Watershed Protection and Biodiversity Conservation in Tutud Falls, Abaroan, Roxas, Palawan
Watershed Protection and Biodiversity Conservation in Tutud Falls, Abaroan, Roxas, Palawan
Background info/ Problem Statement:
Barangay Abaroan is situated 136 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa city, 14 km southwest of the town proper of Roxas, Palawan. It consists of 10 sitios with a total population of 3,715. It has a total land area of 7,110.56 hectares of which around 2,537 hectares alienable and disposable while 64% (4,573.26 hectares) of this total land area remains forested. Barangay Abaroan has been awarded the CBFMA though the Bantuto Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (BAFARMCO) but though it has the instrument, the forest of Abaroan has been continuously threatened by illegal activities and abuse of its forest resources by the residents whose livelihood are obtained from the forest. It is estimated that about 15% of the households depend largely on the resources from the forests for their livelihood. Illegal activities like logging, overharvesting of non-timber forest products, gold panning, slash and burn farming has brought destruction into the forests. Because of these illegal activities, the forest became thinner and other wildlife is getting fewer and without immediate intervention the remaining wildlife will be on the brink of extinction.

These illegal activities affect the whole ecosystem in the area. It dramatically destroyed the habitats and sources of food of animals in the forest and thus monkeys, squirrels and rats leave the forests and destroy crops because they have scarce source of food in the forest. Tutud Watershed is also a major source of water for the barangay for household and agricultural use and because of these illegal activities incessantly destroying the forest, water from the falls became less abundant that it can no longer support the required volume of water for household and agricultural consumptions. Also, when it rains, it easily gets flooded as the forest can no longer hold rainwater as old growth trees have been illegally logged on a hidden pattern.

This situation calls for the community to take concerted efforts and consolidated actions towards protecting the resource base in Tutud Waterfalls and biodiversity within it for sustainable ecosystem services (water, food, fresh air etc) for the local residents.

Biodiversity Significance:
The proposed project site is covered by Block 1 of the Community Based Forest Management Agreement awarded to BAFARMCO. The whole CBFM area covers 2,676.73 hectares and Block 1 covers a total of 1,514.39 hectares is characterized by five hundred thirty three (533) hectares of primary forest, three hundred eighty seven (387) hectares of secondary forest, three hundred thirty (330) hectares brush land, one hundred seventy two (172) hectares grassland, thirty seven (37) hectares cropland, forty (40) hectares paddy field, and the remaining built-up area.

Different species of plants and animals can be found in the forests of Abaroan like Palawan Peacock, wild boar, Palawan Bearcat, skink, flying squirrel, different kinds of snakes, wild lizard, talking maina, parrot, owl, carpenter bird, Palawan hornbill, different butterflies, hard trees like ipil, apitong, sakak, nato, kamagong, bantolin, narra, ironwood, baan and antipolo. These species are now becoming harder to find. Due to the fast in-migration in the barangay, this forest including both the flora and fauna which thrive in the area are being threatened by illegal activities in the area like slash and burn farming, illegal cutting of trees for different purposes, illegal catching of animals and gold panning. The Tutud Waterfalls is also the source of water for household and agricultural use in the barangay and because of forest denudation, the volume of water from the falls became lesser especially during long dry spells brought about by global warming.

From the time that resource assessment was conducted, there was no significant activity in the project site for protection and conservation of its biodiversity due to the problems that the CBFM program has encountered in the past and the lack of financial support. With this situation, the project shall engage in the enhancement of biodiversity through the protection of the Tutud watershed area, and reforestation for the identified 150 hectares of residual forest. It includes setting up of a look-out tower, monitoring and foot patrolling in the project site, formulation of a Biodiversity Park Development Plan and enhancement of the existing sources of livelihood obtained from non-timber products like rattan and almaciga resin.

General Objective:
To enhance and conserve biodiversity through protection and restoration of the
forest in the Tutud watershed area, Barangay Abaroan, Municipality of Roxas, Province of
Palawan.

Specific Objectives:
- Protect and conserve the biodiversity in Block 1 of the CBFM area (1,514.39 hectares) and establish a 100 Biodiversity Park inside the Block.
- Restore the forest and wildlife species in Tutud Watershed through Reforestation of at least 50 hectares of open and denuded areas inside the Watershed area with at least 25,000 dipterocarp trees, 25,000 rattan and 25,000 almaciga trees.
- Protect the forest from illegal activities like slash and burn, illegal logging and mining and other destructive activities.
- Install appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools.
- Uplift the knowledge and skills of the members of the organization (organizational and environmental)

Project Compponents vis a vis Target Deliverables:
1. Biodiversity Conservation and Management -
-Survey and delineation of biodiversity conservation area
-Resource Inventory in Tutud Watershed
-Establishment of a nursery near the planting area
-Enhance biodiversity through planting dipterocarp trees, almaciga and rattan in denuded areas in the watershed.
-Planting of dipterocarp species to enhance forest cover and water holding capacity of the area
-25,000 hard tree species to be planted in denuded areas.
-25,000 of rattan to be planted in between hard tree species. Only those who planted rattan will be allowed to gather the product. Planting will be his/her counterpart to the project,
-25,000 almaciga trees to be planted in between hard trees.
-Biodiversity Park Development Planning

2. Protection and Conservation of the watershed area
-Training and Installation of DENROs
-Protection of the forest in the watershed and all wildlife in the area in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations of the DENR and PCSD.
-Provide equipments such as sirens, communication and transportation facilities/equipments to support patrolling and apprehension activities.
-Establishment of a look-out tower in a strategic location in the watershed area.

3. Livelihood Improvement
- Rattan and almaciga species shall be planted in between dipterocarp trees for the enhancement of production to improve the livelihood of the community.

4. Capability Building
-Deputation Training of DENROs
-SEP/ Environmental Education Seminar
-Paralegal Training
-Watershed Management Training

5. Information and Education Campaign
-Development of posters 50 pcs
-Development of leaflets 2000 pcs
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Abaroan Small Farmers Association
Country:
Philippines
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,510.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
PHL/SGP/OP4/Y3/RAF/11/27 - ASFA
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Indicators
Biophysical
Number of globally significant species protected by project 50

Grantee Contact

Ms. Arsenia Angad
 

Address

Bgy. Abaroan
Roxas , Palawan , 5308

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Rochelle Balitaan Villanueva
Phone:
+63 2 2944082
Email:
Atty Rodolfo Ferdinand Jr Quicho
Phone:
+63 2 2944082
Fax:
+63 2 2944082
Email:

Address

Biodiversity Management Bureau Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center North Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1101

Country Website