Researchers from six implementing state universities and colleges (SUCs) and agencies recently gathered at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) to discuss and assess the status and accomplishments of the “National Research and Development Project on Watershed Management in the Philippines (Phase 2).”
With a vision of enhancing science and technology-based watershed and ecosystem management, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Professor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz and his team aim to develop a network of learning watersheds and watershed management decision support system. DOST-PCAARRD served as the funding and monitoring agency of the two-year project.
According to Dr. Cruz, “the network of learning watersheds will serve as venues for building up long series of empirical databases and local knowledge on watershed and ecosystem resources through long term continuous monitoring.” As the empirical database and knowledge grow, watershed management decisions and policies are expected to become more effective in the attainment of the project’s objectives.
The review assured that the data would be updated and be made accessible after project completion since all information would be turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
DENR and DA will continue to gather data through the various instrumentations installed in the six learning watersheds namely: Pagsanjan-Lumban watershed in Laguna; Quiaoit river watershed in Ilocos Norte; Saug watershed in Davao del Norte; Abuan watershed in Isabela; Muleta Watershed in Bukidnon; and Quinali Watershed in Albay.
Project leaders and representatives/staff from the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC) under the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB), Isabela State University (ISU), Central Mindanao University (CMU), and Bicol University (BU) attended the review.
The next phase of the project requires implementing SUCs and agencies to submit other requirements and to cascade the knowledge generated from the project to the key stakeholders living near watershed areas in comprehensible terms.