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Surublien-Strategies To Conserve Palawan's Biodiversity


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The entire island of Palawan is a designated Man and Biosphere
Reserve, with two internationally recognized
World Heritage Sites, an Endemic Bird Area, and a Philippine Priority Area for biodiversity conservation.

Over 1,700 species of flowering plants
and about 41% of the more than 1,100
species of terrestrial vertebrates that
are known in the Philippine Archipelago
are found in the province.

Its marine ecosystem boasts of an astonishing assemblage of marine life that sits atop the famed Coral Triangle.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified at least 82 terrestrial and marine species that are found in Palawan to be among the list of globally important species, their classification having been determined as either endangered or threatened.

Published in: Education, Technology

Surublien-Strategies To Conserve Palawan's Biodiversity

  1. 1. THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTThe Palawan Corridor Strategy Development Project is an initiative of the Conservation International, in collaboration with the ProvincialGovernment of Palawan, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources –Region IV (MIMAROPA), and the Palawan NGO Network, Inc.The project was aimed at developing a conservation model for Palawan biodiversity corridor utilizing current knowledge of localstakeholders and scientific experts, and fostering a consensus among key stakeholders in the province to support and undertake strategiesto strengthen corridor initiatives.The development of this strategy involved the analysis of biophysical, social, economic, and policy dimensions of biodiversity conservationand resource management efforts in the province. Moreover, a consultative process have been employed to instill a strong sense ofownership from among the stakeholders participating in the project.The development of a conservation strategy among key stakeholders is expected to begin a coordinated effort to save species and keybiodiversity areas in Palawan. Such effort is especially important considering the numerous actors in the conservation field who are workingin the province but are not necessarily able to pull together efforts that will allow maximization of resources and a better understanding ofthe issues, threats and opportunities for conservation.Furthermore, this strategy document guides the NGOs, government and communities to make better decisions about where to focusconservation efforts and what needs to be done most urgently. It also provides a road map for grant making within Palawan by the CriticalEcosystem Partnership Fund, and hopefully, for future investment of conservation resources by other donors. PROJECT PARTNERSThe Provincial Government of Palawan aims towards having its people, culture, religion and economy in harmony with the environmentand natural resources, through relevant and responsive programs guided by the principle of sustainable development. The ProvincialGovernment works to achieve this through continuing research, regulatory activities, policy reforms, well-coordinated and integrated clusterprojects among concerned agencies/institutions, an orchestrated effort and shared responsibility between and among NGOs, LGUs and theprivate sector.The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) is a government organization duly established by virtue of RepublicAct 7611. PCSDS, through the complementation of environmental preservation, protection and rational utilization of Palawan’s naturalresources within the framework of the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan, envisions to ensure sustainable development.The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is a government agency whose mission is to catalyze people’sparticipation to protect, conserve, manage and sustainably develop the environment and natural resources; to facilitate people’s equalaccess to natural resources through simplified and customer-oriented procedures and more community-based program for the upland/coastal communities. Furthermore, it envisions a sustainably developed region with rich and diverse natural resources equitably shared bythe people in empowered community working harmoniously in a wholesome environment for better quality of life.The Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI) is a network of non-government and people’s organization duly registered at the Securities andExchange Commission. PNNI shares a common vision of social justice and equitable distribution of wealth rooted within the framework ofself-help and participatory democracy and have a mission of helping improve the quality of life of the Palaweños while maintaining thebalance on environment and development endeavors.Conservation International is an international non-profit, non-government organization organized and existing under the laws of the Stateof California, USA, dedicated to the protection of global biodiversity; the worlds natural ecosystems and the species that rely on thesehabitats for survival. Recognizing the economic realities that impinge on pure scientific conservation, CI synthesizes the approaches ofbusiness, community development and applied science to promote the conservation of biodiversity. This is combined with a strongemphasis on local capacity building, close coordination and partnership with in-country institutions for planning and implementation ofbiodiversity conservation.
  2. 2. Palawan Council for Sustainable DevelopmentSURUBLIEN: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY Funding for the project has been provided by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a joint initiative of Conservation International, The Global Environmental Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
  3. 3. PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF PALAWAN Capitol Complex, Puerto Princesa City 5300 Palawan, Philippines DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES – Region IV (MIMAROPA) 1515 L&S Building, Roxas Boulevard Manila, Philippines Tel. No. (632) 4050015; 4050047, Fax No. (632)4050046 PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STAFF Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City 5300 Palawan, Philippines Tel. No. (6348) 4343370, Fax No. (6348) 4336155 PALAWAN NGO NETWORK, INC. Zanzibar Building, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City 5300 Palawan, Philippines Tel/Fax No. 4335525 CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL Unit 207, Pacific Plaza Buidling, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City 5300 Palawan, Philippines Tel. No. (6348) 4333551, Fax No. (6348)4342419 5 South Lawin, Philam Homes, Quezon City, Philippines Tel. No. (632) 4128194, Fax No. (632) 4128195 1919 M Street, NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036, USA Tel. No. (202)9121000, Fax No. (202) 9121030 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Redempto D. Anda and Jeanne Tabangay-Baldera TECHNICAL WRITERS Dr. Rowena R. Boquiren, PhD, Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, Dante Dalabajan, Noela Lasmarias, Rodger Valientes, Elvira Orbeta, Grace Wong, Miguel Castrence, Arvin Diesmos, Nadia Palomar DESIGN & LAYOUT William D. Manuel COVER PHOTOGRAPH PCSDS & CI-Phils MAPS & LANDSAT IMAGES PCSDS, NAMRIA, PPDO-GIS and CI-Phils Philippine Copyright © 2004 by Provincial Government of Palawan, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region IV (MIMAROPA), Palawan NGO Network, Inc. and Conservation International Philippines. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ISBN: This report can be reproduced as long as the project collaborators are properly acknowledged as the source of information. SUGGESTED CITATION Anda, R.D. and J.G. Tabangay-Baldera (eds). 2004. Surublien: Strategies to Conserve Palawan’s Biodiversity . Provincial Government of Palawan, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources- MIMAROPA Region IV, Palawan NGO Network, Inc., and Conservation International Philippines, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines. 124pp.ii ii
  4. 4. CONTENTSEXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................................................. vi1.0 THE STATUS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR ............................... 12.0 SOCIAL PROFILE OF PALAWAN STAKEHOLDERS………………………………………..…………….. 93.0 ISSUES, THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES 3.1 Profile of Threats to Biodiversity............................................................................ 15 3.2 Threats to Forest Resource Conservation............................................................... 20 3.3 Threats to Palawan Fishery: An Economic Analysis................................................. 24 3.4 Assessment of Conservation Policies as Applied in Palawan .................................. 28 3.5 Issues in Conservation Initiatives .......................................................................... 384.0 PALAWAN CORRIDOR OUTCOMES AND STRATEGIES 4.1 Outcomes Definition............................................................................................. 47 4.2 Species Outcomes ............................................................................................... 48 4.3 Site Outcomes ..................................................................................................... 52 4.3.1 Terrestrial……………………………………………………………………………………..54 4.3.2 Marine………………………………………………………………………………………….78 4.4 Palawan Corridor Conservation Strategies and Priority Actions .............................. 925.0 CORRIDOR SPATIAL MODELING: A Case Study for Southern Palawan................................................................................ 956.0 INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY..................................... 99List of Acronyms……………………………………………………………………………………………………...…106References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…107Contributors……………………………………………………………………………………………………….…….108Photo Credits…………………………………………………………………………………………………….…….. 113 iii
  5. 5. TABLES 1. Population distribution according to households ……………………………………………….. 11 and urban-rural classification, 2000 2. Population density by municipality, 2000 ………………………………………………………….. 12 3. Population densities relative to various types of ………………………………………………… 13 land-use, Palawan corridor 4. Funding sources for conservation-related projects, …………………………….………………. 39 Province of Palawan (1990-2002) 5. Distribution of major conservation projects, ……………………………………………..………… 40 Province of Palawan (as of 2002) 6. Assessment of conservation objectives ………………………………………………………………. 41 7. Assessment of management approaches in ……………………………………………….………. 42 conservation 8. Summary of assessment of components in ………………………….…………………………….. 45 major conservation initiatives 9. Key terrestrial and marine species of Palawan: ………………………………………………….. 48 threatened and restricted-range species 10. Variables used in the risk of habitat loss analysis ………………………………………….……. 96iv
  6. 6. FIGURES1. A comparison of two landsat images taken seven years apart ………………………….. 172. Priority conservation sites in Palawan corridor …………………………………………………. 523. Risk of habitat loss analysis utilizing ……………………………………………………………….. 94 Econometric methods of predicting impacts of human activities on forest cover4. Mantalingahan forests under risk …………………………………………………………….……… 975. Risk of habitat loss by forest type (%) ………………………………………………….………….. 97 v
  7. 7. Executive SummaryThe entire island of Palawan is adesignated Man and BiosphereReserve, with two internationally-recognized World Heritage Sites, anEndemic Bird Area, and a PhilippinePriority Area for biodiversityconservation.Over 1,700 species of flowering plantsand about 41% of the more than 1,100species of terrestrial vertebrates thatare known in the Philippine Archipelagoare found in the province. Its marineecosystem boasts of an astonishingassemblage of marine life that sits atopthe famed Coral Triangle.The International Union forConservation of Nature has identified atleast 82 terrestrial and marine speciesthat are found in Palawan to be among 2the list of globally important species,their classification having been Demographic Profile in weak governance mechanisms anddetermined as either endangered or processes, and are competing withthreatened. In terms of human population, growth more powerful resource users. rate in Palawan (3.36%) is very high in comparison with the national Conservation PoliciesThreats growth rate (2.3%). PopulationConsidered the most significant threat increase reflects the combined Several conservation policies andto Palawan’s biodiversity, specifically contribution of in-migration (35%) and programs are in place because of theon the terrestrial realm, is the loss of natural increase (65%). High putative environmental fragility ofhabitat brought about by the wanton population growth rate is attributed to Palawan. There are policies that defineconversion of forest areas to other land high in-migration rate because of the the rights, roles, responsibilities anduses such as agriculture and road perceived opportunity for agriculture obligations of user groups (such asdevelopment. The unabated practice of (available land) and tourism. This is a indigenous cultural communities),illegal logging is perpetrated in historical trend that developed in the government (such enforcementdisparate scales but accounting to 1950s and reached its peak in the agencies) and non-governmentmajor proportions as they occur 1980s and 1990s. As much as 60% institutions.wherever there are good forests and of migration comes from circulating The present legal framework iswhenever enforcement efforts are migrants (movements within illustrated by the provision of tenure tosorely lacking. Palawan). local communities, expansion of theOn the coastal and marine side, Facilities and services for education social options of resource dependentoverfishing and destruction of habitat and health are limited. Literacy, communities and identification ofand spawning areas pose as threats. participation and completion rate (for conservation zones. This provides theThe trend in fish catch and the limited elementary and secondary school basis for an effective province-widesurvey of reef areas and mangroves levels) are below the national conservation strategy by widening thesupport these observations. standard. Schools, classrooms, stakeholder base participation inThese threats are inevitably linked to teachers are not sufficient. A third to a conservation, providing land andthe high population growth rate and little less than half of the province’s resource use framework, andpoverty. Studies on net incomes, population have poor access to identifying the particular governmentespecially from fishing, indicate that, health services (fewer health centers, instrumentality in charge of a specificindeed, net income from hook-and-line personnel, insufficient sources of safe conservation – a benign fishing method, is water). However, despite the existingway below the net income that can be Ethnic minorities are in increasingly conservation policies and regulatoryobtained from more efficient methods, degraded lands and waters, their mechanisms, mounting threats againstillegal fishing and illegal quarrying. resource access rights undermined biodiversity conservation continue. by state laws, have marginalized role Existing institutional set-up for vi
  8. 8. conservation is still complex, encouraged to engage in and removing the barriers to effectivesectoralized, at times confusing, and conservation works, program conservation initiatives. To achievefragmented notwithstanding the various planners and implementers need to this, the following investment prioritiesMemorandum of Agreements passed set clear conservation targets defined should be undertaken: a) increasingto harmonize PCSD and DENR fundamentally by the direct causes of incentives for conservation, 2)functions, law enforcement biodiversity loss, to be complemented increasing disincentives for destructiveresponsibilities and unify protected or supported by activities that address activities and c) strengthening local andarea zones. Weak coordination, the indirect causes. Hence, priority national institutions.inflexibility in approaches to resource actions for each of these priority sites Conservation barrier removaluse, centralized management, lack of have been prescribed by key strategies should be able to addressmaterial resources and lack of stakeholders. the drivers for illegal practices,competent and well-motivated staff are The general prescriptions for coupled with more effectivekey problems that result from this Palawan biodiversity corridor enforcement to increase the deterrentsituation and limit the ability of include establishment and for illegal activities. Creatinggovernment agencies to effectively management of a network of protected areas, whether marine andcarry out their functions. protected areas or key biodiversity forests, and wildlife reserves may notPolicy processes, and the direction that areas; strengthening of law work if the incentives for conservationthe policy per se is taking has seen enforcement; information are lower than the disincentive forprogressive evolution in the past generation; advocacy works; illegal activities.decade. With all the gains and expansion of community-based Conservation programs must addresssuccesses, these policies are still by no resource management efforts; natural resource utilization patternsmeans perfect. They can never be monitoring and evaluation of which are unsustainable. At theperfect for as long as values change, resource management plans. same time, development thrusts ofpolitical contingencies vary and Incipient conservation activities are local government units and othereconomic arrangements evolve. The gradually taking shape in the agencies must be imbued withkey for these imperfect policies to work province. The challenge now is to conservation framework based onis to capitalize on the opportunities they bind these small and scattered science. This will require technical,present and challenge the real and initiatives to form a tight conservation material and capital inputs to addresspotential threats that they may pose corridor that allows for wider people’s food security and social reproductionwith the positive outlook of changing participation, active government needs, tenurial security, policythem for the better. support and sustainable technical and harmonization and enforcement for financial support. This entails better protection and enrichment ofConservation Strategies improving community and the remaining natural resources. bureaucratic capacities, implementingThrough the extensive participation ofstakeholders, 26 priority areascomprised of 9 marine blocks and 17terrestrial blocks that are critical forresearch and conservation effortshave been identified. The top marinepriority areas are the CalamianesIsland Group, El Nido-Taytay, GreenIsland Bay-Honda Bay, TubbatahaReefs and Cagayancillo, BalabacIsland Group, and Kalayaan IslandGroup. The top terrestrial priority areas are theCalamianes Island Group, El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource ProtectedAreas, Lake Manguao, San Vicente-Taytay-Roxas Forest, Victoria-Anepahan Mountain Range,Mantalingajan Mountain Range, andthe Balabac Island Group.Considering the diversity of types ofactions that can be pursued, and thevariety of actors that can be 3 vii
  9. 9. 1
  10. 10. 1.0 The Status of Biological Diversity in the Palawan Corridor by ARVIN DIESMOS and NADIA PALOMAR (with contributions from Sabine Schoppe & Joie Matillano for freshwater fishes)The biological diversity of the fauna. At present, a total of 82Palawan Corridor is rich and species in the Corridor are Criticallyspectacular. Over 1,700 species of Endangered, Endangered, or areflowering plants and about 41% of Vulnerable, but this number willthe more than 1,100 species of certainly rise dramatically after theterrestrial vertebrates that are known conservation status of many otherin the Philippine Archipelago are species have been assessed.found in the region. Its marineecosystem boasts of an astonishing The enforcement of measuresassemblage of marine life and is one against destructive activities on 1of the richest and most biologically habitats and species has proven to Calamian hog deer (Axis calamianensis).important in the world. be a colossal task attributed to the With an estimated population of only 900 shortage of capability and skills of animals, it has been classified asAlthough the Palawan chain of natural resources managers, the Endangered by the IUCN .islands has long been considered as recurrent lack of personnel andbiogeographically part of the Sundaic infrastructure, a complexregion, the Palawan Corridor contains overlapping of environmental lawsa considerable level of endemicity in and policies, and perhaps the mostfauna and flora with numerous important of all, the lack of politicalunique species that are found will to implement biodiversity lawsnowhere else in the Philippines or in on the part of decision makers andthe Sundaic region. Further results of the authorities. The effectiverecent systematic studies utilizing management and protection of itsmolecular techniques demonstrate biodiversity call for direct “The biological diversitythat the level of endemism of faunal intervention and protection ofvertebrates in the Corridor is truly specific and manageable key of the Palawan corridorhigher than presently known. conservation sites, habitats, and threatened species.In recognition of its importance to is rich and spectacular .global biodiversity the entire island of At present, the Protected Areas in Over 1,700 species ofPalawan was declared a Biosphere the Corridor cover some 384,227Reserve with two World Heritage hectares or about 26% of the total flowering plants andSites, an Endemic Bird Area, and a land area of the region. In contrast, about 41% of the morePhilippine Priority Area for mining claims encompass 1.64% ofbiodiversity conservation. In spite of the region’s land area. than 1,100 species ofall these, the recent decades saw anescalation of threats to its Overall, the knowledge on the terrestrial vertebratesbiodiversity: habitat loss and biodiversity of the Palawan Corridor that are known in theconversion through illegal and legal still remains insufficient. Updatedlogging, the clearing of natural information on species and Philippine Archipelagovegetation for agriculture expansion, important habitats, especially thosefish farming, and resort-building; that are under great threat, arelarge-scale mining for heavy metals, sorely lacking. This, in part, is aquarrying, over-harvesting, blast reflection of the shortage offishing, cyanide fishing, and the resident biodiversity specialists inrampant illegal trade of flora and the Corridor. The need to address THE STATUS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR :: 1
  11. 11. cr itic al gap s in biod ive r sity harvested by locals as a source of knowledge is vital in order to agar (or carageenan) or are used as complement current conservation feed for livestock. Roughly a third of efforts in the Corridor. Most all seaweed species are considered importantly, the new information commercially important. The will serve as the basis of distribution of seaweed records in the conservation interventions on target Corridor is very similar to seagrasses. species, habitats, ecosystems, and priority areas. Mangroves Species Diversity, Distribution An estimated 44,500 hectares of and Conservation Status mangrove forest is still found in the Corridor or roughly 40% of all that Seagrasses and seaweeds remains in the entire country (PCSD 1998, Madulid 2002). In addition, 31 A total of 13 species of seagrasses of the 34 mangrove species known in have been recorded in Palawan. the Philippines have been recorded This diversity is among the highest here. This situation makes the in the Philippines and accounts for Palawan Corridor the single most about 81% (or 13 of 16 species) of important region in the Philippines for the total number of sea grass mangrove forest diversity and species known in the country. conservation. Among the biologically significant seagrasses in the region are the Not surprisingly, the province’s1 tropical eelgrass (Enhalus mangrove forests are highly acoroides), one of the largest sea threatened through clearance and Mangrove forest found in Puerto Princesa conversion (for example, to give way Subterranean River National Park grass species, Thalassia hemprichii, and species of Halophila and to fish or prawn farms, resorts) and Halodule. These latter species are are heavily exploited (harvested for important food items of the dugong charcoal production, tan-barking or (Dugong dugon), which exclusively dye extraction). Among the species feeds on seagrasses, and are also that is most seriously affected by the important for marine turtles. Sea latter activity is Ceriops tagal. grass beds have a critical function in the reproductive and foraging Information on species richness and biology of numerous marine life, distribution are available only from especially fishes, shrimps, the northern and central regions of molluscs, and crustaceans (Fortes the Corridor, information is lacking in Ong et al. 2002). for a greater part of the southern coasts. Seagrass beds are almost uniformly distributed but the greatest Elasmobranchs and whale sharks diversity and abundance are generally located at the Information on the elasmobranchs of northeastern and northwestern the Palawan Corridor is very limited. areas of the province. Only seven species of sharks are documented in Palawan waters but There are about 320 species of this is certainly an underestimate and8 seaweeds recorded in the province is reflective of the shortage of studies composed of 133 rhodophytes, 127 an d un av ailability of reliable Lush bed of seagrass (Thalassia chlorophytes and 60 phaeophytes. information. A total of 168 species of hemprichi). Thirteen species of seagrass or This number represents about 32% chondrichthyan fishes have been ‘lusay’ are found in Palawan waters. (338 of 1,062 species) of the total found all over the Philippines. This seaweed species now known in the ranks the Corridor as the second Philippines (Fortes in Ong et al. most diverse area in the world in 2002). As in many parts of the terms of diversity of this group (Alava Philippines, seaweeds are in Ong et al. 2002). 2 :: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY
  12. 12. Sharks are commercially important species richness and distribution ofand are widely harvested across the corals. The lack of data is attributedCorridor. Of the seven species known, mainly to a difficulty in identifyingthe most important and widely corals in the field and thecelebrated is the whale shark propensity of field studies toward(Rhincodon typus). The whale shark estimation of coral cover andis a threatened species (listed as abundance rather than on theirVulnerable) and is a CITES species. In taxonomy.the Corridor, this species has beenreported off the Calamianes region in Molluscsnorthern Palawan and in Honda Bay(Alava in Ong et al. 2002). The A total of 716 species in 96 familiesBalabac Strait in particular has been have so far been recorded inreported to be an important migration Palawan. This includes four speciesroute for whale sharks from the Bohol of giant clams that are globallySea to Vietnam (Eckert et al. 2002). threatened: Tridacna derasa, T. gigas, Hippopus hippopus, and H. CORAL REEFCorals porcellanus; all four species are also listed under Appendix II ofWorldwide, the Philippine Archipelago CITES. Many species in this group,is presently known to have the most especially octopus, the giant 10highest diversity of zooxanthellate clams, and ornamental shells are Branching corals serve as importantscleractinian corals. Of the regions in highly sought after commercially habitats for some fish species such as thethe country, the Palawan Corridor has (harvested for the shell craft reticulated damselfish (Dascyllusthe most number of coral species, industry) and for subsistenceharboring roughly 82% (or 379 (examples are H. hippopus, T. gigas, reticulatus)species) of the 462 species known in and T. squamosa). Stocks of thesethe Philippines (Veron and Fenner in species are seriously depleted inWerner and Allen 2000). In addition, areas where they were recordedthere are 21 possible new species (Wells in Werner and Allen 2000).that were discovered recently fromthe Calamianes Group of Islands Available data in the Corridor is(Veron 2000), a possible new species scarce and is limited to theof Leptoseris from the Kalayaan Calamianes region, El Nido,Island Group (Licuanan and Capili in Cagayancillo and Tubbataha Reef.Ong et al. 2002), and 39 species of The Rapid Assessment Programcorals in the Corridor are considered (RAP) marine survey of theas rare (Nemenzo 1986). Calamianes (Werner and Allen 2000) is the primary source ofAn assessment of the state of information that is presentlyPhilippine coral reefs conducted in available on this group. In general,1991 showed Palawan as having field inventories of molluscs are17% of its coral reef cover in poor lacking largely due to a shortage ofcondition, 41% in fair condition, 32% resident good condition, and only 10% inexcellent condition (Gomez et al. Reef fishes1994). Although results have notbeen published, the recent increase The Palawan Corridor harbors a veryin assessment activities of live coral high proportion (about 89%) of thecover in the Corridor over the last total number of reef fish speciesdecade could change these figures recorded in the country. Thus far, 9considerably. 1,158 species of fish have been recorded in its waters and nearly School of black-spotted snapper (LutjanusIn general, information on the corals 300 of these species are considered ehrenbergi) locally known as ‘maya-came mainly from Calamianes, El commercially important species maya’. Palawan contributes about 40% ofNido, Taytay and Tubbataha. Up to (Tables 1). Among the largest reef the total fishery production in the, vast areas in the Corridor lack fish assemblages in the Corridor areeven the basic information on found in the Kalayaan Islands and THE STATUS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR :: 3
  13. 13. Tubbataha Reef. In the Calamianes occur there. All four species are region, 736 to 888 species can be threatened with extinction; found (Allen in Werner and Allen Eretmochelys imbricata is Critically 2000) although the larger species Endangered while Caretta caretta, apparently are showing declines in Chelonia mydas, and Lepidochelys population because of over- olivacea all have an Endangered exploitation. Current information status (Hilton-Taylor 2000). All supports the claim of Aliño and species are listed under Appendix I of Gomez (1995) that the highest CITES. diversity of reef fish in the Philippine marine biogeographic Information is available only from the zones is found in the waters of Sulu eastern coast of the Corridor and Sea and South China Sea, which from the El Nido-Taytay and encompass the Corridor. Calamianes areas in the north. The Calamianes, Cuyo, and El Nido areas In view of the broad dispersal are critical developmental areas for capabilities via the pelagic larval the green and hawksbill turtles; this stage of most reef fishes, minimal was the basis for establishing El Nido endemism can be expected. In as a marine turtle sanctuary in the Palawan however, at least four late 1980s by virtue of DENR species have thus far only been Administrative Order 14. The eastern recorded in the Calamianes and coast is also an important nesting3 Cuyo Island Groups. These are the site for the green, hawksbill, and wrasse Labracinus atrofasciatus, olive ridley turtles. Dugong (Dugong dugon) populations are an undescribed damselfish of the susceptible to decline because they are Moreover, the Balabac Island Group genus Pseudochromis, the usually found in coastal areas– the same is a critical route of marine turtles damselfishes Altrichthys curatus area where human activity is the greatest. into the Sulu Sea from Guam and the and Altrichthys azurelineatus, the blenny Ecsenius kurti, another Andaman Sea (Cummings 2002). undescribed blenny of the genus There is no recent information on Ecsenius, and the rare blenny marine turtles from Balabac Island Istiblennius colei (Allen in Werner Group and from the entire west coast and Allen 2000). of the Corridor. Information is generally complete Dolphins, whales and dugong for Palawan reef fish save for the western coast of central and Of the 22 to 25 species of marine southern Palawan. mammals reported in the Philippines (Heaney et al. 1998, Aragones in Ong Marine Turtles et al. 2002), 15 species have so far been found in the waters of the Four of the five species of marine Corridor. These are composed of turtles that are known in the dolphins (10 species), a rorqual (1 country have been found in the species), sperm whales (2 species), Corridor, namely, the loggerhead porpoise (1 species), and a dugong (1 sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green species). Many of these marine3 sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), mammals are threatened with hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys extinction in varying degrees; two are Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) digging imbricata) and olive ridley sea turtle globally threatened and nine are a nest (Lepidochelys olivacea). All species listed under CITES. are members of the family Cheloniidae. The fifth species that The celebrated dugong (Dugong can be found in the Philippines but dugon), which has been recorded in has not yet been recorded in the the Corridor as early as the 1980s Corridor is the giant leatherback (DENR-PAWB and Toba Aquarium sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea; 1995), has recently been sighted f amily Dermoche lyidae); th is from several areas in the northern species, however, may certainly region. The dugong is listed as an 4 :: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY
  14. 14. Endangered species (Hilton-Taylor Mosses mainland Palawan. Another two2000) and a globally protected species (Bosthrycus expatria andspecies. Yet the dugong continues to The most recent study of the moss Dermatogynis palawanenis) whichbe killed for its meat in some parts of flora of the Corridor estimated that are freshwater obligates but arethe Corridor. 192 species in 88 genera are found marine in origin are also endemic to here (Tan 1996), a diversity that is the Corridor. Both PuntiusIn the Philippines, the Irrawaddy relatively depauperate compared to manguaoensis and Bosthrycusdolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is other regions in the Philippines. expatria are threatened speciesknown thus far from the Malampaya This poorness in species is having a status of Vulnerable (IUCNSound, making this region a critical attributed to the dry, semi- 2002).area for its conservation. Recent field deciduous state of its forestsurveys have estimated that about ecosystem. Major threats to the native and77 individuals of this globally endemic freshwater fish fauna areimportant species are found in the Interestingly, mosses on the the introduction of exotic speciesarea. The complex of fish pens and eastern slopes of the central (such as the African tilapiafishery activities in the area pose a mountain ranges of mainland Oreochromis and Tilapia) and thepotential threat to the species. P a law an ( e . g . , V ic to r ia an d continuing conversion of their Mantalingajan mountain ranges) habitat.Available information on marine have higher species diversitiesmammals is centered at the eastern compared with those from the Most of the major explorations donecoast near Puerto Princesa City with a western slopes of these same on the freshwater fishes of Palawanfew documented records from the mountain ranges. date back to the early 1900s centurynorth and Tubbataha. Virtually no and were all conducted by foreigninformation is available from the Unlike most of the terrestrial scientists. It was only in the last fiveentire western coast of the Corridor vertebrates, the affinity of the years that resident field researchersdown to Balabac. mosses of the Corridor is not with enhanced the study of this its closest neighboring island of insufficiently known group. As aFlowering plants Borneo but with the rest of the result of this renewed interest, at Philippines, Java, and the Lesser least three new species of Palawan-Current estimates of the total number Sundas or West Malesia. A similar endemic freshwater fishes have beenof flowering plants in the Corridor pattern has been recorded for the discovered, indicating that therange from 1,700 to 3,500 species Palawan stream frogs, which freshwater fish fauna of the Corridor(Madulid 2002, Regalado, unpubl. apparently are more closely related remains to be while an unpublished to those from nearby Mindoroannotated checklist (Soejarto et al. Island than with the Bornean Amphibians1995) gives 2,738 species in 919 stream frogs (Brown and Guttmangenera. Although Palawan has been 2002). At present, 26 species of amphibiansexplored by more botanists than are known composed of 25 speciesvertebrate biologists (for a brief Freshwater fishes of frogs and one species of anaccount, see Madulid 2002), the endemic caecilian. The fauna alsoflora of Palawan remains A total of 18 species of true includes an alien invasive speciesinsufficiently known as indicated by freshwater fishes have thus far (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus), a nativethe significant number of discoveries been found in the Corridor, half of of mainland Asia, which has certainlyof new species and species range these are endemic to Palawan. Two been introduced recently. There areextensions in the last two decades. species are restricted to the only nine endemic species (35%) butAmong the important discoveries Borneo-Palawan biogeographic eight of these are confined to theinclude species of Amorphophallus region, one endemic species occurs Corridor region.(Araceae), Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae), on both Mindanao and Palawanseveral species of Badusa and while six species are found The Palawan herpetofaunal regionFagerlindia (Rubiaceae), and throughout the Philippines and in shares about 15 species of frogs withnutmegs (Myristicaceae) (e.g., neighboring Southeast Asian Borneo and other islands within theSoejarto et al. 1995, Madulid 2002). countries. Sunda Shelf. Among the herpetofaunal provinces in theAt least 55 species are listed in Two of the Palawan endemics Philippines, the Palawan regionvarious threatened categories: 4 are (Puntius bantolanensis and P. places fourth in terms ofCritically Endangered, 8 are manguaoensis) are exclusively herpetofaunal diversity. However,Endangered, and 38 are Vulnerable. found in Lake Manguao in Taytay, since many areas in the Corridor have the only known freshwater lake on not been completely surveyed of its THE STATUS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR :: 5
  15. 15. amphibian fauna, it is expected that Nine species are listed in various species are shared with the Sundaicthe levels of diversity and endemicity categories of CITES. Given the region of Malaysia and Indonesia butwill markedly increase after present state of habitat are not found in other regions of theconcentrated field collection efforts disturbance in the Corridor, it is Philippines (Dickinson et al. 1991).have been conducted and the expected that these numbers maytaxonomy of many species have been i n c re a se af t e r a maj o r r e- Currently, there are 11 threatenedre-assessed. assessment of the conservation species (Mallari et al. 2001) and 23 status of species has been done. species listed under CITES. TheTwo of the most important endemic Palawan Corridor is also aamphibians are the Palawan Excluding the crocodiles, majority stronghold of the Philippinecaecilian (Caudacaecilia weberi) and of the reptiles especially the C o c k a t o o ( C a c a t u athe Philippine flat-headed frog indigenous and endemic species haematuropygia), the most(Barbourula busuangensis). The lack basic information on natural threatened species of cockatoo inPalawan caecilian is a very rare history. The status of many species the world and where the largestlowland species and was last remains unknown since they have Philippine population of the speciesrecorded by field herpetologists in not been observed again in the is found (Lambert 1994, PCCP1961. The Philippine flat-headed frog field by herpetologists since they 2000, 2001 unpublished data).is among the most primitive species were first discovered; among these About 34% of the avian fauna areof frog known in the world and is one are the Palawan bent-toed gecko migratory species making the regionof only two species of Barbourula, the (Cyrtodactylus redimiculus), a vital flyway for migratory birds inother being found on Borneo. Three Palawan flap-legged gecko the Philippines and in Southeastspecies of frogs in the Corridor are (Luperosaurus palawanensis), Asia. Its numerous coralline islets,threatened, having a status of Palawan reed snake (Calamaria especially the Tubbataha Reef andVulnerable (Hilton-Taylor 2000). The palavanensis) and Culion kukri Ursula, still harbor colonies of seamost recent amphibian assessments, snake (Oligodon perkinsi). Other birds.however, did not identify any notable species include thethreatened species in the Corridor Philippine endemic genus of dwarf Arresting the documented declinesbut placed most of the endemic forest lizard Parvoscincus of sea bird population andspecies to a Near threatened status palawanensis, which is anthropogenic impacts on the fragile(Global Amphibian Assessment 2002, represented in the Corridor by one populations are among the majorunpublished data). endemic species. The Critically goals of ongoing conservation efforts Endangered forest turtle Heosemys (Manamtam 1996, Mallari et al.Reptiles leytensis (Hilton-Taylor 2000) was 2001). also recently re-discovered in someAbout 69 species are found in the are as o f main land Palawan Terrestrial mammalsCorridor, comprised of crocodiles (1 (Diesmos et al. unpubl. data).or 2 species), snakes (37 species), The fauna of Palawan was partlylizards (25 species), and freshwater Birds made famous because of theturtles (5 species). This number uniqueness of its terrestrialdoes not include the sea snakes and At least 279 bird species have thus mammals. At least 58 species havesea kraits because information on far been recorded in the Palawan been recorded from the region andthis group is almost unavailable. Corridor, a number that will still new distribution records continue toOnly 20 endemic species (29%) are considerably increase as ongoing be documented. Around 19 speciesknown, a level of endemicity that is field survey efforts continue to add (33%) of the fauna are endemicone of the lowest in the Philippines. new distribution records of species while 16 of these species areOf the 20 endemics, at least 16 are to the region. Ample field studies restricted to the Corridor, examplesrestricted to the Corridor and are of the bird fauna have been include the Palawan Tree shrewcomposed mainly of lizards and conducted compared with other (Tupaia palawanensis), Palawansnakes. Eleven species are shared terrestrial vertebrates yet the Flying Fox (Acerodon leucotis),with some islands in the Sunda Shelf possibility of discovering species Palawan Pangolin (Manisand are not found in other regions of that are new to science remains culionensis), and Palawan Soft-the Philippines, except in the Sulu significantly high considering that furred Mountain Rat (PalawanomysArchipelago, where the herpetofauna many mountains and small islands furvus).of Palawan exhibits some degree of have yet to be explored. At least 16relationship. At present, three species are confined to the On the other hand, eight species arespecies are threatened, two of these Corridor. Endemicity at 10% is very shared with other islands within theare Critically Endangered and one is low relative to other regions in the Sundaic region and are not found inEndangered (Hilton-Taylor 2000). Philippines. However, at least 23 other regions in the Philippines;6 :: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY
  16. 16. among these are the celebrated Gaps in BiodiversityBinturong or Bearcat (Arctictis Knowledge Basebinturong), Oriental Small-clawedOtter (Amblonyx cinereus), and Although the unique and richShort-tailed Mongoose (Herpestes biodiversity of Palawan is muchbrachyurus). A total of 10 species celebrated, knowledge of itsare threatened and seven species biodiversity is limited and outdated,are under CITES (Hilton-Taylor the ecology of many species is2000). unknown, and many of its ecosystems remain biologically unexplored. ExceptThe mammalian fauna of Palawan for a few studies (e.g., Werner andexhibits one of the most intriguing Allen 2000), we estimate that thedistribution patterns in the information for most of the taxonomicPhilippines. For instance, a species groups was generated from major fieldof deer is not found on Palawan studies dating back from 10 to overIsland whereas in the Calamianes 80 years ago. 2group north of the mainland, the Palawan porcupine (Hystrix pumila), aCalamianes Hog-deer (Axis Updated information on the locally common to uncommon speciescalamianensis) exists. Other distribution, ecology, and systematics found in primary and secondary forest inexamples include the Busuanga is seriously lacking for many species in mountains and in the lowlandsTree Squirrel (Sundasciurus most taxonomic groups. In terms ofhoogstrali) and Culion Tree inventories of terrestrial ecosystems,Squirrel (S. moellendorffi), all of efforts need to thoroughly sample highwhich are also restricted to the elevation forest habitats (montanenorthern regions. and mossy forests), wetlands and swamps, ultrabasic and limestoneOn the other hand, the Lesser forests, the Mantalingajan mountainMouse-deer or pilandok (Tragulus range, the Balabac island group, andnapu) is found only on three small the various forested small islands ofislands, namely, Balabac, Bugsuk, the Corridor. For the marineand Ramos, off southern Palawan. ecosystem, information is largely(This species has been introduced lacking from the Culion island group,into Calauit Island near Busuanga Dumaran, the western coast offor captive breeding purposes.) A mainland Palawan, the southernrecent taxonomic study, however, regions especially the Balabac group,indicates that Tragulus napu may and the Kalayaan island a distinct Palawan species (asTragulus nigricans; Meijaard and Field guides or identification manualsGroves, 2004), a finding which to species and ecosystems are lackinghas tremendous conservation while only a few of those that areimplications. For one, this would currently available are of good quality.suggest that the Palawan mouse These publications are essential indeer is possibly the most educating the general public regardingthreatened species of terrestrial the status of their own biodiversity.mammal in the Corridor. Its highly More so, these will greatly benefitrestricted natural geographic resource managers, park wardens,distribution (islands of Balabac, and local authorities to effectivelyBugsuk, and Ramos have a total monitor ecosystems, threatened 2land area of about 46,799 species, and the illegal trade. Palawan bearcat (Arctictis binturong), ishectares, which is around half the one of the biggest land mammals insize of Laguna de Bay on Luzon Finally, and perhaps most importantly, mainland Palawan. It is a nocturnalIsland) and the continued there is a glaring shortage of resident animal that feeds on fruit and meat.destruction of its habitat on biodiversity specialists in the Corridor.Balabac (the largest of the three This needs to be addressed withislands) necessitate an immediate utmost importance if the knowledgeconservation intervention for this and proper management of itsmouse-deer. biodiversity are to be attained. THE STATUS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE PALAWAN CORRIDOR :: 7
  17. 17. 1
  18. 18. 2.0 Social Profile of Palawan Stakeholders by DR. ROWENA BOQUIREN Overview health and economic status of the population relative to theirThe paper presents an assessment resource base.of the push and pull factors inmigration as an aspect of In order to explain the relationshippopulation growth trends in the between socio-demographicPalawan corridor. It also factors and threats to biodiversity,characterizes the types of the study analyzed the followingsettlements within the province variables:based on socio-demographic, Socio-demographic characteristics Population size and settlements: total population, number of households, urban-rural distribution 2 Population density Focus group discussions with indigenous groups like the Tagbanuas are essential to Population composition: gain inputs for resource management ethnicity, settlement type, age, literacy and level of educational attainment concerns Health status: birth, death, infant mortality, maternal mortality, nutritional status, contraceptive prevalence rate Population growth trends: natural growth (fertility rate, maternal/neo-natal death rate) and migration trends “Palawan’s population (in-migration, out-migration, circulation) growth rate (3.36%) is very high in comparison Status of Social Infrastructure and Support Services with the national growth Facilities and services for education rate (2.3%). Population Health services and facilities: growth has been personnel to population ratio, family planning program coverage dramatic: from 56,360 Power utilities: persons in 1948 to number of households by Energy use for lighting and cooking 102,540 in 1960 and Water utilities: access to potable water 400,323 in 1990.” Access to information sources: family planning, natural resource management technologies SOCIAL PROFILE OF PALAWAN STAKEHOLDERS :: 9
  19. 19. Socio Demographic These include: Characteristics and Issues Busuanga (Barangays San Status of Social Infrastructure Rafael, Salvacion, Sagrada, and Support Services Cheey); Coron (Turda, Tagumpay, There is rapid population San Jose, Lajala, Decabobo, growth, and high urbanization Cabugao, Banuang Daan); Facilities and services for rate based on expansion of Linapacan (Pical, New education and health are limited. settlements, with 65% from Culaylayan, Maroyogroyog); natural growth and 35% from Taytay (Paly Island, Casian); Literacy, participation and net in-migration, into areas Aborlan (Poblacion), Narra completion rate (for elementary with neither established nor (Ipilan, Burirao); PPC and secondary school levels) are sufficiently effective land use (Tiniguiban, Tanglaw, Seaside, below the national standards. or management zones. San Pedro, San Manuel, Schools, classrooms, and Princesa, Pagkakaisa, Milagrosa, teachers are not sufficient. Palawan’s population growth Maunlad, Matahimik, Masipag, rate (3.36%) is very high in Masikap, Masigla, Mandaragat, A third to a little less than half of comparison with the national Mabuhay, Liwanag, Brgy. the corridor’s population have growth rate (2.3%). Population Mangingisda, Bancao-bancao, poor access to health services growth has been dramatic: Bagong Sikat, Bagong Pag-Asa); (fewer health centers, personnel, from 56,360 persons in 1948 to Brookes Point (Poblacion I), insufficient sources of safe 102,540 in 1960 to 400,323 in Quezon (Maasin); Agutaya (Diit, water). 1990 and 755,412 in 2000 Concepcion); Cagayancillo (Table 1). (Wahig, Talaga, Nusa, Mampio, Community Types Lipot North, Bantayan); and Rapid growth may be expected in Cuyo (Catadman, Bangcal, The Urban-rural classification the future. Balading, Emilod). shows 105 urban and 319 rural barangays. Palawan is still relatively a Population increase reflects low density area, based on the combined contribution of in- Central Mainland, island national standards set at less migration (35%) and natural municipalities, Southern Palawan, than 15000 persons/sqkm for increase (65%). and Calamianes have a higher an area to be classified as proportion of barangays that are having low density. The High population growth rate is classified as urban (25% to 35%). increases over the years have attributed to high in-migration nevertheless been rapid. Density rate because of the perceived Settlements are also formed increased from 25 persons/sq. opportunity for agriculture based on ethnic differentiation km. in 1980 to 36 in 1990 (available land) and tourism. and migration status relative to (NCSO 1990). This is a historical trend that resource access and use. developed in the 1950s and Today, average national density reached its peak in the 1980s In upland, interior areas, or along is 246 persons/sq. km., while and 1990s. the banks of rivers and coasts, in Palawan Province has 51 small clusters composed of a few persons/square kilometer. Yet, As much as 60% of migration houses are: 7 major indigenous except for Araceli, all the island comes from circulating migrants cultural communities: Tagbanwa; municipalities have densities (movements within Palawan). Batak; Pal’awan and Tau‘t higher than the national average Bato;Molbog and Mele-buganon; (Table 2). This may explain why The corridor area has a large Sama/AA Sama, Jama Mapun, outmigration is an increasing young population whose future Sama Laut, Sama Deya, Sama/ trend in those areas. demic trends may be a source of Bajaw, Samal, Balangigi, stress on the biodiversity status Pangutaran, Pullon, Mapun; Viewed from the perspective of of the Park. The high growth Cuyonen; Agutaynen. conservation, land is limited for rate, however, is not associated A&D land uses. Several areas with fertility rates as a result of In the lowlands, along major roads which seem to have low official this large young population, are compact settlements: settler densities actually no longer have because marrying age is not communities: Tagalog, Ilonggo, low people-land ratios (Table 3). young. Waray, Cebuano, Bicolano, Ilocano, and others.10 :: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY
  20. 20. Table 1. Population distribution, according to households and urban-rural classification, Year 2000. Province, City, 2000 % of total No of No. of No. of Total Municipality Total provincial House- Urban Rural Number and Barangay Popula- popula- holds Baran- Baran- of Bara- tion tion gays* gays* gays* PALAWAN 755,412 100.00 150,983 105 319 423 Calamianes Group 72,030 14,114 13 39 BUSUANGA 16,287 2.16 3,047 6 10 16 CORON 32,243 4.27 6,264 6 18 24 CULION * 14,302 1.89 3,082 1 1 1 LINAPACAN 9,198 1.22 1,721 0 10 10 Northern Mainland 166,198 32,016 17 90 DUMARAN 16,616 2.20 3,133 2 15 17 EL NIDO 27,029 3.58 5,191 4 14 18 ROXAS 47,242 6.25 9,435 7 24 31 SAN VICENTE 21,654 2.87 4,174 3 7 10 TAYTAY 53,657 7.10 10,083 1 30 31 Central Mainland 269,554 54,786 49 78 ABORLAN 25,540 3.38 5,236 2 17 19 NARRA 56,845 7.53 11,521 4 18 22 PUERTO PRINCESA 161,912 21.43 33,306 37 29 66 Southern Mainland 190,601 39,140 8 66 BATARAZA 41,458 5.49 8,658 2 20 22 BROOKE’S POINT 48,928 6.48 9,634 2 16 18 S. ESPAÑOLA 26,801 3.55 5,479 0 9 9 QUEZON 41,669 5.52 8,453 2 12 14 RIZAL 31,745 4.20 6,916 2 9 11 BALABAC 25,257 3.34 4,723 6 14 20 Island Municipalities 57,029 10,927 18 46 AGUTAYA 10,422 1.38 2,040 3 7 10 ARACELI 10,894 1.44 2,050 1 12 13 CAGAYANCILLO 6,348 0.84 947 7 5 12 CUYO 18,257 2.42 3,609 7 10 17 KALAYAAN 223 0.03 12 0 1 1 MAGSAYSAY 10,885 1.44 2,269 0 11 11 Sources : NSO Census 2000; DILG classification of barangays.Ii Most recent count of barangays (as to total 430) may differ on account of the unavailable updated listing of barangays and their classifica-tion into rural or urban since the creation of Culion and Espaňola into municipalities under Republic Act RA No. 7193 (September 12, 1992)and Republic Act (RA) No. 7679 (May 22, 1994). users. include dependence on agriculture Ethnic minorities are in For instance, the Tagbanua and and NTFP gathering/ trading,increasingly degraded lands and Batak settlements have higher underutilized labor (female),waters, their resource access fertility rates, higher child and considerable contribution torights undermined by state laws, maternal mortality rates, lower household income (at least 20%) byhave marginalized role in weak literacy level and educational the young population,governance mechanisms and attainment. u n s u s t a in ab l e N T F P g a t h e r in gprocesses, and are competing practices historically associatedwith more powerful resource Other features of the communities with settlers (since the 1970s). SOCIAL PROFILE OF PALAWAN STAKEHOLDERS :: 11
  21. 21. Table 2. Population Density by Municipality, 2000. Province, Municipality, City Population Total Land Area Density (Projection 2000) (sqkm) (persons/ Palawan 755412 14896.43 51 Calamianes Group 56074 1134.88 49 BUSUANGA 16287 395.90 41 CORON 32243 1026.50 31 CULION * 14302 187.88 76 LINAPACAN 9198 155.20 59 Northern Mainland 166198 4353.30 38 DUMARAN 16616 435.00 38 EL NIDO 27029 465.10 58 ROXAS 47242 1220.20 39 SAN VICENTE 21654 842.50 26 TAYTAY 53657 1390.50 39 Central Mainland 244297 3715.50 66 ABORLAN 25540 908.80 28 NARRA 56845 700.00 81 PUERTO PRINCESA 161912 2106.70 77 Southern Mainland 190621 4170.20 46 BATARAZA 41458 957.00 43 BROOKES POINT 48928 850.60 58 S. ESPAÑOLA 26801 449.80 60 QUEZON 41689 935.50 45 RIZAL 31745 977.30 32 BALABAC 25257 581.60 43 Island Municipalities 57029 310.35 184 AGUTAYA 10422 32.90 317 ARACELI 10894 176.80 62 CAGAYANCILLO 6348 15.40 412 CUYO 18257 57.30 319 KALAYAAN 223 0.25 892 MAGSAYSAY 10885 27.70 393 Source : NSO Census 2000 Population (based on projections) Recommendations better regulated. With circulation personnel, skills upgrading, (movement within Palawan) an important entrepreneurship, and the like.Population growth and settlement phenomenon, government policies andexpansion need to be planned so that these programs must be better coordinated to Conservation programs must addressare kept at levels that can be sustained by cope with problems in internal migration – natural/biological resource utilizationlocal resources within their regenerating as to distinguish where to encourage patterns which are unsustainable. At thecapacity. These concerns must be included people to remain or move into certain same time, development thrusts of LGUsin conservation planning. The local areas, or where to discourage migrants and other agencies must be imbued withgovernment units need to invest in resource from critical habitats. conservation framework based on science.assessment, valuation, as well as carrying This will require technical, material andcapacity studies to ascertain their capacities The population growth rate needs to be capital inputs to address food security andand opportunities, as well as constraints. reduced – through improved social social reproduction needs; tenurial security; infrastructure and support services, i.e., and policy harmonization and enforcementThe rate of migration coming from other reproductive health, child/maternal care, for better protection and enrichmentareas needs to be monitored, and land uses health and educational facilities and12 :: STRATEGIES TO CONSERVE PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY
  24. 24. 3.0 Issues, Threats and Opportunities 3.1 Profile of Threats to Biodiversity by NOELA LASMARIASLong-term maintenance of stakeholders to ensure thatbiodiversity requires the protection of identified strategies are not onlylarge areas to maintain viable scientifically justified but alsoecosystems, evolutionary processes, socially acceptable.and populations of specificEndangered species (Soule & Wilcox, Threats to biodiversity in Palawan1980; Szaro & Johnston, 1996). It were identified by a technical 1also requires that conservation working group composed ofstrategies look beyond individual partners from governmentprotected areas and identify a matrix institutions and non-government Above: Mangrove destruction in Balabacof biodiversity-friendly land uses that organizations who have extensive caused by tanbarking. The Ceriops tagalprovide biological connectivity across experience working with biodiversity species is particularly sought after for theenvironmental gradients at the and socio-economic researches as tanbark industry due to its high tanninregional level (Harris, 1984; well as with communities in various content.Saunders et al., 1992 and Noss, parts of the province. Ten major1996). threats were identified and ranked Left: The effect of slash-and-burn activities according to the following criteria: in CulionThe conservation “corridor” approachwas developed by Conservation Spatial extent of the threat –International (CI) as a way of rates the threat based on howimplementing conservation strategies spatially prevalent it isthat reflect these biological findings. throughout the province;Conservation corridor is a matrix of Magnitude of the biodiversitypristine habitats and biodiversity- impact – rates the threat basedfriendly land uses, which maximize on observed or potential impactthe survival of the species, found in a on biodiversity or integrity of “The major threats toregion (CI, 1999; CABS/CI, 2000). A species habitats; andstrong focus on protecting large Ease of analysis – Palawan biodiversity areareas is maintained, but designing rates the threat based on how mangrove destruction,conservation strategies at the easily analysis can be donecorridor scale ensures thatconservation resources have the given current availability of data legal and illegal fishing, and accessibility of the areasgreatest effect while maximizing the for primary data collection quarrying, agriculture,net economic benefits to the local during the duration of thepeople and national governments. project. InfrastructureConservation corridor can be built inmany ways but each option has development, large scale Based on these criteria, the tendifferent implications for society. major threats are ranked as follows mining and logging, (1-lowest score, 10-highest score): tourism,A corridor may consist of blocks ofprotected areas connected by certain Mangrove destruction– (1)management units that ensure Legal and illegal fishing– (3) fuelwood gatheringconnectivity between these blocks Quarrying– (3)and therefore allowing genetic Agriculture (slash & burn)– (3)exchange. CI uses biological, social, Infrastructure development- (5.5)economic and policy information, Large scale mining– (5.5)through extensive participation of PROFILE OF THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY :: 15