Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Institute of Social Order (ISO


    Promoting Participatory Island Development Strategy for Culion, Palawan Project 

    Barangays Binudac, Galoc, Libis, Baldat, Osmena and Patag, Municiplaity of Culion, Palawan

    2 years


    • 150 fisher-members of 6 fisherfolk organizations (FOs) with approximately 25 members each as direct beneficiaries;  
    • 30 representatives from LGUs, academic institutions, civic organizations, and community leaders who will be involved in the training and research activities under the project. 

    Culion, a former leprosarium, is part of the Calamianes group of islands in Northern Palawan. The Culion Sea is teeming with fish species including commercially important fish like Lapu-lapu (Groupers) and Dalagang Bukid (Blue and Gold Fusiliers). Three ecosystems sustain the rich marine life of Culion: mangroves, seagrass, and corals. About 60 percent of mangrove, seagrass, and coral species found in the Philippines are in Culion.

    On March 2015, the Institute of Social Order (ISO) facilitated a community consultation on coastal resource management to identify urgent issues that threaten the island’s ecosystems and biodiversity resources. The consultations revealed the following threats: degradation of coastal and marine resources due to unmanaged and rapidly growing tourism and economic activities; weak law enforcement and natural resource governance; and limited participation of local communities in coastal resource management.

    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports ISO and its partners in adopting a community-based natural resource management system that ensures the sustainability of Culion’s natural resource base. The resource management system is designed to be receptive to more adaptive conservation strategies and will support mechanisms for strong community involvement. The project engages with local communities in coastal, marine and mangrove protection and conservation by instilling the values of responsible stewardship among them.

    The project is designed to put up appropriate structures and systems of sustainable development, develop local capacities on environmental governance and encourage conservation enterprises that will balance the economic and social well-being of
    the local people. The project also harnesses indigenous knowledge, systems and practices for the conservation and protection of mangrove areas in islands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples’ communities. The target Community-Based Natural Resource Management framework for the municipality of Culion will integrate and guide the utilization and conservation efforts of the island’s natural resources.

    ISO launched the project in Culion on Jan. 30, 2017 - which were attended by 89 representatives (49 Females, 40 Males) from implementation partners, Culion Municipal LGU and community members. This served as an opportunity to inform stakeholders of the project and form partnerships for project implementation. A covenant signing was done to secure the commitment of the community in project implementation.

    A total of 21 (67 percent women) members of the newly-formed local research team (LRT) were trained on Participatory Action Research for the Coastal Resource and Ecological Assessment (PCREA). The LRT is composed of multidisciplinary members from the various stakeholder groups and fisher folk who can help assess and monitor the marine resources of Culion. The trainees were grouped according to the four components of PCREA: (a) Household Assessment, (b) Community Assessment, (d) Mangrove Inventory and (e) Coral Reef Assessment. Except for the Coral Reef Assessment Team, all the three teams have performed data gathering for PCREA in March 2017 in six barangays.

    The LRT team interviewed a total of 305 household respondents and consulted 146 community members (82 females, 64 males) during focus group discussions in the six barangays. According to the respondents, the declining fish catch is caused by illegal fishing, while the lack of access to marine resources is due to private businesses and climate change. Meanwhile, the lack of awareness of the community, particularly on the basis for the establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) was observed by the LRT members.

    An initial inventory of mangrove resources was conducted by the LRT team in the barangays of Patag, Binudac, Osmeña and Baldat. The LRT observed that mangroves were being cut for charcoal production and that there was a lack of reforestation initiatives.