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Watershed-based Land Use Planning and Management tackled in DOST-PCAARRD’s 2nd PoliSiyensya Panel talk

Watershed-based Land Use Planning and Management tackled in DOST-PCAARRD’s 2nd PoliSiyensya Panel talk

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) conducted a virtual panel discussion on Watershed-Based Land Use Planning and Management in the Philippines on July 7, 2022.

PoliSiyensya Panel Talk, an event organized by the Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD), highlights the key findings of completed or ongoing policy studies funded by the Council. Its second episode featured the ongoing policy advocacy, “Institutionalization of Guidelines on Watershed Integrated Area Land Use Planning Towards Resiliency” led by Dr. Vida Q. Carandang of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

“The watershed is among the priority areas of the DOST-PCAARRD,” said Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora in his welcoming message during the event. “They play key roles in providing ecosystem functions, specifically provisioning, regulating, supporting, and socio-cultural functions, yet more than 140 watersheds in the Philippines are in a critical state.” This is why for many years now, the Council has been supporting several policy analysis and advocacy-related projects for the development of watershed-based land use planning.

One of the main goals of the PoliSiyensya Panel Talk is to offer a channel where key people in the scientific community can establish connections, build relationships, and form alliances with individuals and groups who are able to influence policy making and with people who have the power to make a difference. Together with partners from different academic and research and development (R&D) institutions, various perspectives, experiences, ideas, and knowledge that can be applied to the current situation of land use planning in the country were shared during the discussion.

Among the resource persons were Usec. Mercedita A. Sombilla of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); For. Nelson V. Gorospe of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), River Basin Control Office; Mr. Mic Ivan Sumilang of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Environmental, Land Use, and Urban Planning and Development Bureau; Ms. Ma. Teresa P. De Luna of the Provincial Government of Aurora’s Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO-Aurora); and Academician Rex Victor O. Cruz of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

After the discussion, it is expected that the audience will have a deeper understanding of the main features, importance, and status of land use planning and management in the Philippines, as well as the gaps related to watersheds and the various initiatives of the local government units (LGUs) and agencies to address these said gaps.

Dr. Feliciano G.Calora Jr., Deputy Executive Director for R&D of DOST-PCAARRD said in his closing remarks that he is hopeful that the Council can work with more policy researchers and experts, advocate policy reforms, and provide strategic insights to policy-making bodies.

Ultimately, the event was a great start toward further strengthening the linkage between policymakers and scientists and will hopefully foster more enabling policy solutions for the betterment of the economy and society.