November 10, 2014
JICA surveillance camera on the coast of Boracay Island
A workshop on the conservation and management of coastal and marine ecosystems in the Philippines held in Quezon City yielded a number of suggestions for local communities from Japanese and Filipino scientists.
The 2nd National Conference and Workshop of Philippine-Japan Collaborative Project (NCW), part of the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management under Local and Global Environmental Impacts in the Philippines (CECAM), was held at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus.
CECAM is an ongoing five-year research project supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) as part of “Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)”.
One of the conservation strategies presented by a team of Japanese and Filipino researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Keio Research Institute, the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City and the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo pressed for a watershed management plan to address the impact of typhoons and storm surges on the level of Typhoon Yolanda, particularly in coastal areas. Japanese researcher Masaya Yoshikai used watershed and computer-based hydro-dynamic modeling to assess the impact of deforestation and storm surge scenarios in Banate Bay.
"Our simulations showed that floods will be more serious if deforestation continues in the Alacaygan river watershed in Iloilo," said Yoshikai. "Analysis of land cover and evaluation of forest value should be considered in coming up with a watershed management plan."
Other conservation strategies recommended during the workshop include the following: 1. implementing a comprehensive regulatory policy and more strictly enforcing limits on the number of fish cages in Bolinao, Pangasinan; 2. including mangrove and seagrass areas as part of marine protected areas to protect fish species in Northern Mindanao; and 3. strictly enforcing waste water treatment and coral reef protection through educational campaigns and levying stiff penalties on sea vessels plying coral sites in Boracay Island and Puerto Galera.
The Philippines has abundant marine resources that are vital to key industries such as the marine culture and tourism industry.
*The contents of this story is a summary of a press release published by the JICA Philippine office. For the original story, please see below.