The Palawan Biosphere Reserve


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The Palawan Biosphere Reserve

Working Paper no.19, 1997


Ricardo M. Sandalo, Teodoro Baltazar


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The Palawan Biosphere Reserve

  2. 2. The Working Papers series is a publication of the South-South Co-operationProgrammefor Environmentally Sound Socio-EconomicDevelopment in the Humid Tropics.The seriesaims to disseminatethe results of the researchon Biosphere Reserveson such topicsas (i) the prevailing conservationand resource-usepatterns and, (ii) the ways of improving thetraditional practices and orientation for applied research aimed at a more intensive andsustainableuse of the biodiversity to provide a better livelihood to the local population in thebuffer and transition zones, On more general issues,the Working Paners are also an attempt toidentify key problems that will becomeareasof concentrationfor international co-operation.The map on the front page has been produced by using a commercial softwareprogramme. The boundaries do not imply official endorsement or acceptance byUNESCO or the United Nations. Neither do the ideas and opinions expressed in theWorking Papers series, which are solely engaging their authors.The Working Papers series is published as necessary either in English, French orSpanish depending of the language used by the author.0 Permission to reproduce any material of the Workino Papers series will be givenwithout any previous authorization, provided that full reference to the author, title,series title, date, institution editor and place of publication are given.All correspondence should be addressed to the Administrative Editor.Edited by : UNESCO Division of Ecological Sciences South-South Co-operation Telephone : 33 - Programme Telefax : 33 - 7 place de Fontenoy E-mail : m.clusener-godt @ 75 700 PARIS (FRANCE)The South-South Co-operation Programme on Environmentally Sound Socio- Economic Development in the Humid Tropics is on INTERNET : html:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~, :,:,:.. ... ..,. ,. .,...((.... ,,.:,,,.: ~ :,.,. .,. (.....(.....(.,.. ., .,. .,.,.,. .,.,. i~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . .,.,... :~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:::.. :... ...........i.L....I.. .. .A......... ii...... ..... .: ..A. ....o..lgnacy SACHS Miguel CLUSENER-GODT Yann GUILLAUDECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES ENSCIENCES SOCIALES (EHESS) SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL SCIENCES SOCIALES (EHESS)Centre de Recherches sur le Bresil ORGANIZATION (UNESCO) Centre de Recherches sur le BresilContemporain (CRBC) Division of Ecological Sciences Contemporain (CRBC)54 Bd. Raspail South-South Co-operation Programme 54 Bd. Raspail75 270 PARIS Cedex 06 1 rue Miollis 75 270 PARIS Cedex 06FRANCE 75 732 PARIS Cedex 15 FRANCE FRANCETelephone : 33 - Telephone : 33 - Telephone : 33 - 1.4954.20.85Telefax : 33 - Telefax : 33 - Telefax : 33 - SC-91fws/55
  3. 3. 1 The Biosphere Reserves or similar managed areas that are joining the South-South Co-operation Programme, are requested to produce an overview of theircovering area containing first hand information on its conditions and urging problems. These reports will be primarily used as background materials for thecomparative projects agreed upon in the programme of activities established at theChiang Mai meeting, held in May 1994. For more details please report to thenewsletter South-South Perspectives (No 1, October 1994 [28 pp.], UNESCO, Paris [France]). Given the rich information value of these reports, there are being madeavailable to a wide audience. They may be obtained by contacting UNESCOMKBSecretariat, Division of Ecological Sciences. For other documents available in the series, see the back-cover. Working Paper N” 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  4. 4. 2 The Palawan Biosphere Reserve, created in 1991, includes the entire Province ofPalawan, in the Philippines, covering around 14 000 km2 and populated by nearly 750 000people. The Province has a unique and diverse fauna and flora and is known as the country’ s“last ecological frontier”. However, agriculture, fishing, mineral extraction and offshore oil andnatural gas, as well as tourism, threaten the environment. In 1992, a Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan (SEP) was adopted and throughit an Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) is being implemented. The SEP is acomprehensiveframework to enhance a sustainabledevelopment of the region considering theecological viability and the social acceptability, in an integrated approach. The ECAN is agraded system of protection and development control over the whole of Palawan. It has threecomponents subdivided into management units graded from strictly protected to developmentareas. The terrestrial component has a core zone, a buffer zone (subdivided into a restricted,controlled and traditional use areas) and a multiple/manipulative use area. The coastal/marinecomponent has also a core and a multiple use zone. Finally, the tribal ancestral lands aretraditionally occupied lands granted to local indigenous communities through a Certificate ofAncestral Domain Claim. A diversified number of protected areas of Palawan are described, aswell as research priorities and on-going programmes. The implementation of the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan and theEnvironmentally Critical Areas Network are besieged with constraints ranging fromincapability of implementors to sheer lack of concern among the majority of the localcommunities,becauseof a lack of livelihood opportunities that would prevent the communitiesfrom putting more pressure on their forest, land and marine resources.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  5. 5. 3 La Reserve de la biosphere du Palawan, creee en 1991, inclue I’ ensemble de laProvince du Palawan, aux Philippines, couvrant environ 14 000 km2 et peuplee par presque750 000 personnes. La Province dispose d’ faune et dune flore uniques et diversifiees qui uneen fait la “derniere frontiere ecologique” du pays. Neanmoins, l’ agriculture, la p&he,l’ extraction minCra.leet les gisements marins de p&role et de gaz naturel, tout comme letourisme, menacent I’ environment. En 1992, un Plan environnementalstrategique du Palawan (SEP) a ettc adopte et estmis en ceuvre a travers le Reseau des zones environnementales critiques (EcAN). Le SEP estune structure d’ ensemble pour l’ elaboration d’ developpementdurable de la region avec la unprise en compte de la viabilite ecologique et I’ acceptabilitesociale,dans une approche integree.L’ ECAN est un systeme hiCrarchisCde protection et de controle du developpement surl’ensembledu Palawan. 11comporte trois elementssous-divisb en unites de gestion allant d’ uneprotection stricte jusqu’ des zones de developpement.L’ a ClCmentterrestre est compose dunezone centrale, dune zone tampon (sous-divisee en aires d’ usage restreints, controk ettraditionnels) et dune aire d’ utilisation multiple/manipulable. L’ element cotier/marin estcompose dune zone centrale et d’ usage multiple. Finalement, les terres tribales ancestralestraditionnellement occupees sont des terres dont disposent les populations indigenes localespar l’intermediaire d’ Certificat de domaineancestralrevendique.Un nombre diversifie d’ un airesprotegees du Palawan sont d&rites, tout comme les priorites de rechercheet les programmesen tours. L’implantation du Plan environnementalstrategique du Palawan et du Reseau deszones environnementales critiques sont sous des contraintes allant de I’ incapacite desexecuteurs au manque evident dint&& parmi la major-it6des communauteslocales, en raisondu manque d’ opportunite d’ autres moyens d’ existencequi empecheraientles communautks apoursuivre leurs pressions sur la for& la terre et les ressourcesmarines. Ricardo M. Sandal0 is the National Co-Director of the European Union fundedPalawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme (PTF’ of the Palawan Council for PP)Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS). Teodoro Baltazar heads the ECAN Division of the PCSDS. All photographs were taken by Pedritz Ensomo. Working Paper No 19, 1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  6. 6. 4LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ .6 1) Establishment and legislation.. ........................................................................ 7 2) Manaaement ..................................................................................................... .9I- THE SEP AND THE ENVIRONMENTALLY CRITICAL AREASNETWORKJECAN~ ....................................................................................................................... IO 1) Status of the ECANization ............................................................................. ..13 2) Problems and issues in the ECANization and resource use ....................... .I6II- PROTECTED AREAS .......................................................................................... .I8 1) Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and World Heritaae Site ................ .I9 2) St. Paul’ Subterranean s River National Park.. .............................................. .I 9 3) El Nido Marine Reserve ................................................................................. .20 4) Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary.. .......................................... 21 5) Ursula Island Game Refuqe and Bird Sanctuarv .......................................... 22 6) Other reservations ......................................................................................... .22 7) Problems and issues related to protected areas ........................................ .22Ill- ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, MONITORING AND OTHER CONCERNS.....23CONCLUSION : THE FUTURE : NEED AND PROSPECT ...................................... 25 1) Research wiorities ......................................................................................... .25 2) Action prowammes ........................................................................................ 26 3) Epilocaue ......................................................................................................... ..2 7BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ._.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..27ANNEX 1 : EXCERPTS FROM THE <<Proposed multinational researchprogramme to underpin sustainable use of the forests of Palawan,), by T. C.WHITMORE. _. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .._......................................._....................._..._......................... 28ANNEX 2 : PLANTAND ANIMAL SPECIES FOR SPECIAL PROTECTION INPALA WAN, SEP 7987.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _.. . . . . __.. . _.. . . . . . . . __._. _.. __. . _. . _.. __. . . . . _. . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  7. 7. 5 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONSCADC -Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim.DAO -Department Administrative Order.DECS -Department of Education, Culture and Sports.DENR -Department of Environment and Natural Resources.Ecm -Environmentally Critical AreasNetwork.Eu -European Union.LGUS -Local Government Units.MAB -Man and the BiosphereProgramme.NIPAP -National Integrated ProtectedAreasProgramme.N~PAS -National Integrated ProtectedAreas System,RA no 7 586.PCSD -Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.PCSDS -Palawan Council for Sustainable DevelopmentStaff.PIADP -Palawan Integrated Area DevelopmentProject.PSTFAD -Provincial SpecialTask Force on AncestralDomain.P~FPP -Palawan Tropical Forestry ProtectionProgramme.RA -Republic Act.SEP -Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan,RA no 7 6 11. Working Paper N” 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  8. 8. 6INTRODUCTION The Province of Palawan (Cf. MAP 1) lies on the southwestern edge of the Philippinearchipelago.Including its marine area, it occupies almost one-fifth of the country’ territory, sfrom the SpratlysIslands on the west within South China Sea and to the south nearing Borneo.Its land is composed of 1 700 islands and islets, covering approximately 14 000 krn2 with itslargest island (also called mainland Palawan) stretching along 450 kilometers from 8 to 40kilometers large, bisected with a mountain range in the middle (highest peak 2 085 metersabove sealevel).MAP 1 : Republic of the Philippines Palawan’ forests support a unique and highly diverse flora and fauna. Its flora is sknown to be representedby 1 672 species,with many botanists hinting that there may be moreundiscoveredplants. Similarly, Palawan’ fauna is unique and is considered rare, threatened or sendangered,several speciesare included in the IUCN Red Data Book. Owing to its ecologicaluniqueness, Province is dubbed as the country’ “last ecological frontier”. Geographically, the sthe Province was connectedto the Bornean peninsula through land bridges. Its flora and fauna,Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  9. 9. 7therefore, comparedto that of the rest of the country resemblemore closely to those found inBorneo. In 1962, a team of anthropologists unearthed in the mainland fossils classified ashomo sapiens the Tabon Man, known to be 22 000 to 24 000 years old. Before the turn of thecentury, Palawan has been the home to several indigenous peoples : the Tagbanuas,Pala’ wan,Tau’ Bato and the Bataks. Their ancestors are believed to have occupied the Province long tbefore Malay settlers from the Madjapahit Empire of Indonesia arrived in these islands in thelatter XIIth. or XIIIth. centuries. Now, the Province is a melting pot of migrants from various parts of the Philippinesand other countries. The influx of settlers accounts for the high population growth rate of3.9 % annually, which is almost twice as much the national average. By the year 2 000, thenumber of Palawenosis expected to reach 750 000. Agriculture and fisheries are the major economic activities in the Province. Thepresence,however, of offshore oil and natural gas have been confirmed. Tourism is promisingto be a bigger industry in the coming years, while minerals like chromite and nickel are alsobeing extracted and a large cement deposit is being eyed for exploitation. 1) Establishment and leaislation Palawan was declared as a Biosphere Reserve, one of only two in the country, byUNESCO’Man and the Biosphere Programme in 1991. Within its territory, the TubbatahaReef swas listed as a World Heritage Site by the World ConservationUnion in 1994. In 1992, the Philippine Legislature passed, and President Corazon Aquino signedintolaw, the Republic Act (RA) no 7 611 adopting the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) forPalawan and creating the Palawan Council for SustainableDevelopment (PCSD) to superviseits implementationunder the Office of the Philippine President. Through the SEP, an Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) within itsterrestrial and coastal marine areas shall be established delineating the Province into corezones, buffer zones (restricted use, controlled and traditional use areas),tribal ancestrallandsand the multiple use areas. The ECAN provides the backdrop in defining the resourcemanagementunits within the Province, that is to say cat&n-rent or watershed, small island orfishing ground. To illustrate this, a watershed managementunit shall be classified into thedifferent ECAN zones earlier cited. Recognizingits richnessin biological and cultural diversity, severalareas in (or wholeof) Palawan were declared, even prior to the adoption of the SEP, either as reservationsorsanctuaries(C$ TABLE 1). Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  10. 10. 8TABLE 1 : Palawan’ s protected areas : sanctuaries and reservations Date Name of protected area Legal basis proclaimed Bacuit WatershedReservation PresidentialProclamation March 28, 1935 no 785 Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary PresidentialProclamation April 30, 1960 no 14 Entire Province of Palawanas GameRefugeand PresidentialProclamation July 2, 1967 Bird Sauctuary and Small Islands (lessthan no 219 50 000 ha) as National Reserve St. Paul’ Subterranean s River National Park PresidentialProclamation March 26, 1971 no 835 Calauit Game Preserveand Wildlife Samtuary PresidentialProclamation August 3 1, 1976 no 1978 Candawaga-Ransang t Bato Reservation Tau’ Presidential Proclamation June 2, 1978 no 1 743 Entire Province of Palawanas Mangrove Swamp Presidential Proclamation Dec. 29,198l Forest Reserve no 2 152 Tabon Gave Museum Reservation Presidential Proclamation April 11, 1982 no 999 El Nido Marine Turtle Sanctuary MNR Administrative June 8, 1982 Order no 8 Irawau Flora and Fauna WatershedReservation Presidential Proclamation July 14, 1982 no 2 221 Tubbataha National Marine Park (World Heritage Presidential Proclamation August 1, 1988 List) no 306 El Nido Marine Reserve DENR Administrative 1991 Order no 14Note : MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) and DENR (Department of Environment andNatural Resources). Also in 1992, the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act @Ano 7 586) was adopted to integrate all protected areasin the country within one system underthe Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR). Effectively, the above citedreservations and sanctuaries shall be managed by the DEN-R through Protected AreaManagement Boards (P-s) in eacharea. As provided for in the SEP Act, however, these protected areas earlier mentioned aspart of the NIPAS, shall be consideredas distinct management units within the Network. Sothat a given protected area shall be further classifiedinto the ECAN zones for purposes ofresource managementplanning.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  11. 11. 9 2) Management Administratively, the country is subdivided into regions. Regional offices of nationalagencies are operating to cover several provinces. Palawan belongs to Region IV, or theSouthern Tagalog Region. Two recent initiatives however, have caused the affiliation ofPalawan with the Provinces of Mindanao Island in the south. The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area links Palawan together with Mindanao to closely tradeand undertake mutually beneficial economic activities with regions of the neighboring SouthEast Asian countries. Meanwhile, Palawan is included in the newly created SouthernPhilippinesCouncil for Peaceand Development (SPCPD), pursuant to a peace agreementof thePhilippine Government with the Moro National Liberation Front @NLF), a secessionist groupbasedin Mindanao. Local governing is undertaken through the Provincial Government of Palawan andCity/Municipal Governments called Local Government Units (&Gus). The Province ispolitically subdivided into 24 city/municipalities. Twelve municipalities and one city are in themainland while the rest are island municipalities. The Provincial Government is headed by aGovernor while each city/municipality is headed by a Mayor. Further, each city/municipality iscomposed of districts called barangays, headed by a Barangay Chairman. The Governor, theMayors, and Barangay Chairmen are elected every three years. As provided for in the newLocal Government Code of 1991, various authorities and responsibilities previously held bynational agenciesare now devolved to the LGUS. These include aspectsin agriculture, socialwelfare, health, environment and natural resources,etc.. Unique to the Province of Palawan is the existence of a multi-sectoral and multi-agency policy making and implementation Council, the PCSD, reporting directly to the Officeof the President.It is tasked to supervise and implement sustainabledevelopment initiatives inthe Province through the SEP Act. The Council is composed of the Members of the House ofRepresentativesrepresenting Palawan, a Deputy Director General of the National Economicand Development Authority (NEDA), an Under-secretary of the DEN-R, an Under-secretary ofthe Department of Agriculture, the Governor of Palawan, the Mayor of Puerto PrincesaCity,the President of the Mayors’League of Palawan, the President of the Provincial Chapter of theLeague of Barangays, the Executive Director of the PCSD Staff (serving as ex-ofJicio Secretary) and representatives from the private or public sectors and non-governmentalorganizations (NGos), as the Council may deem necessary. The members of the Councilannually elect, among themselves,a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman. Providing the regular professional support to the Council is the PCSD Staff. The PCSD and its Staff are independent from any other department or agency of the Government. It provides the machinery to coordinate the policy, functions and implement programmesof the Council. However, the PCSD may call on any department, bureau, office, agency or Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  12. 12. 10instrumentality of the Government and on private entities and organizationsfor co-operationand assistancein the performance of its functions. Consistent with the NIPAS and the SEP law, a protected area, as a managementunitwithin ECAN, shall have a multi-sectoral PAMB, specifically organized to oversee themanagement of the said area. Meanwhile, tribal ancestrallandswhich are awarded by the DENRwith an area-specific Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC), shall be managed by theconcerned Peoples’ Organization (or PO, composed of indigenous peoples) holding saidCertificate. All these PAMEBand POS,shall be coordinating closelywith the PCSD and its Staff, inpursuance of the SEPlaw.I- THE SEP AND THE ENVIRONMENTALLY CRITICAL AREAS NETWORK (ECAN) The Republic Act no 7 611 statesthat the SEPis a comprehensive framework for thesustainable development of Palawan compatible with protecting and enhancing the naturalresources and endangered environment of the Province. It shall serve to guide the localgovernments of Palawan and the national agencies concerned in the formulation andimplementation of plans, programmesand projects affectingthe Province. Sustainabledevelopment is defined by the SEP Act as the improvement in the qualityof life of its people for the present and future generationsthrough the use of complementaryactivities of development and conservationthat protect life-support ecosystems rehabilitate andexploited areas to allow upcoming generations to sustain development growth. Suchdevelopment shall have the following features : * Ecological viability : the physical and biological cycles that maintainproductivity of natural ecosystems must always be kept intact. * Social acceptability : the people themselves, through participatory processes,should be fully committed to support sustainabledevelopmentactivities by fostering equity inaccessto resources and the benefits derived from them. * Integrated approach : this allows for the holistic view of problems and issuesobtaining in the environment opportunities for coordination and sharing that will eventuallyprovide the resources and political will to actually implementand sustainSEPactivities. As its main strategy, the SEP shall establishan ECAN, which is a graded system ofprotection and development control over the whole of Palawan,including tribal lands, forest,mines, agricultural areas, settlementareas, small islands,mangroves,coral reefs, seagrassbedsand the surrounding seas. The ECAN shall ensure the following : i) forest conservation andprotection through imposition of total commercial logging ban in all areas of maximumprotection (core zone) and in such other restricted use zones as the PCSD may provide ;ii) protection of watersheds; iii) preservation of biological diversity ; iv) protection of tribalpeople and the preservation of their culture ; v) maintenanceof maximum sustainableyield ;Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : ThePalawan Biosphere Resewe(Philippines)
  13. 13. 11vi) protection of rare and endangered speciesand their habitat ; vii) provision of areas forenvironmental and ecological research,educationand training and viii) provision of areas fortourism and recreation. The areas covered by ECAN (Cf: TABLE 2) are classifiedinto three main components :terrestrial, coastal/marine and tribal ancestral lands. The terrestrial component shall besubdivided into smaller management components,. that is to say catchment, watershed orprotected area, which in turn shall be further classified into the following zones : areas ofmaximum protection or core zone, buffer zone (may be further subdivided into restricted usearea, controlled use area, and traditional use area) and the multiple/manipulative use area. Inthe managementof the coastal/marinecomponent,core zones and multiple use zones shall bedelineated in the fishing grounds of the Province. On the other hand, the tribal ancestral landsare areas traditionally occupied by indigenouspeoples, comprising both land and sea. Usingconsultative processes and cultural mapping, a special kind of zonation shall be defined tofulfil1 the material and cultural needsof the tribes.TABLE 2 : Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) zones, criteria andallowable uses Criteria and allowable uses Core Zone Fully and strictly protected and maintained free of human disruption. Areas above 1000 m. elevation. Virgin forest or first growth forest. Areas with steepgradient,above50 % slope. Peaksof Mountains with elevationgreaterthan 500 m. abovesealevel and covering 500 m. horizontaldistancefrom the epicenter. Endangeredhabitatsand habitatsof endangered rare species. and Residualforests having lessthan 60 m.3/ha. harvestable volume. Otherareaswhich the PCSD identify. will Exceptions,may be granted to traditional usesof tribal communitiesfor minimal and soft impact gathering offorest species ceremonialand medicinal for purposes. (TABLE 2 to be continued...) Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operafion Programme), Paris (France)
  14. 14. 12(...continuation of TABLE 2) ECAN zones Criteria and allowable uses Buffer Zone Restricted Use Area Generally surrounds the core zone and provides protective barrier. Areas with elevationranging 500-l 000 m.. Areas with sloperanging 36-50 %. Habitat of wildlife species. Critical watersheds. Areas < 500 m. elevation,a 10 km. belt surrounding the Core Zone. Areaswith poor, stuntedand sparsestands of semi-deciduous forest which has very low regeneration capacity. Areas < 500 but not c 300 m. elevation to protect the remaining forestedpeaksof watersheds adjacentto critical ecosystems: coral reefs, estuaries,lakes, rivers and watersheds major irrigation, water supply and mini-hydro projects. for Limited and nonconsumptive activities may be allowed in this area, that is to say gathering of wild honey, almaciga tapping, soft-impact recreational activities (hiking, sight-seeing,bird watching, etc.) and research. Controlled Use Area Encircles and provides the outer barrier to the core and restricted use area. Areaswith elevationranging 100-500 m.. Areas with sloperanging 19-35 %. In areaswhere there is a commuuity within or immediately adjacentto a restricted use area,a controlled use zone could be delineatedfrom the restricted use for the use of the community. Controlledforest extraction may be allowed : collection of minor forest products, strictly controlled logging and mining. Traditional Use Area Areas above18 % slopebut below 100 m. elevation subjectedearlier to deforestation are already stabilized or suitable to upland farming system. but Edgesof intact forestswhere traditional land use is already stabilized or is being stabilized. Open,brushlandor grasslandareas that are still being classified as timberland or public land. Timberland or public land with elevation < 100 m.. Managementand control shall be carried out with the other supporting programmesof the SEP,that is to say upland stabilization, catchmentmanagement, hillside farming, integrated social forestry, industrial tree plantation and community-basedforest management. Multiple/manipulative The area where the landscape has been modified for different forms of land Use Area use. Areas classifiedas Alienable and Disposable. Areas with slope 18 % and below. Control and management strictly integrated with the other supporting programmes of the SEPand other similar programmes of the Government,in accordancewith a land useplan endorsedby the local government units and community concerned for PCSDSapproval, that is to say community-basedtimber extraction, grazing and pastures,agriculture, infrastructure and industrial development. ~~~~~~~ A different and simplified scheme of management and zonation shall be applied to this component due to its geographical characteristics, critical nature and patterns of resource use. Equitable accessto the resource and managementresponsibility by the local communityshall be the underlying managementphilosophy of this component. (TABLE 2 to be continued...)Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  15. 15. 13(...continuation of TABLE 2) Ecm zones Criteria and allowable uses Core Zone Designated free from any human activity. Coral reefswith relatively intact resources,fair to excellent coral condition or 25- 100 % coral cover. Coralline sites containing all coral generafound in the managementunit. Mangrove areasbordering waterways and extending 20 m. from riverbank and 50 m. from shore. Mangrove areasin small islands. Mangrove areasof old growth stand and reproductivebrush. Mangrove areascontaining all the speciesin the managementunit. Seagrass bedsbordering core zone for mangrove and corals. Seagrass bedswith at least 50 % cover of macrophytes. Seagrass bedswith sightings of Duaong duaong. Includes sanctuaries rare and endangeredspecies,selectedcoral reefs, seagrass for and mangroveecosystem reserves. Multiple Use Zone AI1 coa.staI/marine areasnot classified as coastal/marinecore zone. Asideporn being a developmentarea, this zone also servesas the buffer zone wherefishery, mariculture, recreation, rehabilitation of small islands and mangroveecosystem, education and research are allowed. .,.......,..... ...,.,.,.,. . ~~~~~~~ Traditionally occupied by cultural communities. .................. “A”.“.... ....,.A._._.__..._._,,,._.,....,.... find of zomtion swl k defined to fulfil1 he mateid “2.‘ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A special md culti n& ...n..... _.......,.................._...,..... i... ....A... .. _.,.. . of the of the tribes using consultative processes cultural mapping. and Shall be treated in the samegraded systemof control and prohibitions as others abovementionedexceptfor stronger emphasisin cultural considerations. SOURCES : Republic Act no 7 611 (SEP) and PCSDResolution no 94-44 1) Status of the ECANization In 1994, the PCSD adopted the Guidelines in Implementing the ECAN (PCSDResolution no 94-44). Based on the guidelines and utilizing whatever available secondary datafrom existing maps (topography/elevation, vegetative cover) a preliminary ECAN map (Cf:W 2) was produced and approved by the PCSD. Through the PCSD Staff, a series oforientation workshops were conducted at the municipal level to prepare the LGUS, specificallyits planning departments, on their role relative to the ECAN. Also, during the workshopsEnvironmental Impact Assessmentand Environmental Monitoring methodologies were alsodiscussed. Multi-sectoral ECAN Boards were organized in each municipality after everyorientation workshop. The Board serves as a recommendatory regulating body relative to allenvironmentrelated issues.This is necessary ensure proper resource utilization within ECAN toprotected zones.Each ECAN Board is provided with the preliminary EcAN map, as a basis fortheir evaluationof any project or activity. Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France) -
  16. 16. MAP 2 : Preliminary Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) map of theProvince of Palawan LEGEND : Core zone Restricted use zone Controlled use zone Traditional use zone Muttiple use zone Mangrove area islands On a regular basis, community dialogues and consultationsare undertaken on ECANactivities as well as to gather and input secondaryinformation to further develop the zoningguidelines for a specific area. These are translated into working maps,though preliminary, tobe utilized in enforcing the provision of the ECAN guidelines. Finally, however, the zoningshall be subjected to an actual survey/delineationwhich are marked on the ground.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  17. 17. 15 Up to now, the ECAN Division of the PCSD Staff with the complementationof thePalawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme(PTFPP), a European Union funded project,and in co-operation with the LGUs concerned have delineatedthe following : i) terrestrialareas -Municipalities of Brooke’ Point, Espanola, San Vicente and El Nido- and sii) coastal/marine areas -Municipalities of Narra (with 63 km2 declared as fish sanctuary orcore zone) and Balabac. Meanwhile, four ancestraldomain sites : Cabayugan,Kayasan,Irawan and Amas havebeen surveyed, boundaries defined and registered as tribal ancestral lands. Two of which,Cabayugan and Kayasan, both adjacentto the St. Paul’ National Park, were awarded last year sby the DENR with Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC). With a CADC, theconcerned peoples’organization now has the prior right in the managementand utiliition ofits natural resources. Meanwhile, the Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domain(PSTFAD) has resolved for the approval of the Irawan ancestral domain claim, an areaoverlapping with the Irawan Flora and Fauna Watershed Reservation. Finally, the Amasancestral domain claim covering four barangays (approximately totaling 145 km.* in themunicipality of Brooke’ Point, is under evaluationby the PSTFAD. s The PCSD Staff and the PTFPP are both utilizing the Global Positioning Systeminstrumentation in the ground survey and delineation activities, as the LGUS, the non-government organizations and the communities concerned participate in the process. Thismulti-sectoral approach of conducting the survey/delineationof the ECAN zones ensuressharing not only of the benefit but also the responsibilities and accountabilities in theimplementation and enforcement of the ECAN. The ECAN, as delineated, forms the basis in the formulation of the LGUsComprehensive Land and Water Use Plans and consequently in the ComprehensiveDevelopment Plans of the municipalities as well as its respective zoning ordinances. TheComprehensive Development Plans of the LGUS are then compiled into the ProvincialDevelopment Plan. Although the ground survey/delineationare still on-going in the other municipalities,the ECAN is already enforced, through the preliminary map, in the permitting systemrelative toresource utilization. A Memorandum of Agreement was reachedbetween the PCSD and DIZNR so that all applications for permits, that is to say gathering of forest products, resource exploitation projects, etc. shall first be reviewed, evaluatedand clearedby the Council prior to an issuance of a permit or an Environmental ComplianceCertificate by DENR. The PCSD Staff evaluates and recommends to the Council any proposal through the ECAN system. Simultaneously, the applications are referred to the concerned LGU, through their ECANBoards which likewise review and recommendappropriate (mitigating) actions. This permitting system is unique to Palawan, by virtue of the StrategicEnvironmentalPlan Act. Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  18. 18. 16 2) Problems and issues in the ECANization and resource use While co-operation from the LGUS is evident, it is still imperative to strengthen theirtechnical capabilities. Specifically, the LGUS need to upgrade their environmental impactevaluation capacities, and more importantly, their appreciation of the inherent capabilities ofthe indigenous peoples in resourceutiliiation, that is to say watershed management or CADCmanagement. This does not mean, however, that the indigenous pleoples on their own canensure perfect managementof their natural resources(a number of them are already influencedby lowlanders), but the indigenouspeoples (Cf. PHOTO1) also need to be assisted. There isalso a dearth for more capacity building in resource management planning for specificecological units among stakeholders. PHOTO 1: A Pala’ wan mother and child. The Pala’ wans are now mostly concentrated in the south of mainland Palawan Delineation of ECAN zones are likewise confronted with the present legal status ofsome of the Province’ land resources.For example, an area in the north, the watersheds ssurrounding Lake Manguao, were classifiedearlier as alienable and disposable (thus could infact be zonified as Multiple/Manipulative Use Area under ECAN), but in reality its vegetativecover is still old growth forest. On the other hand, there are also areas legally classified asTimberland (thus not to be disposed by the State), but actually have been cultivated asagricultural land by early settlerslong before the Province was subjected to Land Classificationby DEN-R. The delineated ECAN zones imply a prescriptive land and coastal/marine resourceuse. Years before the SEPwas adopted however, slashand bum farming, commonly called askaingin, has been practiced by the communities (both by indigenous peoples and ChristianRicardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The falawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  19. 19. 17settlers) within and around ECAN’ buffer zones. Some of the indigenous peoples are even Scultivating areas within the core zones, as they were pushed by Christian settlers. Kaingin isconsidered as one of the major culprits in Palawan’ on-going deforestation at 190 km.* of sforestland being lost annually. Despite an earlier ban (late 1970s) declared by the nationalgovernment, kaingin is still going on (Cf: PHOTO2). Poverty and lack of income opportunities,however, are pushing the poor farmers to such kind of activity. PHOTO 2 : A recent/y planted kaingin area in Mt. Mantalingahan, southern Palawan Compounding the problem created by kaingirt is the illegal logging/cutting of trees.With the adoption of the SEP, and its provisions, a total commerciallogging ban was imposedin the Province. This move has rendered thousandsof logging concessionworkers jobless andthe prices of lumber lucrative. Consequently,with the demandfor lumber still increasing forhousing and other construction needs,the temptation to illegally cut trees is also increasing.Todate, community-based forestry activities, like the communalforests are being pursued, but thepace in its adoption has been dragging to the detriment of the existingforests. In the coastal/marine area, illegal and environmentally destructive fishing are stillgoing on. Fishing through the use of dynamite and/or explosivesare being perpetuated in theProvince’ fishing grounds not only by Palawenos,but also by people from other provinces in sthe country. In addition, the market for live fish, like groupers and small tropical fishes, forrestaurants in Manila and Hongkong and the aquarium industry are so tempting that peopleresort to the use of cyanide (a toxic chemicalto stun the fish) to catch the fish alive. In theprocess, the cyanide destroys the coral reefs. Recently, the Provincial Government banned thecapture and selling of live fish, specifically to stop the practice of cyanidefishing. But reports of these illegal activities are still being received. Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (SoufIbSouth Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  20. 20. 18II- PROTECTED AREAS As earlier mentioned, several areas in Palawan have been declared either asreservations or sanctuaries(Cf: MAP 3). These shall form part of the National IntegratedProtected Areas System, with specific managementplans to be developed for each of theseareas. In preparing the management plans of these protected areas, however, the policies andstrategies set forth by the SEPand ECAN shall be reckoned with. This is to achieve a holisticprotection and managementof the Province’ ecology and natural resources. These protected sareas are describedbelow.MAP 3 : Location of protected areas of the Province of PalawanNotes : Protected areas : 1. Calauit Game Preserveand Wildlife Sanctuary ; 2. El Nido MarineReserve, El Nido Marine Turtle Sanctuary, Bacauit Watershed Reservation ; 3. St. Paul’ sSubterrananRiver National Park ; 4. TubbatahaNational Marine Park (World Heritage List) ;5. Irawan Flora and Fauna Watershed Reservation; 6. Tabon Cave MuseumReservation ; 7. Candawaga-Ransang t Bato Reservation; 8. Ursula Island Game Refuge Tau’and Bird Sanctuary. AI1 small islands(< 50 000 ha.) are National Reserves. Whole Province isa Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary,Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve and m BiosphereReserve. SOURCES: Republic Act no 7 611 and SEPActRicardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  21. 21. 19 1) Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and World Heritacle Site Foremost among theseprotected areas,is the Tubbataha Reef, declared in 1988 as thecountry’ first national marine park, and later recognizedas one of the World Heritage Sites. It scovers an area of 320 km.* of submergedcorals, islets and lagoon at the approximate center ofthe Sulu Sea. The reef complex is part of the island municipality of Cagayancillo, 328 km.northeast of Puerto PrincesaCity. The TubbatahaReef complex is consideredas one of the world’ best diving area (Cf: sPHOTO 3) and has become one of the country’ favorite touristic destination. A 1982 survey srevealedthat the area comprises46 coral genera,at least 40 families and 379 speciesof fish, 6speciesof sharks and 2 speciesof dolphins. In addition, at least 43 species of algae and 7speciesof seagrasses belongingto 5 generawere also observed in the area. Also abounding areflocks of red footed (Ma sula) and brown (Sda Zeocogaster) boobies, hawksbill and green seaturtles, sting and manta rays. A Task Force was createdby President Ramos in August 1995 tooverseethe formulation and implementationof a workable development and managementplanfor the area. PHOTO 3 : An underwater scene in the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, a favorite dive spot in Palawan 2) St. Paul’ Subterranean s River National Park Another important protected area is the St. Paul’ Subterranean River National Park slocated on the central west coast of the mainland within the limits of Puerto Princesa City. Itcovered originally 30 km.* and was later expandedto 50 km.*. Its underground river (as it is Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  22. 22. commonly called, and the most popular feature of the Park) stretches approximately 8 km..The St. Paul’ Protected Area ManagementBoard has proposed to further increaseits size to s750 km.* to cover its neighbouring mountain Cleopatra’Needle. s Aside from the subterraneanriver and the many other caves,however, the Park is alsonoted for a very diverse flora and fauna representingalmost what could be found in the wholeProvince. Lately, its visitors have been notably increasing,due to its unusual attraction : a boatride (Cf: PHOTO 4) within the cave and also becauseof its improved accessibilityfrom the City.Its management turned-over by the DENRto the City Governmentin 1993, and the Park is wascurrently being assistedby the PTFPPin terms of technical, planningand operating assistance. PHOTO 4 : A boat ride in the underground river of the St. Paul’ Subterranean s River National Park 3) El Nido Marine Reserve Another famous touristic destination is the El Nido Marine Reserve located in theMunicipality of El Nido. The town is likewise noted for its edible birds’nests,commonly calledas nido. The Reserve (created through a Department Order in 1991), occupying 960 km.* ofRicardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  23. 23. 21land and sea,was earlier declared as a Marine Turtle Sanctuary.Earlier, in 1935, an area withinthe Reservewas set aside as the Bacuit WatershedReservation. Its unique seascape of island marble cliffs, diverse ecosystems of rainforests,mangrove forests, and white beaches, seagrassbeds and coral reefs provide attractions fortourists and opportunities for investors to transform the islandsinto resorts. A Task Force waslikewise created by President Ramos for the area. Meanwhile, it is also one of the sites to beassistedby another European Union funded project through the DENR, the National IntegratedProtected Area Programme (NIP*). 4) Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary Considered as a successful wildlife translocation in Asia, the Calauit Game Preserveand Wildlife Sanctuary, is a small island located in the Municipality of Busuanga.Declared byPresidentMarcos in 1976, it was intended to “save”the declining African animal population inKenya. A total of 104 exotic animals arrived in 1977. After five years, the animal populationincreasedto 201 of which 58 were original stocks while 143 were island-born. To date, thereare 569 heads of these animals (Cf: PHOTO 5) : impala (188), waterbuck (156) zebra (85),eland (55), bushback (49), giraffe (32) and topi (5). In-situ conservation work on endemic wildlife specieswas also undertaken in theSanctuary. Consequently, African animals are now co-existing with the endemic andendangeredCalamian deer, Palawan bear cat, wild boar, Palawan peacock pheasant,mousedeer, marine turtles, crocodiles, among others. Its protected marine habitat is likewise home tothe endangereddugong (sea cow), sea turtles and giant clams.In 1995, the managementof theSanctuarywas turned-over by the DENRto the PCSD Staff. PHOTO 5 : Zebras within Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary Working Paper No 19, 1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation fJrogramme), Paris (France)
  24. 24. 22 5) Ursula Island Game Refune and Bird Sanctuary As early as 1960, the Ursula Island GameRefuge and Bird Sanctuarywas establishedthrough a PresidentialProclamation.This 17 hectareoval-shaped island is located southwest ofSulu Sea, 16 km. southeastof Rio Tuba, Batarazain the southern part of mainland Palawan.On the southern side of the island lies a wide coral reef covering an area larger than the islanditself. Ursula Island is haven to over 150 000 migratory birds that come reportedly duringthe cold winter months from as far as mainland China. Unfortunately, 35 years after itsdeclaration, the number of birds have been declining due to illegal human activities.Consequently, President Ramos created in 1995 a Task Force to purposely halt the possibledemise of these birds and its habitat. 6) Other reservations Aside from the above cited, there are also reservations and special interest areasworth mentioning, not necessarilyprotected areas.These include the Irawan Flora and FaunaWatershed Reservation,the main domesticwater supply source of Puerto Princesa City as wellas, in recent years, the site of an annual (every June) mass tree planting activity during afestivity called Pista Y Ang Kagueban (Feastof the Forest). There is also the Tabon Cave Museum Reservation and the Candawaga-RansangTaut Bato Reservation, both of which are to be managedby the National Museum, however,only the former is currently given attention. The Tau’ Bato are the indigenous cave-dwelling tsub-tribe of the Pala’ wans, while the Tabon Caveis the site where the Tabon Man was found. Within the City of Puerto Princesa,the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (approximately300 km.*) administered by the Department of Justice is one of the largest remaining intactforest. Meanwhile are potential protected areasto be assistedby NIPAFJ, Malampaya Sound,until recently declared as a Fish Sanctuaryin the Municipality of Taytay and the Coron Islandin the Municipality of Coron, a marble cliff islandwith severalsmall lakes on top. 7) Problems and issues related to protected areas Interestingly, the whole Province was likewise declaredas a Mangrove Swamp ForestReserve (198 1) and as a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary(1967), with its small islands (lessthan 500 km.*) also as National Reserves. These blanket declarations proved to becontroversial if not confusing, as there are no detailed guidelines. Consequently, cutting ofmangroves, an important fUelwood and housing material in the Province, is illegal. On theother hand, mangrove areas are being convertedinto fishponds. Meanwhile, there are islandmunicipalities which have been inhabited since the Spanish colonization, that is to sayRicardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  25. 25. 23Linapacan, but its settlement lots could not be disposed of for private ownership due to theprohibition on small islands declaredonly in 1967. Until very lately, the managementof these reserveshave been very wanting. Untilnow, only two of the protected areas (St. Paul’ Park and Ursula Island) have an existing sPAMB. Worst, except for the St. Paul’ Park and the Calauit Sanctuary,there are no permanent spersonnel manning these protected areas.Generally,therefore, it could be said that Palawan’ sprotected areas are good only in paper. In addition, aside from neglected by present andprevious administrators,jurisdiction conflict also pose a major problem among protected areas.Ursula Island, for example,are now claimedby two municipalities.Also, the management of ElNido, Tubbataha, among others, have been contested between PCSD and DEN-R, althoughlately, with the President’ Task Force approach,this has somewhatbeen dissipated. In Calauit, spolitical interventions and the hidden and/or real motives in proclaiming the area as sanctuaryfor exotic African wildlife have been questionedby those who were ejected from the area.Consequently,they are reclaiming the island and have in fact resettled there, thereby affectingthe managementof the Sanctuary,so poachingis becomingrampant. Also common among protected areas is the sheer lack of appreciation by thesurrounding communities on the importance of these areas in terms of biodiversity and asheritage to future generations.There is also conflict of boundary between protected areas andthe communities around them, as most of these reserveswere not properly demarcated on theground but rather their declarationwere based on table mapping without the necessary localconsultations and/or information and educationcampaign.Ill- ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, MONITORING AND OTHER CONCERNS Environmental research and environmental monitoring are two of the essentialcomponents set forth in the StrategicEnvironmentalPlan for Palawan (SEP) closely linked tothe Environmentally Critical Areas Network (EcAN). Identification and management of theECAN zones, for example is not a simple assigningof uses but require biological as well asecological justification. In addition, the changesoccurring in the ECAN zones are the mainsubject areasfor EnvironmentalMonitoring. To date, the delineation of the ECAN zones are mostly based on elevation, slope andvegetative cover. The SEP and the ECAN guidelines, however, identifies the preservation ofbiological diversity and the protection of rare and endangeredspeciesas two major objectives.No ECAN zone has been delineatedon thesebases,in view of the fact that there is no definitivedata or information on the matter. Except perhaps on the protected areas, but worst, asidefrom being generally neglected,biological and ecological studieson these areas are negligible ifnot absent. In addition, to support the policy making functions of the Palawan Council forSustainableDevelopment (PCSD), the Staff and other concerned agencies are supposed to Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO(South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  26. 26. 24provide the scientific basis for the Council’ policy decisions. A study on the economics of salmaciga (resin), and some inventory studies on the flora and fauna of Palawan wereundertaken, and resource assessmentsurveys on certain areas are scheduled with theparticipation of relevant institutions. But, much are still to be desired. Relative to environmentalmonitoring, an Environmental Monitoring and EvaluationSystem(EMES) has been attempted to be establishedby the PCSD Staff Unfortunately, afterfour years of its existence,the Council and its Staff have yet to operate an EMES that willprovide regular assessment the Province’ environmental status. of s Due to its relatively intact, yet fragile, ecosystem, Palawan has become a majortouristic destination in the country. The Province has been mouthing eco-tourism as its majorattraction comparedto other parts of the country. Several resorts, on small islands or along thecoastsin the mainland, are being establishedby Filipino and foreign entrepreneurs.Some arecatering to the high-end exclusive type of markets, but most of the resorts are targeting themass and backpackers type of tourists. Although there is now a Japan International Co-operation Agency supported study on environmentally sustainabletourism in the Province,what is worth noting is that, despitethe ever increasing hype, no single plan has been producedthat would ultimately define what eco-tourism is, or what it should be. Meanwhile, it can be said that generally environmental awarenessin the Province ishigh compared to the other parts of the country. Environmental campaignshave been wagedthrough the various media outlets by agencies spearheadedby the PCSDStaff, NGOSand theDENR.However, what is perhaps required is a sustainablecampaign that will reach not onlythose in the urban areas,but farmers and fishermen (Cf: PHOTO as well. Afterall, they are in 6)the front-line of resourceutilization. Environmental concerns in Palawan does not only dwell on its forest andcoastal/marine resources.As identified by the SEPlaw, the protection of Palawan’ forest from sfurther destruction for example, depends largely on how well the manipulative/multiple useareas are intensively utilized. If, and when, the population is economically stabilized in itsagricultural and “off-the-land” activities in the lowlands, consequentlythe pressure to utilizethe uplands,through k&gin, would decreased. The lowlands in Palawan, however, are confronted with pests and diseaseswhichstunts the growth of its agriculture. The menace of the black bug has been spreadingthroughout the rice plantationsin Palawan. This is coupled with the persistenceof the GoldenKuhol (giant snails), earlier introduced in the ricefields as a free source of protein (beingedible) for the farmers. Later, however, they become pests as they spread so fast and eat thestalksof newly planted rice. In addition, the mango industry of the Province have been plaguedwith a pulp weevil, so that for quarantine purposes, mango growers in the Province areprohibited from sellingtheir produce outside the island.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  27. 27. 25 PHOTO 6 : A typical fishing village scene in Palawan Another threat to the environment,if not properly guided, is the affiliation of theProvince in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area and theSouthern Philippines Council for Peace and Development and, more importantly, thesignificant location of oil and natural gas offshore Palawan. These economic initiatives openthe Province to further exploitation, as the neighbouringprovinces and countries are looking atPalawan as a source of timber, land, agriculture and fishery, oil and mineral resources, as wellas a destination area for tourism.CONCLUSION : THE FUTURE : NEED AND PROSPECT The future of the Palawan Biosphere Reserve hinges on the following : i) closerunderstanding, through research, of its bio-physical characteristics which could providesounder bases in defining resource managementplanning and policy making in resource usewithin the ECAN zones and its protected areas and ii) socio-political and economic actionprogrammes that would mobilize the communitieswithin ECAN zones and around protectedareasto properly utilize their natural resources. 1) Research priorities i) Basic inventory and assessment the biodiversity inside protected areas and ofdesignatedcritical areaswithin ECAN zones,both in terrestrial and coastal/marine areas. ii) Research on various ecological, including habitat, and biological aspects of rare,threatened and endangeredfauna species.This, but not only, includes : Palawan talking mynah, Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO(South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  28. 28. 26blue-napedparrot, Philippine cockatoo, Palawan hombill, white-breasted sea eagle, Nicobarpigeon, Tabon bird, swiftlets, Palawan bearcat, macaque monkeys, monitor lizard, Palawanporcupine,Palawanpeacockpheasant,Calamian deer, mousedeer,dugong, marine turtle, etc.. iii) General collection and altitudinal zonation of Palawanflora. So as to include localnamesand medicinaland other local uses, and limestone hill flora. iv) Hydrology and leaching, runoff and removal of biomass in criticalwatersheds/catchments. a basis for a sound watershed/catchmentresource management Asplanning. v) Research on the sustainable utilization of minor forest products. To includealmacigaresin, rattan, etc.. vi) Researchon agricultural pests, including its biological control, for giant nails, riceblack bug, mango pulp weevil, stem borer, to name a few. vii) Carrying capacity studies of protected areasas destinationareasfor tourism. viii) Research on compatible education, training and recreation activities withinprotected areas. ix) Researchon cultural integrity and .diversityof indigenouspeoples. x) Integration and co-ordination of all research initiatives in the Province, minimallyattendedto by the Palawan Research and Development Consortium, and establishmentof amajor repository (library and data center) of all researchesundertaken in Palawan. Includingpopular&g, that is to say interpretation, of researchfindings. As an initial step, the Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme is attemptinga research programme (Cf: ANNEX 1) for the St. Paul’ National Park and the Mt. sMantangahanarea (south mainlandmountain range and highest area in Palawan). In substance,this could be a model for the other protected areas and the different ECAN zones in theProvince. A list (Cf: ANNEX2) of plant and animal speciesspecifiedby the SEP (as formulatedin 1987, prior to its adoption as a law) for special protection is also an important step.Although there may be new initiatives since 1987, it could be said that the status of protectionof these speciesstill holds today. 2) Action prowammes i) Local Capability Building. The stakeholders, resource users, the LGUS and NGOSneed to be strengthenedthrough training and seminars/workshopson resource managementplanning, conflict resolution, environmental impact assessment,environmental monitoring,adaptive agricultural technology, mariculture, forest/silviculure management, coastal andforestry community-based resource management, etc.. This is in part supported by theGovernance in Local Democracy Project of the United States Agency for InternationalDevelopment(USAID) and the Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme(PTFPP).Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  29. 29. 27 ii) Promotion of community-basedresource management and livelihood projects, bothcoastal/marine and agroforestry. This is in part supported by the Natural ResourcesManagementProgramme of the USAID and the PTFPP. iii) Policy studies on resource use. This includes,but not only, tenurial rights, loggingban and community-basedforestry, use of minor forest products through private individuals ortribal communities, eco-tourism, environmental taxation, review of existing legislations andproclamations,that is to say blanket reservations, and repeal and/or redefine those which areincompatibleto sustainabledevelopment in general and the SEPin particular. iv) Integration of environmental education and awarenessin the curriculum of theformal education sector. This is partly supported by PTFPPand the Department of Education,Culture and Sports. v) Promotion of action-oriented environmental awareness campaigns that wouldensurereachingthe grassroots. 3) Epiloque Palawantoday, as a Biosphere Reserve with its Strategic Environment Plan (SEP)andthe Environmentally Critical Areas Nettwork (EcAN), is in a situation where legislation andinitial actions have offered opportunities towards maintaining its biodiversity and proceedtowards sustainabledevelopment. However, the implementation of its SEPand the ECAN are besiegedwith constraintsranging from neglected and incapability of implementors, to sheer lack of concern amongmajority of the communities. The latter reason is further complicated by lack of livelihoodopportunities that would have prevented the communitiesfrom putting more pressureon theirforest, land, and marine resources. This paper has outlined both the research and action programme priorities that couldin a way, help in the preservation of Palawan’ biodiversity. Its implementation, on the other shand, may be another story. It is in this respect, that hopefully the Palawan Council forSustainableDevelopment, other agencies of the government, private sector and even bilateraland/or multilateral assistance,are expected to put their actions together.BIBLIOGRAPHYARQUIZA Y., WHITE A : Tales from Tubbataha : natural history, resource use andconservation of the Tubbataha Reef (Pa&an, Philippines)Bandillo ng PalawanFoundation, Puerto PrincesaCity (Philippines), 1994.BEQUETTE F. : Palawan, the Philippines’ lastfrontierThe UNESCO Courier, October 1996. Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  30. 30. 2%PCSD (PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) :Accomplishment report1994 and 1995.Resolution no 94-44 : Adopting the guidelines in implementing the Environmentally CriticalAreas Network, 1994.PLADP (PALAWAN INTEGRATED AREA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OFFICE) :Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan -Towardssustainabledevelopment, 1987.PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE : Discover PalawanProvince of Palawan, 1996.REPUBLIC ACT :No 7 586 -An Act adopting the National Integrated ProtectedArea SystemRepublic of the Philippines, 1992.No 7 6 11 -An Act adopting the Strategic EnvironmentalPlan (SEP) for PalawanRepublic of the Philippines, 1992.SANDAL0 R M. :Palawan’ questfor sustainable development sPaper presented to the 3 rd. National Conferenceon Researchin the Uplands, Cagayan de OroCity (Philippines), September4-9, 1995.Sustainable developmentand the Environmental Plan for Palawanin : EDER J., FERNANDEZ J. (editors) : Palawan at the crossroads: developmentand theenvironment on a Philippine frontier, Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City(Philippines), 1996.WHITMORE T. C. : A proposed multinational researchprogramme to underpin sustainableuse of the forests of PalawanPaper presented to the PTFYP the ULG Consultants,University of Cambridge - PTFPP, forPalawan (Philippines), 1996.ANNEX 1 : EXCERPTS FROM THE <tProposed multinational researchprogramme to underpin sustainable use of the forests of Palawanq by T. C.WHITMORE The ResearchProgramme Details (Topics to be covered for St. Paul’ Park, except swhere specified) : 1. Birds 1. I. Swtflets in the cave system. There are 8.2 km. of wet caves and > 6 km. of drycaves including the Cave of a Million Birds in the south west.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  31. 31. 29 1.2. Tabon birds. Adrian0 (1993) has shown these are disturbed by visitors to thecaves. They only nest on a few north coast beachesand further research and monitoring isurgently needed. I. 3. Forest avifauna. How does avifauna differ between the different forestformations ? At present only a list has been published. 1.4. Interpretation. All bird researchto help producevisitor-leaflets. 2. Mammals 2.1. Cave bats. Tabangay (1994) found 8. speciesand (personnal communication)another one which matched no known Philippine bat. Visitors to the underground river areknown to be disturbing the bats. Monitoring and further research (including dry caves) isneeded. 2.2. Forest fauna. How do mammalsdiffer betweenthe various forest formations ? Atpresent only a list exists. 2.3. Interpretation. All mammalsresearchto help produce visitor-leaflets. 3. Plants 3.1. General collecting. To include local namesand medical and other local uses.Two sets to be retained by the Philippine National Herbarium,one to be ultimately deposited ina suitable place in Palawan. To cover both St. Paul and Mt. Mantalingahan areas. PalawanBotanical Expedition had no trouble hiring tree climbers. 3.2. Species richness on small plots. The general collecting can be given focus byenumerating : a) all trees ,lO cm. diameter on smallplots of c. 1 ha. and b) all vascular plantspecies, in both lowland evergreen rain and ultrabasicforests. (a) will enable comparison of‘biodiversity” with other parts of the tropics and (b) {total speciesrichness} has only ever beenmeasured 2-3 times anywhere in rain forest. As well as speciesnumber, leaf size spectrum, lifeform spectrum and species/area curve are of interest. Someplots could be made permanent andlinked to the global permanent sampleplot network. This would require more field work. 3.3. Altitudinal zonation. Small plot study (as above) at increasing elevation intomontane forest on Mt. Mantalingahanor Cleopatra’Needle.s 3.4. Limestone hiZIflora. Limestone hills have severalvery distinct habitats (summit,cliffs, depressions,etc.). Many plants have horticultural potential. Much is now known aboutlimestone in Malaysia which can be used for guidanceand a comparisonmade. 3.5. Training courses. Royal Botanic Gardens(Kew, England) has short courses of afew months, one or more of which might be useful. 3.6. Taxonomic revision. Of an important group on Palawan. 3.7. Interpretation. Conspicuous and interesting plants of the main different forestformations interpreted in visitor-leaflets. 4. Erosion and nutrient loss. What is the loss of soil and plant mineral nutrients inwater run off from natural forest and swidden farming bush fallow of different ages, and alsofrom ultrabasic forest ? St. Paul lowland evergreen and ultrabasic forest and/or Mt.Mantalingahan. Study needs small catchmentsand to continuefor severalyears. 5. Forest recovery after swidden farming. St. Paul lowland evergreenforest or Mt.Mantalingahan. 5.1. Biomass and nutrient recovery. By false time series. Very few published dataexist on nutrient recovery. Do some speciesconcentrateparticular nutrients in their (aboveground) biomass ? 5.2. Speciesrecovery and source. Seedrain ? Seedbank ? Coppice ? False time seriesplus some permanent sampleplot for continual monitoring over severalyears. Working Paper No 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  32. 32. 30ANNEX 2 : PLANTAND ANIMAL SPECIES FOR SPECIAL PROTECTION INPALAWAN, SEP 1987 Existing Species Habitat/distribution Issues protection measuresPlants1. Almaciga (A~ufbis Medium to high altitude, evergreento Improper tapping for Cuttinga?EJ semidecidousforest, found throughout resin and uncontrolled ban* Palawan. cutting for furniture and wood work.2. Agoho (Casuarina Lowland, lowhill to medium altitude, Uncontrolled harvesting CuttingZfLl found throughoutthe Philippines. for charcoal making and ban* housing posts.3. Ipil (Intsia biiuau) Lowland to mediumaltitude Uncontrolled harvesting Cutting mountains,found throughoutthe for house beams/poles ban* Philippines. and paneling.4. Narra (PferocurDus Low to medium mountainforest, found Uncontrolled cutting for Cuttingti throughoutthe Philippines. furniture and paneling. ban*5. Kamagong Molave type forest, found throughout Uncontrolled cutting for Cutting(Diostwws the Philippines. hmitnre and wood ban*philipuinensis) works.6. Bakawan (Rhizopora Along tidal flats, estuariesand Uncontrolled harvesting CuttingS%?Ll shelteredcoves,found throughoutthe for charcoal making and ban* Philippines. other householduses.7. Orchids Epiphyte in medium and high altitude Uncontrolled collection Collection(Phaluenopsisand mountainforest, found throughoutthe for export. banDendrobium spp.) Philippines.Birds1. Palawan peacock Lowland to gently sloping evergreen Exported as cagebird, IUCNRedpheasant(Polwlectron and sernidecidousforest, found only very low reproductive Data Book,emohanum) in mainland PaIawan. capacity. DENR List, BFD/PRWD List2. Blue-napedparrot Evergreenand semidecidousforest Rampant exportation. DENR List,(Tanvnnathus and brushland/secondaryforest, BFDLPRWDlucionensissalvadorii) speciesfound throughoutthe List Philippines.3. Megapode Coastalbeachforest, found throughout Uncontrolled collection None**(Maaaoosiusfrevcinet the Philippines. of eggs, disturbance/cumingi) encroachmentof habitat.4. Philippine cockatoo Evergreenand semidecidousforest Exported as cagebird. None(Kakatoe and brushland/secondaq forest, foundhaematuropvpia) throughoutthe Philippines.5. Edible-nest swiflet Crevices/major cavesand limestone/ Traditional collection of None***(JCollocaliafuciphaga karst forests, sub-species found nido nests, possiblebio-germani) throughoutPalawan. magnification of toxic substancestaken in by speciesfrom agricultural ZKt%S.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The Palawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
  33. 33. 31(...continuation of ANNEX 2) Existing Species Habitat/distribution Issues protection measures Mammals I. Palawanpangolin Termite mound/anthills in evergreen Exported as stuffed None ‘Paraminisculionensis) and sernidecidousforest in Inagawan, specimen,low viable found throughoutPalawan. population. 2.PaIawantree shrew Evergreen,semidecidousand Exported as None :TunaiaSD.) brushlandkecondaryforest, found experimental animal. throughoutPalawan. 3. Tree squirrel Semidecidousand brushland/ Hunted for sport. None :Callosciurusspp.) secondaryforests,found throughout Palawan. t. Plying Squirrel Semidecidousand brushland/ Hunted for sport. None :Hvlowtes SD.) secondaryforest, found throughout Palawan. 5. Palawanbearcat Evergreenforest, restrictedto Highly territorial and None [Artictis whitei) mainland Palawan. very sensitiveto modification of habitat. 5. PaIawanporcupine Burrows in semidecidousand Hunted by forest None (Thecuruspumilus) bmshlandkcondary forest, found dwellers and ethnic throughoutPalawan. minorities. 7. Palawanstink badger Semidecidousand Destruction of habitat. None (Sullotaxusmarchei) brushlamlkcondary forest, found throughoutPalawan. 8. Palawanclawless River banks,found throughout Trapped as local pet, loss None otter (Amblonvxcineria) Palawan. of habitat. 9. Short-tailed Semidecidousand Low viable population. None mongoose (Herpestes brushlandkcondary forest, limited to brachvrus) PaIawanand NegrosIslands. 10. Mousedeer Sernidecidousforest, restricted to Hunted for food. DENR List, (Tragulusnigricans) Balabacgroup of islands. BFD/PWRD List 11. Calamiandeer (Axis Semidecidousforest, restricted to Endemic and DENR List, calamianes) Calarniangroup of islands. endangered. BFD/PRWD List 12. Dugong (Duaong Seagrass found throughout the bed, Destruction of habitat, DENR List, dugon@ Philippines. hunted for food, BFD/PWRD endangered. List (ANNEX 2 to be continued...) Working Paper N” 19,1997, UNESCO (South-South Co-operation Programme), Paris (France)
  34. 34. 32(...continuation of ANNEX 2) Existing Species Habitat/distribution Issues protection measures Others 1. Crocodile Lakes and estuaries,genusfound Hunted for sport and DENR List, (Crocodvlus SPP.) throughout the Philippines. hide. BDF/PWRD List 2. Hawskbill turtle Coral reefs, seagrass bedsand sandy Destructionof habitat, DENR List, (Eretmochelvs beachesof isolatedislands. collection of eggs. BFWPWRD imbricata) List 3. Olive-backed logger Coral reefs, seagrass bedsand sandy Destructionof habitat, DENR List, head turtle (Carrefu beachesof isolatedislands. collection of eggs. BFDPRWD olivacea) List 4. Leather backed turtle Coral reefs, seagrass bedsand sandy Destructionof habitat, DENR List, (Dermochelvscoriacea) beachesof isolatedislands. endangered. BFD~PRWD List 5. Green seaturtle Coral reefs, seagrass bedsand sandy Destructionof habitat, DENR List, (Chelona mvdas) beachesof isolatedislands. huntedfor food, BFDPRWD collection of eggs. ListNotes : BFD/PRWD -Bureau of Forest Development/parks, Recreation and Wildlife Division. DENR -Department of Environment and Natural Resources. IUCN Red Data Book -List of Rare and Endangered Speciesby the InternationalUnion for the Conservation of Nature and Resources. Due to liited literature available, other candidate specieswere not included likeinsects (that is to say butterfly) and smallermammals(that is to say bats). * As of 1992, with the passageof the Strategic EnvironmentalPlan for Palawan law,all tree speciesare covered by the total commerciallogging ban. ** Known locally as Tabon bird, this species was declared for protection by thePalawan Council for SustainableDevelopment since 1994. *** The Local Government Units have been regulating its collection (that is to sayclosed season)through their respective.Ricardo M. SANDALO, Teodoro BALTAZAR : The falawan Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)