ISO Intensifies Community-Based Mangrove Management Initiatives in Siruma, Camarines Sur

The Institute of Social Order, the Philippine Tropical Forests Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), and the local government and select peoples’ organizations of Siruma, Camarines Sur once again teamed up to further on-going initiatives on community-based mangrove management.

The project entitled Facilitating Mangrove Management in Siruma, Camarines Sur is a multi-year project that seeks to contribute to the protection and enhancement of mangrove forests. It is part of a broader Integrated Coastal Resource Management (ICRM) Program that the ISO is currently implementing in seven (7) municipalities around San Miguel Bay namely Basud, and Mercedes in Camarines Norte, and Cabusao, Calabanga, Mercedes, Sipocot, Siruma and Tinambac in Camarines Sur.

The project is a replication of the sustainable mangrove management technology that was adopted in 2009 by the ISO and its partner fishers’ associations (FAs) in Quezon through the technical advice of PTFCF. The implementation of the proposed project is expected to be further improved as the ISO’s in-house Forester and FA representatives apply what they have learned from the Mangrove Management Training they attended last June 2013 in Iloilo City through the sponsorship of PTFCF in the communities covered by the proposed project. The ISO will use the Manual on Community-based Mangrove Rehabilitation as a guide in implementing the proposed project.

These will be further enriched however as they are adapted to the situations in the above-mentioned localities. To ensure this, ISO’s partner FAs will be linked with State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) that can provide them with the needed technical assistance (See related discussion under Methods/general plan of action- Network Building).

Since this will be the first time that science-based mangrove rehabilitation will be applied in Siruma, the project is intended to serve not only as a pilot initiative but also as a learning laboratory for the rest the municipalities in San Miguel Bay.

In keeping with the ISO’s practice of translating social and technical researches into terms that can be easily understood and appreciated by the local communities. The ISO will start this project with a research-driven planning process which will be done in consultation with the local stakeholders in the area. ISO finds this an effective way of getting the communities to be involved in: (a) Determining the current state of mangrove forests in the area; (b) Analyzing the causes and effects of mangrove deforestation; and (c) Coming up with appropriate measures to address the destruction of mangrove forests.

To facilitate this, the ISO will form and train Local Research Teams (LRTs) comprised of stakeholders from the communities and the LGUs who would undertake the study and participate in the planning process.

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Thank You, Fr. Jack

After many fruitful years of devotion and active compassion to understanding and addressing the needs of the poor and marginalized, our beloved Fr. Jack joined his Creator and was laid to rest this morning, July 21, at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery. Fr. Jack served as the ISO’s Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for many years. He gave ISO the strength and wisdom to continue on its mission as an apostolate of the Society of Jesus. His memory will forever serve as an inspiration to all of us.

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On his vision for the ISO:

“An active future… meeting the needs of the nation and even in the international community as it arise but constantly trying to put these in the context of faith of Jesuit Spirituality and its constant struggle to not be simply another social service organization but one which quite explicitly and consciously is trying to build the Kingdom of God on earth. This I feel is a real challenge for all of us.”

– John J. Carroll, S.J. (January 16, 1924 – July 17, 2014)

Join us in prayer for Fr. Jack’s eternal rest in heaven. Thank you Fr. Jack! We will always remember.

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Baseline Mapping of Fishponds and Mangroves in 6 Regions of the Philippines

ISO collaborated with the NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR) in a study entitled “Baselining of the Status of Mangroves and Fishponds in Six Selected Regions in the Philippines.” Using GIS technology, ISO successfully mapped out the location of fishponds situated in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, CARAGA, and Zamboanga Peninsula. The regional maps show that majority of these fishponds are located within mangrove areas. The maps are seen to facilitate the identification of abandoned, underutilized, and underdeveloped (AUU) fishponds that can be reverted back to mangrove areas.

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The output of the study is a comprehensive database on all fishponds issued under the Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA) in the said regions. Ms. Ariane Jaraplasan of NFR, Executive Director Dr. Liza Lim of ISO, Mr. Lorenzo Makalintal and Ms. Marie Alum de la Rosa of ISO’s Research Division formally submitted today the outputs of the study to DENR-BMB Coastal Marine Division Chief Ms. Angelita Meniado, Ms. Hannah Ebro of the GIZ, Priority Programs and Coastal and Marine Section Executive Director Dr. Vincent Hilomen, and Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Section In-Charge Ms. Nilda Baling.

The study was spearheaded by the NFR and supported by the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), the GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany in its Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Areas (ACCCoast) Project, and the DA-BFAR.

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ISO Engages in Public-Private Partnership with Chevron Philippines and City of San Fernando, La Union

ISO has partnered with the City of San Fernando through its City ENRO in the hope of establishing one marine protected area in Poro Point, which is within the municipal waters of San Fernando Bay. The partnership was formalized and launched last May 30, 2014 in a festive occasion in Barangay Poro. A stakeholders’ covenant was signed by representatives from the City of San Fernando headed by Hon. Mayor Pablo Ortega, Ms. Cherry Ramos of Chevron Philippines, and Dr. Liza Lim of the ISO. This was followed by activities like poster making, kite flying, and the conduct of a livelihood caravan participated by the community members of Barangay Poro. Once established, the MPA will be co-managed and protected by the Poro Sea Lovers Association (PSLA) and the LGU of San Fernando. This initiative was made possible through the project entitled “Facilitating Public-Private Partnership through Co-management of a Marine Protected Area” with support from Chevron Philippines Inc. and Caltex Foundation.

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ISO’s FO Partners Manage the First Community-Based Mangrove Nurseries in Their Areas

ISO believes that mangrove nurseries are important in ensuring the high survival rate of the mangrove seedlings used in reforestation projects and in ensuring the biodiversity of mangrove forests. Thus, in cooperation with its partner fisherfolks’ organizations, community-based mangrove nurseries are established, maintained, and monitored. Presently, there are a total of 10 operational mangrove nurseries in four municipalities in Lamon Bay, namely, Panukulan (2), Polillo (3), Jomalig (4), and Burdeos (1). These mangrove nurseries were established over a period of several years from 2009 to 2014.

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The mangrove nurseries in Jomalig were the latest to be established. There were two nurseries on November 2013 at barangay Talisoy under Eco Green Association of Moros (EGAM) and Samahan ng Mangingisda ng Bigwangan (SAMABA). Two nurseries in Jomalig were established prior to these under the Apad Mangrove and Fisherfolk Association (AMFA) in July and the Kalipunan ng mga magsasaka at Mangingisda sa Casuguran (KASAMMACA) in October of the same year.

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Jomalig FOs attend a seminar on mangrove nursery management

Presently, the ISO is supporting five of its partner fisherfolks’ organizations (FOs) in Jomalig, Quezon by helping them strengthen their groups and providing them with capability building activities that would increase their awareness and skills in resource management. To better manage and protect their mangrove resources, the ISO conducted a seminar that trained the FOs on how to set-up and manage their own mangrove nurseries. The seminar conducted last March 14-17 honed the awareness of the FOs on mangrove protection, and introduced the importance of mangrove nurseries especially when their respective organizations eventually launch their own mangrove reforestation projects. The ISO’s Project Officer and in-house Forester Mr. Jerry Quitorio served as the resource person for the training.

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The training included workshops that gauged the participants’ perceptions on the interconnectedness of the environment, their understanding of their mangrove resources and the benefits they get from these. Many participants indicated that mangroves help their community by being natural nurseries to important marine organisms that provide them food. Many also noted that mangrove trees protect them from the devastating impacts of storm surges and typhoons. Others noted that mangroves “cool the surroundings” (perhaps because it traps in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that aggravates climate change) and serve as an attraction to tourists visiting their municipality.

The participants were also shown two documentaries on mangrove management. The first was ISO’s video entitled Punla ng Pag-asa: Mga Pamamaraan para sa Pangangalaga ng Pakatan sa Polillo, Quezon which showcased the experiences of fisherfolks’ organizations in Polillo as they implement different projects in mangrove management. It also provided participants with information on the state of the country’s mangroves and means by which to implement livelihood projects in mangrove areas with minimal destruction such as in the use of aqua-silviculture technology. The second documentary showcased the mangrove forest park in Pagbilao, Quezon where mangroves are protected even as these are used as attraction for tourism purposes.

The training also discussed the nitty-gritty of setting up a mangrove nursery and how important it is in reforestation projects, particularly on ensuring a high survival rate of planted seedlings. In the end, the participants were guided in drafting a plan that would establish their own mangrove nursery in their barangay

This activity is part of the ISO and Phildhrra Luzon’s project in Jomalig entitled “Capacitating Vulnerable Communities towards Sustainable Natural Resource Production and Management.” The project is made possible with support from the Foundation of Philippine Environment (FPE) and the local government of Jomalig, Quezon.

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ISO holds a Mini-Conference on CCA-DRR

A mini-conference on climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) was held at the Walter Hogan Conference Center of the ISO last February 1, 2013.

Here, the results of the ISO’s CCA-DRR study entitled “Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment of Climate Change Induced Hazards: A Case Study on Select Fisherfolks’ Communities in San Miguel Bay” were presented to representatives of the local governments of Mercedes, Camarines Norte and Cabusao and Siruma, Camarines Sur. This was particularly attended by the LGU staff directly involved in DRR efforts of their respective municipalities such as, among others, the Municipal DRR Officer (MDRRMO), Municipal Agriculturist (MAO), Chief of Police, and members of the Disaster Response Team. Hon. Nebb Santiago of Cabusao graced the event. The event was also attended by guests and observers from 6 fisherfolks’ organizations in San Miguel Bay; members of the Municipal and Integrated FARMCs in San Miguel Bay and Lamon Bay; and representatives from the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) and the MDRRMO of Infanta.

In addition, Mr. Dennis Calvan, Executive Director of the NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR), presented a national situationer that elucidates the link between climate change and the fisherfolks sector. This was followed by a presentation by Ms. MagsCatindig, Regional Coordinator of Phildhrra-Luzon, wherein she oriented the participants on how to conduct a Community-based Risk Registry, which is a participatory tool that valuates risk at the local level. In relation to this, Phildhrra-Luzon in 2012 trained the ISO on how to conduct the said tool in its program areas. The tool was used in the ISO study mentioned above.

This event was made possible by the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and Fundacion IPADE. The study is part of the AECID’s overall Convenio Program being implemented in the Philippines from 2007 to 2013.

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Learning Session on GIS with PAFID and PhilDHRRA

The Institute of Social Order together with Phildhrra-Luzon attended a learning session on GIS mapping given by the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc (PAFID). Mapping experts Mr. Dave de Vera and Ms. Kail Zingapan oriented 5 ISO staff and 2 Phildhrra-Luzon staff on how to further enhance both institutions’ participatory mapping techniques and maximize the capabilities of Quantum GIS.

The ISO will apply the techniques learned from the activity in its current mapping initiatives particularly on participatory disaster risk assessment and participatory coastal and resource ecological assessment.

The ISO extends its appreciation to PAFID for accommodating the training, and Phildhrra-Luzon for coordinating the said event held last January 18, 2013 at PAFID’s headquarters in Quezon City.

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ISO welcomes new partner FOs in Quezon

The Institute of Social Order continues to provide organizational support to the fisherfolks of the Quezon and Camarines Provinces. Since 2012, the ISO has begun to work with 8 new FOs from the Polillo Group of Islands, as follows:

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Panukulan Fisherfolks’ Organizations

  1. Libo Fisherfolk Association (LiFiFA)*
  2. Pag-itan FisherFolk Association (PFFA)*

Burdeos Fisherfolks’ Organizations

  1. Samahan ng mga Mangingisda ng San Rafael (SMSR)

Jomalig Fisherfolks’ Organizations

  1. Samahan ng mga Mangingisda sa Bigwangan (SAMABA)
  2. Apad Mangrove and Fisherfolk Association (AMFA)
  3. Bukal Agricultural and Mangrove Development against Poverty (BAMADAP)
  4. Kalipunan ng mga Magsasaka at Mangingisda sa Casuguran (KASAMMACA)
  5. Gango Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (GaFFA)

Organizing these FOs are made possible from the support of ISO’s partners in development work, namely, the UNDP and GEF Small Grants Programme providing support in Panukulan, the Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. in Burdeos, and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment in Jomalig.

Overall, the ISO works hand-in-hand with 19 FOs (7 in Camarines and 12 in Quezon) in implementing the Social Transformation and Grassroots Empowerment (STAGE) Program, the institute’s flagship program on community-based coastal resources management. The FOs are essential in forming and operationalizing the municipal and bay-wide Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils mandated by the Philippine Fisheries Code (RA 8550) to protect and conserve municipal waters and its resources.

* LiFiFA and PFFA were re-organized from previously existing organizations that the ISO assisted in the past.
** SAMABA is an old FO that requested the ISO to give them organizational support as they gradually re-organize and re-vitalize their group.

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Trainings for Environmental Monitoring in SMB conducted

The Institute of Social Order conducted a series of capacity building activities on environmental assessment and monitoring for its staff and local partners in San Miguel Bay, Camarines Provinces. These training activities upgraded the skills of the participants in monitoring coastal resources for any changes in their condition to better inform program implementation.

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Last June 15 to 17, five ISO staff were trained on coral reef assessment using the line intercept transect (LIT) method. Two members of the BFAR-V’s technical dive team were requested to serve as resource persons for the training, which was conducted in Siruma, Camarines Sur. The ISO Dive Team was able to do an LIT practicum on Butawanan and Penitan Bays.

The following personnel were trained:

  • Ferdinand Cruz – Coordinator of the CRM program in Bicol
  • Arielito Nunez – Community Organizer of the CRM program in Bicol
  • Rosechel Cambal – Community Organizer Solid Waste Management Program in Bicol
  • Marie Alum de la Rosa – Research and Information Management Coordinator
  • Lorenzo Makalintal – Information Management Officer

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As a follow on to the above activity, the Institute facilitated a five-day training on Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment – Resource Ecological Assessment (PCRA-REA). This was held from September 19 to 24, 2011 at the Palms Beach Resort at barangay Cayucyucan, Mercedes, Camarines Norte. The said training was attended by selected ISO staff and local partners, composed of Municipal Agriculturist (MAs), Agricultural Technologist (ATs), and fisherfolk leaders from the 7 municipalities of San Miguel Bay namely Mercedes andBasud of Camarines Norte; and Sipocot, Cabusao, Calabanga, Tinambac and Siruma of Camarines Sur. They were trained to conduct fisheries profiling using different PCRA techniques; and REA methods such as mangrove inventory, manta tow technique, fish visual census, and LIT. They can now serve as key persons in doing the fisheries profiles of their respective localities.

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