PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN FUND
Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Soil and Water Conservation Foundation, Inc. (SWCF)

     
    PROJECT TITLE
    Strengthening Governance, Biodiversity Conservation and Protection and Information Systems in Central Cebu Protected Landscape
     
    GOAL
    To enhance capacities and mobilize local stakeholders in protected areas for the management and conservation of the Central Cebu Protected Landscape
     
    LOCATION
    29,000 hectares of Central Cebu protected landscape
     
    BENEFICIARIES
    129,000 residents
     
    IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD
    July 2016 to March 2018
     
    BACKGROUND
    The Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL), consisting of 48 barangays, encompasses five protected areas that are in five municipalities and three cities in central Cebu province. The reserve is a key biodiversity area (KBA) where forest fragments still remain. The most significant is the Tabunan Forest, home to bird species like the Black Shama, the Cebu Flower Pecker and the Cebu Hawk Owl.

    Ecosystems and biodiversity resources are threatened due to hunting and gathering activities within the landscape. Limited livelihood opportunities within and in neighboring areas of the KBA make residents rely on extractive activities, like charcoal production and timber poaching. Some landscape areas were also converted into agricultural lands and human settlements.

    ACTIVITIES
    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports Soil and Water Conservation Foundation, Inc. (SWCFI) in empowering stakeholders in protected area management for the conservation of the CCPL. Local conservation actors are being trained by SWCFI in biodiversity protection and monitoring. SWCFI also improves community participation in protecting biodiversity resources within the landscape.

    UPDATES AS OF MARCH 2017
    SWCFI conducted a Community Resource Mapping in the project’s remaining 12 barangays during the quarter. Status of lands in the barangay and perceptions of the community on the protected area were also added to the resource map. Results of the resource mapping will help develop a Biodiversity Conservation Plan (BCP). The draft BCP will be presented to the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for approval prior to implementation by the barangays. Flora and fauna were also identified during the resource mapping which will be incorporated in the BCP and will serve as baseline data for the CCPL.

    A fern survey was also conducted to identify and survey the ferns within the CCPL. The activity addressed the lack of updated biodiversity data that made it difficult to determine what specific organisms to protect. The 17 sites surveyed are located within the strict protection area, which is described as fragmented forests. There were 150 fern species identified during the survey.

    The project has so far developed resource maps for 20 barangays. The maps contain information about the status of the land and forest in the barangay. Land claimed by land speculators and location of illegal structures and activities within the protected area were also included in the maps. The maps also showed the areas with critical habitats, hazards, resources, places of interest and areas utilized by the community.

    Six (6) schools developed biodiversity reserves trails and planted native trees. A total of 1,250 seedlings of various species were distributed to the schools.
     
    The project conducted a Forest Warden Deputization Training on Mar. 28-30, 2017 to train 32 community volunteers as wardens in the CCPL, improve their knowledge about laws regarding environment, forestry, protected area and wildlife, and increase community participation in ecosystem protection. A law enforcement plan for CCPL was developed during the training.  The plan will be presented to the PAMB general assembly in June 2017.