6,000Palawan’s South China Sea coastline, and is inhabitants, Ulugan Bay is home. Let us reiteratewithin easy reach of the often-disputed Spratly here a key point – the sustainable livelihood ofIslands group. Oyster Bay, a bay within Ulugan the local population remains the focus of theBay, offers a near-perfect natural harbour for project’s activities in Ulugan Bay.military purposes. At the moment, to theconsternation of the coastal inhabitants, there isa proposal that the bay become home to a navalbase. However, with a more comprehensivedefinition of ‘national security’ now prevailing in An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 13
  15. 15. Coastal resources assessment Objectives 2. To train participants in the identification, quantification and documentation of the In June 1998, a series of coastal resources ecological resources of Ulugan Bay and in the assessment exercises were carried out in Ulugan Bay application of this information to resource and Puerto Princesa City. The assessments were management. Through the application of conducted by the National Committee on Marine ecological data to socio-economic and Sciences of the UNESCO National Commission of management issues, participants were able to the Philippines, with support from the UNESCO develop their understanding of integrated Jakarta Office. Participants came from a broad coastal planning for sustainable tourism and range of institutions and organizations active in the enhancement of living standards. Ulugan Bay and Puerto Princesa, and included staff from the Puerto Princesa City Government, the The following analysis and discussion Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, demonstrates the value of a scientific and the Philippine Navy Western Command, and the ecological assessment of coastal resources, not Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, as only with a view to obtaining ecological data in well as local, national and international non- itself, but also for the transfer of technology and governmental organizations (NGOs). The skills when such an exercise is conducted in assessment had two primary objectives: a participatory manner. The exercise provides a ‘rapid ecological assessment’ of the bay and, 1. To provide input for the development of a fisheries while not representing a complete and rigorous and biodiversity database on the coral reef, analysis, can nevertheless be used in seagrass and mangrove resources of Ulugan Bay initial planning and management and the related fisheries and seaweed resources. of the bay’s The database was envisioned as a tool for use resources. in the elaboration of a model for sustainable coastal resource management, a key objective of the UNESCO-UNDP project currently under way in the bay.Ulugan Bay:View of Rita Island 14 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  16. 16. Integrated coastal management principles are Site selectiononly useful if they are founded on solid scientificand socio-cultural grounds. This foundation, in The assessment study started with the selection ofturn, is attainable only through scientific the study sites from satellite images provided by aacquisition of relevant data, their effective recent United Nations Economic and Socialdissemination, and eventual validation and use in Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)/the management decision-making process. In the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)Philippines, the failure of a number of project. Sites were selected based on theirmanagement systems has been traced in large representation of the prevailing coastal andpart to the inability of implementers to realize underwater conditions of the bay and its vicinity,and apply these basic principles of research and and the likelihood of reliable results.development. Hence, assessment and In addition to the focus on habitat types, thedocumentation of the coastal and marine selection of specific sites considered a number ofresources of Ulugan Bay are essential for future criteria conventionally applied for thedevelopment activities. determination of protected areas, as follows:Approach and methodology • ecological importance: the strategic location of the site, its function as a source of larvae orThe coastal assessment activities were preceded propagules for downstream areas, its functionby consultations with officials from the five as a nursery or spawning ground, the varietybarangays surrounding the bay. This process was of its habitats, and the presence of rare ornecessary to ensure that the local government endangered species;and communities were informed of the nature • state of naturalness: considering the degree ofand objectives of the exercise. Furthermore, it protection of the site from the influence ofhelped to formalize the role of the local man’s activities;community in the process. Participants at these • economic importance: the site’s existing andintroductory sessions were invited to air any potential contribution to the economic well-reservations and concerns they felt about the being of the local communities;activity, and agreements were reached on • social importance: the site’s existing anda number of critical issues. potential significance for the local, national Following the local community consultations, and international community due to itsa pre-assessment briefing was held to ensure that all heritage, historical, cultural, traditional,materials and theoretical requirements for the aesthetic, educational, or recreationalexercise were prepared and in place. qualities; The Advanced Training Course for Coastal • scientific importance: the value of the site forZones Assessment and Zonation was held in research, education and monitoring;December 1997, with the objective of training • practicality and feasibility: the site’s social andparticipants in the fundamentals of ecological political acceptability as a research location,assessment. The training course included both the extent of community support, accessibilitytheoretical and practical elements. for tourism and recreation, compatibility with During 1998 the assessment was conducted. existing uses and management practices, easeA post-assessment briefing was held, during of management.which a preliminary review and evaluation of theentire activity was carried out and prepared for The study sites and associated communities areinclusion in the activity reports. This shown in Figure 2 and Table 1 on the next page.organization of activities ensured the fullco-operation and commitment of all parties. An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 15
  17. 17. 15 14 N Table 1. The 15 study sites in Ulugan Bay and their associated habitats and communities ( = surveyed) Mangrove Coral reef Coral fish Seagrass Seaweed C A BAYU G AN Manaburi 1 Manaburi, Cove (site 1) 2 12-13 e ag TAG A B E NI T Rita-Manaburi (site 2) ss Rita Is. 11 Pa 3 Tarunayan (site 3) Y BA n Oyster Bay (site 4) wa N Tarunayan GA la 4 Oyster Bay 9-10 Kayulo (site 5) LU Pa B U E NAVI S TA U Umalagan I (site 6) Umalagan II (site 7) 8 Kayulo 5 Bulalakaw (site 8 ) BAH ILE Buenavista I (site 9) 6-7 Buenavista II (site 10) Tagabenit (site 11) MAC AR ASC AS Tagnipa I (site 12 ) Tagnipa II (site 13 )Figure 2. Location of the study sites in Ulugan Bay Sabang (site 14) Saint Paul Bay (site 15) Parameters investigated Bay was made using a Secchi disc and a Geographical Positioning System (GPS). The Based on the criteria above, a series of ecological results of these assessments are discussed in the field assessments were performed with reference following sections. to the following focus areas: coral reefs, coral fish, seagrass beds, seaweeds, mangrove forests, seaweeds and water transparency. Habitats were Research findings assessed for their species composition, abundance, and intensity of environmental and Coral reefs human impacts. The status of coral reefs was In the assessment of coral reefs, the line intercept measured based on the cover of six life form transect (LIT) method was used (English et al., categories at seven sites, or stations. In the case of 1994) to assess the sessile benthic community of seagrasses, the abundance of the eight species the coral reefs. Along 150 m transect lines laid at present in the bay was determined at five stations the 5 m isobath, the community was in terms of density and frequency. The mangrove characterized using six life-form categories communities were assessed at ten sampling (Acropora, hard coral, soft coral, dead coral, stations through measurement of frequency, macroalgae, other) to provide a morphological diameter at breast height (dbh), number of cut description of the reef. Divers swam along lines and dead trees, and number of seedlings and placed roughly parallel to the reef crest at the saplings. A water transparency profile of Ulugan desired depths along three 33.33 m transect 16 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  18. 18. lengths (TL). In a 150 m line, the three TLs were Comparingthe first-, middle- and end-segment of the line. the various sites,For future monitoring, the location of each site healthy coralwas recorded and marked on the reef with a communitiespermanent metal mark. A team of at least three were relativelypersonnel was required – two divers and a person more abundant atin the boat. All observers were familiar with the the stations ofdefinitions of each life-form and they spent Buenavista, Bulalakaw30–45 minutes in the water at the beginning of and St. Paul. Ateach field trip, comparing and standardizing their St. Paul, non-Acropora wasinterpretations of the various life-forms. particularly prevalent. InTable 2 shows the percentage cover of the six life- contrast, dead coral dominatedforms and two other categories (silt and sand) at at Oyster Bay. A general trend wasthe seven sites. noticeable in that the branching or digitate Live Acropora and non-Acropora represent on forms of coral were relatively more abundant Assessment ofaverage 42%, dead corals cover 21% of the reef, than the massive or submassive forms at the coral reefswhile soft corals were the least dominant group. cleaner or more exposed sites such as Buenavista, using the lineSand, silt and rocks cover on average 19%. Bulalakaw, Sabang, St. Paul and Rita-Manaburi. intercept transect methodTable 2. Percentage benthic cover at the study sites SITE 2 SITE 4 SITE 6 SITE 8 SITE 9 SITE 14 SITE 15 Rita-Manaburi Oyster Bay Umalagan I Bulalakaw Buenavista I Sabang St. Paul BayLive Acropora 13.4 8.8 4.4 40.3 34.4 14.0 39.6 Branching 5.3 8.2 4.3 8.9 4.4 1.4 20.4 Digitate 1.1 - 0.1 2.5 16.3 0.4 2.2 Encrusting 0.6 0.5 - - - - 0.1 Submassive 0.3 0.1 - 2.2 - - Tabulate 6.1 - 26.7 13.7 12.2 16.9Dead Acropora - 8.1 0.8 3.8 1.1 0.6 - Branching - 8.0 0.8 2.6 - - Tabulate - 0.1 - 1.2 1.1 0.6 -Live Non-Acropora 16.9 10.2 21.9 14.1 11.4 15.9 46.0 Branching 0.6 - 1.2 0.1 1.2 1.9 3.8 Digitate - - 0.3 0.1 - - 0.1 Encrusting 10.8 - 0.0 5.3 4.1 5.3 3.3 Foliose 0.7 - 0.2 0.5 0.8 0.2 22.6 Massive 2.8 8.4 6.3 5.2 2.9 5.3 7.1 Submassive 2.0 1.8 12.9 0.7 1.2 1.5 8.9 Mushroom - - 0.1 2.2 1.2 1.7 0.2 Heliopora - - 0.5 - - - - Millepora - - 0.4 - - - -Dead Non-Acropora 18.4 28.9 18.0 23.6 17.4 19.5 6.0Soft coral 1.1 - 0.5 1.7 12.5 10.7 3.4Others: sponges, zoanthids 0.1 5.7 4.2 1.3 1.1 0.8Algal assemblage 4.0 8.1 6.2 3.9 2.8 15.7 2.9Seagrass, Halophila - 2.5 3.1 - - - -Abiotic 45.5 27.7 22.1 3.1 15.9 18.2 2.0 Sand 45.5 10.2 22.1 3.1 15.9 18.2 2.0 Silt - 17.5 - - - - -Live coral cover (LCC) (%) 30.3 19.0 26.3 54.4 45.8 29.9 85.6LCC index fair poor fair good fair fair excellent An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 17
  19. 19. particularly marked at the more protected stations of Oyster Bay and Umalagan, where soft coral forms were all but absent. Coral fish Coral reef fish populations were assessed by visual census along 150 m transects during daylight hours using SCUBA in conjunction with the Line 100 Intercept Transect (LIT) for corals. Fish counts were made every 5 m along the line with a width Live coral cover (%) 80 of 10 m. All fish present within the belt transect were identified, counted and their standard 60 lengths estimated (in cm). Juvenile fish were also 40 monitored using the same method but with a narrower width of 2 m to facilitate observation. 20 Where applicable, the diversity index 0 (Shannon-Wiener Index – Hs) was determined 1.5 2 2.5 and the community similarity was estimated F i s h co m m u n i t y eve n n e s s (Sorensen’s Similarity Index – SSI) (Zar, 1984). A total of 3,000 individual fish were recorded at six transect sites. They represented 63 species,Figure 3. Direct relationship between live coral cover and 35 of which are of commercial value (see Table A,biodiversity of the fish community Appendix IV, for further details on fish data). Of the 25 families recorded, Labridae, Pomacentridae This contrasted sharply with the more protected and Chaetodontidae were represented by the stations, such as Oyster Bay and Umalagan, highest number of species with 10, 9 and 8 where the more massive/submassive forms respectively. This result is consistent with similar dominated. studies undertaken elsewhere in the Philippines This observation is consistent with the general (Alino, 1994; Nanola et al., 1994). statement that the larger surface area in branching In Sabang and Rita-Manaburi, the fish corals is an adaptive mechanism designed to help community shows the highest similarity (see the coral cope with the lower level of nutrients and Table B, Appendix IV) and presents the highest the stress imposed by crowding and shading from number of species (29) and low diversity (Hs = neighbouring coral species at the more exposed 1.6–1.7). Evenness values were significantly sites. Correspondingly, massive corals are better reduced by the dominance of a few species adapted to more protected, silted environments. (Sabang: Abudefduf sp., Rita-Manaburi: Pterocaesio In extending these arguments, it is often stated that diagramma and Pomacentrus sp.). the relative proportion of these two main coral Offered the highest degree of protection from forms – branching and massive – at a given site can waves and wind of all sampling sites, and located be seen as an indicator of the site’s degree of adjacent to thick mangrove vegetation, Umalagan disturbance or siltation. had the lowest number of fish individuals and the On the whole, the corals of Ulugan Bay are at weakest association with the other sites. However, a relatively late stage in the succession process, some similarities were noted with neighbouring rather than a transitional phase. This was Bulalakaw – similarity index of 56% (see Table B, indicated by observations such as the Appendix IV). Rita-Manaburi had the overall preponderance of hard corals in contrast to the highest species diversity with 34 recorded species, relatively low abundance of soft forms, and was and also the highest number of individuals: 1,028. 18 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  20. 20. Of interest is the direct relationship between term monitoring of growth, mortality andfish community evenness and live coral cover recruitment (Gittings et al., 1990). Monitoring of(see Figure 3). These results emphasize the strong seagrass over time using observation anddependence of the fish community on the photography can also be a useful technique forbenthic sessile community. detecting sediment smothering (Rogers, 1990). The results of the surveys at the five seagrassSeagrass beds stations demonstrated that seagrass speciesData on seagrasses were collected inside 50 x 50 cm dominance in the bay is highly site-specific. Thequadrats placed at regular intervals along selected highest overall density was recorded for Haloduletransects, perpendicular to the shore. The transects pinifolia at Buenavista, with 876 individuals per m2.represented prevailing gradients in water depth, Details of species preponderance and density aresubstrate, and exposure to wind and waves. The provided in Figure 4 below and in Table C,structure of the plant communities was assessed in Appendix V.terms of their composition, abundance, and status Among the five most dominant species inin relation to prevailing habitat conditions. In Ulugan Bay, the following sequence of decreasingaddition to % frequency and cover, density – the ecological abundance (with values expressed innumber of shoots per unit area, a more reliable relative density) was established:index of abundance in discrete communities – wasalso used. Because of the inherent heterogeneity in 1. Enhalus acoroides (up to 82.8 %)the morphology of the species, frequency and/or 2. Halodule uninervis (up to 53.2 %)density rating were used in the case of species with 3. Cymodocea serrulata (up to 46.5 %)discrete habits (e.g. can be counted individually). 4. Halodule pinifolia (up to 43.3 %) A series of photographs were taken periodically 5. Cymodocea rotundata (up to 37.2 %)of representative quadrats using aNikonos V underwater camera. The Figure 4. Relative seagrass density per m2 at the study sitesphotographs not only allow speedy 90collection of data in the field, but EA 80also provide a permanent record ofthe quadrat, which is useful for long 70 Relative density (%) 60 HU Seagrass 50 EA survey in HP HU CS 40shallow coastal CR HU waters 30 SI 20 TH HP HO CR TH 10 HU CS CS EA TH 0 Buenavista Manaburi Oyster Bay Tarunayan Umalagan Stu d y s i te Cymodocea rotundata (CR) Cymodocea serrulata (CS) Enhalus acoroides (EA) Halophila ovalis (HO) Halodule pinifolia (HP) Halodule uninervis (HU) Syringodium isoetifolium (SI) Thalassia hemprichii (TH) An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 19
  21. 21. It appears that the bay, as represented by the total bay area. Whether this figure represents anseagrasses at the five stations, is characterized by improvement in the cover after two years, or isvarying stages of ecological development. In turn, simply a function of different data collectionthese stages represent the varying degrees of methods, is an important subject for furtherperturbation the stations are exposed to, whether study. It should be noted, however, that thenatural or man-made. Seagrass vegetation figure used in the present study was obtainedproceeds from apparently more stable, highly from the latest satellite imagery, while the 1996diverse, mixed seagrass communities at figure was the result of an approximation.Buenavista and Manaburi to the stable but lessdiverse, climax vascular vegetation found at SeaweedsUmalagan (Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia Seaweed communities at the study sites were closelyhemprichii) and Oyster Bay (Cymodocea serrulata, associated with seagrasses and coral reefs, i.e. wereHalodule uninervis and Halophila ovalis), to less recorded along transects where these habitats werestable, similarly low diversity pioneering surveyed. Thirteen different species of seaweed werevegetation at Tarunayan (Halodule uninervis). found at the seagrass sites and eight species were As referred to in the section on coral reefs, recorded at the coral reef sites (see Table D,Umalagan and Oyster Bay represent deep Appendix VI). It should be noted that the seaweedindentations in the bay and as such are protected data may be incomplete, as seaweeds have differentfrom wave action and are characteristically requirements when compared to seagrasses, coralmuddy. In contrast, Tarunayan, Buenavista and reefs and mangroves. Of the seaweeds recorded inManaburi are more frequently exposed to wave the bay, a number have significant economicaction, hence have coarser sediments. The potential and are used as food and for medicinalpioneering and ecologically sensitive Halophila purposes (see Table E, Appendix VI).ovalis was observed in high density but only atone location, Oyster Bay. Mangroves In terms of diversity, the highest number of The mangroves were assessed at twelve samplingspecies observed at any one location was seen at sites located in the most representative mangroveBuenavista, where seven species were recorded areas of the bay. Five 500 m2 quadrats were(of the bay’s eight species, only Halophila ovalis established randomly at each site. Within eachwas absent). For details of individual species at quadrat, data on the following parameters werethe sampling stations see Figure 4. It is interesting collected: number of trees per species, diameter atto note that the distribution of seagrasses among breast height (dbh), number of cut and dead treesthe sites follows a pattern such that more and number of seedlings and saplings.protected sites have fewer species. However, as The ten dominant tree species are listedcan be seen in Table C, Appendix V, the relative below, ranked in order of decreasing densityfrequencies of these are correspondingly higher. (average number of trees per 500 m2):Similarly, more exposed sites featured morespecies with overall lower frequencies. This 1. Rhizophora apiculata (47.2)observation demonstrates the classic inverse 2. Rhizophora mucronata (17.5)relationship between diversity and dominance, 3. Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (11.9)the latter expressed in relative density. 4. Aegiceras floridum (3.2) The total area within the bay covered by coral 5. Xylocarpus granatum (2.1)reefs and seagrasses is 12.4 km2, based on an 6. Sonneratia alba (1.8)analysis of the satellite imagery employed in the 7. Unidentified (0.3)assessment exercise. This figure is 24% higher 8. Bruguiera cylindrical (0.2)than has been previously reported (Walters, 9. Ceriops tagal (0.2)1996), and represents a coverage of 18% of the 10. Xylocarpus moluccencis (0.1)20 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  22. 22. A surprisingly high percentage of the trees wereyoung, with dbh values between 5 and 20 cm.Only one tree, a Xylocarpus granatum recordedat Sabang, had a dbh value of over 70 cm. Infact, it was only at Sabang that the mangrovetrees were relatively evenly distributed in termsof dbh values. At the other locations, thedistribution of trees was skewed towards thenarrower, younger categories (see Table F,Appendix VII). These findings show a predominantly youngmangrove vegetation, which could indicate thatthe community is not at a stable stage and/or isrecovering from a perturbation (i.e. harvesting).Over-harvesting results in the Measuring thetrees not attaining long lives diameter atand substantial growth. The breast heightdistribution of trees belonging of a mangroveto various dbh classes variedbetween the samplingstations, and even betweenlocalities within each station.At stations in close proximityto human habitation, such asBulalakaw, Buenavista,Tagnipa and Tagabenit, the Line transectmangrove tree populations through mangroveswere notably younger thanaverage. In combination withphysical evidence of cut trees(see below), this indicates that trees are cut for The abundance values of the seedlings reflectlocal household use. the degree of potential for recruitment of the trees In contrast, at stations further removed from and hence, their rate of colonization or re-human settlements (such as Kayulo and colonization of a given area. In Ulugan Bay,Umalagan) or at stations under protection seedling populations were assessed at all locations,regimes (such as Oyster Bay and Sabang), trees revealing Bruguiera gymnorrhiza to have the mosthad in general attained bigger trunk diameters abundant seedlings with an average density ofand greater heights. At all sites, trees were 78.2 individuals/500 m2. The other species havegenerally younger at the frontal mangrove zones the following density: Rhizophora apiculata (53.6),closer to the water body. Rhizophora mucronata (45.1), Aegiceras floridum That the Ulugan Bay mangrove populations (12.6) and Sonneratia alba (10.0).are dominated by recruitment over-harvesting Saplings are somewhat older than seedlings,was supported by the assessment of cut and dead indicating their ability to survive the prevailingtrees. Overall, cut and dead trees occur more conditions for a period of 1–3 years after thefrequently and abundantly among the younger seedling stage. Again, Bruguiera gymnorrhizatrees, although cut trees were observed among all exhibited the highest total abundance at 60.8dbh categories (see Table G, Appendix VII). individuals/500 m2. A ranking similar to that An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 21
  23. 23. recorded for seedlings was established for the waters ranged from transparent, clear to very clearremaining species. The results show that the ratio (disk readings greater than 10 m). These wereof seedlings to saplings is generally slightly lower noted predominantly at the more open, northernthan 1. This shows that during the period of half and middle portions of the deeper part of thestudy, recruitment is greater than mortality in the bay. On the other hand, relatively turbid watersoverall development of the mangrove system. (depth readings less than 10 m) were noted at the eastern, exposed sides of Rita Island and theWater transparency southern and eastern bay margins. Consistently,Water transparency analysis was carried out at the the more turbid areas with depth readings lesssampling sites using a Secchi disk. In general, than 5 m were found at the mouths of the riversUlugan Bay waters are clear throughout the year, inside Tarunayan and Oyster Bay, in small coveswith mean readings of 11.4 m (±6.58 SD). From along the southwestern half of the bay and inthe isolines (sampling points with similar depths), shallow areas along the southeastern sections.22 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  24. 24. Preliminary applicationof assessment to planningWhile gathering and analysing scientific data onUlugan Bay’s environment and natural resourcesconstituted a significant part of the assessmentexercise, equally important was thedemonstration of the practical applications ofscientific analyses for integrated coastalmanagement. Using the data collected during theassessment, participants discussed criteria toestablish the current status of the coastalresources and environmental conditions inUlugan Bay. The criteria adopted were based onspecific management objectives and the naturalcharacteristics of the sites (see Table 3 on nextpage). These criteria provide a good example of Assessmentthe type of categories that need to be considered pristine old-growth condition of Tagnipa’s briefings ofin the preparation of an integrated management mangroves). This assessment was achieved staffplan. However, establishing a set of criteria is very through weighting of ecological and economicsite- and circumstance-specific. For this reason, criteria, since the local population had identifiedthe criteria established in Ulugan Bay might not ecological and economic concerns as the mostbe directly applicable in a different setting. immediate issues in Ulugan Bay at the pre- As an example, the Ulugan Bay assessment assessment hearings. However, in contrast, whenindicated the prime importance and urgent need pragmatic criteria, rather than thefor protection of Sabang (due primarily to its ecological/economic criteria, were consideredpristine mangroves) and to Bulalakaw and paramount, Tagnipa and Oyster Bay were ofTagnipa (due to the undisturbed condition of prime importance and in most urgent need ofBulalakaw’s highly diverse coral communities in protection.the south-eastern corner of the bay, and the An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 23
  25. 25. Table 3. Criteria for the determination of management optionsEcological CriteriaDiversity UniquenessThe variety or richness of ecosystems, habitats, com- Whether an area is ‘one of a kind’. Habitats ofmunities and species. Areas having the greatest vari- endangered species occurring in only one area areety are rated the highest. Note that this criterion an example. To keep negative tourism impacts to adoes not apply to pioneer or climax communities or minimum, tourism may be prohibited whileto areas subject to disruptive forces, such as shores allowing for limited research and educationalexposed to high-energy wave action. activities. Unique sites should always have highNaturalness ratings.The absence of disturbance or degradation. IntegrityDegraded systems have little value to fisheries and The degree to which the area is a functional unit,tourism and make only marginal biological contri- that is, an effective self-sustaining ecological unit.butions. In contrast, if restoration of degraded habi- The more ecologically self-contained an area is,tats is a priority, degraded systems score high marks. the more likely its values can be effectively pro-Dependency tected. Consequently, a higher rating should beThe degree to which a given species depends upon given to such areas.an area, or the degree to which an ecosystem Productivitydepends on given ecological processes occurring in The degree to which productive processes withinthe area. If an area is critical to more than one the area contribute benefits to particular species,species or process, a high rating should be granted. including humans (eutrophic areas excluded).Representation VulnerabilityThe degree to which an area represents a habitat An area’s susceptibility to degradation by naturaltype, an ecological process, a biological communi- events or by the activities of people.ty, a physiographic feature or other natural char-acteristics.Economic Criteria Pragmatic CriteriaImportance to species UrgencyThe degree to which certain economically impor- Whether immediate action should be taken, lesttant species depend on the area. values of the area may be transformed or lost.Importance to fisheries SizeThe number of fishers dependent upon the area Which and how much of various habitats shouldand the size of the fisheries yield. be included in a given protected area. Note thatNature of threats the protected area must be large enough to func-The extent to which changes in land use patterns tion as an ecological unit to receive a high rating.threaten the overall value to people. Degree of threatEconomic benefits Present and potential threats from direct exploita-The degree to which protection will affect the tion and development efforts.local economy in the long term. ImpactTourism Of the potential protection status on the environ-The existing or potential value of the area to ment and its inhabitants.tourism development that is compatible with theaims of conservation efforts.24 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  26. 26. Concluding remarksIn the Philippines, the last ten years have witnessed sustainable competitive advantages in coastal andan increasing interest in coastal environmental marine industries – including the application ofplanning. This interest seeks to achieve a science and technology – and so contribute todevelopment modality that integrates industrial diversification and new opportunitiesenvironmental needs with economic development for employment. It should also act as a catalyst toplanning. Most land use planning decisions have improve co-ordination between and within thehitherto been made without proper regard for public and private sectors.coastal areas, and have been formulated principally This document demonstrates the significanceon the basis of economic criteria, emphasizing and primary importance of ecological assessmentdevelopment supported by infrastructure. Key in as a tool in the coastal planning process. Our casethis planning has been the minimization of in point, Ulugan Bay, is one of the relatively feweconomic costs and the maximization of economic remaining significant coastal areas in southeastadvancement. When the natural environment has Asia that has yet to see significant infrastructuralbeen considered, it has often been as an economic development despite its location near a majorconstraint for development. urban settlement. It is still possible to see in Flooding, slope stability, soil structure and Ulugan Bay natural scenery as it may have beenseismic activity have been viewed as prior to human settlement in the region. Whileenvironmental factors reducing development this document by no means wishes to deter thepotential, factors which could be made benign economic development of the coastal zone, thethrough engineering solutions. This improper hope is that such development will take placeregard for environmental factors in development with due consideration that man-made lawsplanning ‘[...] has led to significant simply serve to support the laws of nature. Asenvironmental degradation, irreversible loss of recent examples from around the region haveprecious ecological and natural resources and, in shown, unchecked development may end upmany instances, hazard to life and property, costing society much more than the potentialunanticipated social costs, loss of amenity and profit. The floods along China’s rivers and theirquality of life’ (Asian Development Bank, 1992). heavily logged catchment areas bore witness toIn addition, too much concentration on overall this in the summer of 1999, as did the coastaleconomic growth has engendered socio-economic areas of central Vietnam where previouslydisparities, which in turn have led to the creation mangrove-covered tidal areas had been leftof urban slums and their attendant effect on exposed to the ravages of tropical cycloneswater supply and sanitation. Hence, there is an striking with disastrous effects. The application ofurgent need to modify development planning to scientifically supported interdisciplinary coastalincorporate protection of nature and her planning is a key tool towards realizing thisresources, as well as the provision of acceptable objective.habitation for even the poorest of the poor At Ulugan Bay, the chance exists to set an(School of Urban and Regional Planning, 1997). example for coastal development that balances Thus, acceptable and comprehensive coastal the economic and social needs of the people withplanning has yet to be developed in the the long-term needs of the environment – bothPhilippines. Such planning should aim to create human and natural. An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 25
  27. 27. References &further readingALINO, P. M. 1994. Patterns in the distribution of Palawan Island, the Philippines. Regional reef-associated fish communities in the ASEAN Seminar Ecotone VI for Southeast Asia, Region. In: Wilkinson, C. and Sudara, S. (eds.). Yangon, Myanmar, 15–21 June 1998. Proc. Third ASEAN-Australia Symposium on Living Coastal Resources Vol. 1: Status Reviews. FERNANDES, L. 1989. Biases associated with the use Australian Institute of Marine Science, of the Manta Tow, a rapid reef surveillance Townsville, Australia, 11–22. technique, with particular application to the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster plance).ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK. 1992. Guidelines for MSc. Dissertation, James Cook University, Integrated Regional Economic-cum- North Queensland, Townsville, 128 pp. Environmental Development Planning: A Review of Regional Environmental FERNANDES, L., MORAN, P. J. AND MARSH, H. (in Development Planning Studies in Asia. press). A system for classifying outbreaks of Environment Paper No. 3, Vol. 1, 125 pp. crown-of-thorns starfish as a basis of management. Abstract. Proceedings of theAQUINO S. G., FAZI, S., FORTES, M. D. 1998. Status Seventh International Coral Reef Symposium, of Coastal Resources of Ulugan Bay, Palawan Guam, USA. Island, Western Philippines. 3rd International Seagrass Biology Workshop, ISBW3, April FORTES, M. D. 1996. Assessment of the marine 19–25, Manila, the Philippines. plant resources of Bacuit Bay and vicinity for sustainable tourism and livelihoodDE GROOT, R. S. 1992. Functions of Nature. Wolters- enhancement. Final Report submitted to Ten Noordhof, Amsterdam, 315 pp. Knots Development Corporation, May–September 1996.DUARTE, C. M. 1996. Annual Report of the Project Responses to Coastal Ecosystems to GITTINGS, S. R., DESLARZES, K. J. P. AND BOLLAND, Deforestation-derived siltation in Southeast B. S. 1990. Ecological monitoring on the Asia (CERDS). European Union, Brussels. Flower Garden Banks: Study design and field methods. Diving for Science, 1989, 119–135.ENGLISH, S., WILKINSON, C. AND BAKER, V. (eds.). 1994. Survey Manual for Tropical Marine GONZALES, B. AND WATANUKI, N. 1996. Mangrove Resources. Australian Institute of Marine shoreline fishes of Ulugan Bay, Palawan. SPCP- Sciences, Townsville, North Queensland. IMS Research Journal, 3(1), 1–10.FAZI, S. 1998. Integrated Coastal Zones HILL, M. O. 1979. TWINSPAN – A FORTRAN Management: The Case of Ulugan Bay, program for arranging multivariate data in an26 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines
  28. 28. ordered two-way table by classification of SCHOOL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING. 1997. individuals and attributes. Cornell University, Sustainable Land Use Planning Guidelines. New York. Quezon City, the Philippines, 201 pp.KULBICKI, M. G., MOU THAM, P. AND WANTIEZ, L. TROOST, D., NAKASHIMA, D. AND NUR, Y. 1999. 1993. Length-weight relationships of fish from Towards Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable the lagoon of New Caledonia. Naga 2, 28. Human Development. CSI Secretariat, UNESCO, Paris.NANOLA, C. L., MACMANUS, J. W., CAMPOS, W. L., DEL NORTE, A. G. C., REYES, R. B., CABANSAG, UNESCO JAKARTA. 2001. Coastal Resource J. P. B. AND J. N. D. PASAMONTE. 1994. Spatio- Management Series, Ulugan bay, Palawan Island, temporal variations in community structure The Philippines. Vol. I, 218 pp; Vol. II, 276 pp; in a heavily fished forereef slope in Bolinao, Vol. III, 193 pp. Philippines. In: Hirano, R. and Hanyu, I. (eds.). The Second Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian WALTERS, J. S. 1996. Coastal Area Profile, Ulugan Fisheries Society, Manila, the Philippines, Bay, Palawan. USAid/Siliman University, 377–380. 47+ pp.RIVERA-GUIEB, R. 1999. A Socio-Economic Profile of ZAR, J. H. 1984. Biostatistical Analysis (2nd ed.). Communities in Ulugan Bay. UNDP/UNESCO and Prentice-Hall, New Jersey. the Government of Puerto Princesa City, the Philippines.ROGERS, C. S. 1990. Responses of coral reefs and reef organisms to sedimentation. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 62, 185–202. An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines 27
  29. 29. Appendix IFIELD PROJECT SUMMARYCoastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizingsustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, the PhilippinesRevision date 1 November, 2000Title Coastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizing sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, the PhilippinesGoal To generate a model for community-based coastal resources management using an intersectoral approach strongly linked to the development of sustainable livelihoodsLocation Ulugan Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, the PhilippinesStarting date 1996Partners City Government of Puerto Princesa, Palawan; National Commission of the Philippines for UNESCO; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); UNESCO: World Heritage Centre, Man and the Biosphere Programme, Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform.Pilot project Dr Miguel Fortesleader Environmental Science Program, College of Science, University of the Philippines Diliman 1101, Quezon City, the Philippines tel: 632 922 3959, fax: 632 924 7678 e-mail: mdfortes@pacific.net.ph, mdfortes138@yahoo.comDescription Ulugan Bay is an important area within the Palawan Biosphere Reserve and the northeastern part of the bay is adjacent to the Puerto Princesa World Heritage Site. The natural resources of the bay (reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves) provide livelihoods to more than 5,000 residents and represent a significant source of fish for markets in Puerto Princesa. Major issues include unsustainable fishing and agricultural practices, conflicting private land ownership, pressures from tourism, the planned naval base and marginalized indigenous people.28 An ecological assessment of Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines

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