INREM launches payment for water ecosystem services project
Published on

The UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (UPLB-INREM) launched a project advocating the institutionalization of payment for water ecosystem services (P-WES) in the Philippines.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), the project launch took place via virtual conferencing on June 20, 2024.

Building on the successes of UPLB-INREM’s previous P-WES and Payment for Ecosystem Services Outcome for Sustainable Water Provision (PESO-SWaP) projects, this new endeavor aims to engage local and national stakeholders in establishing and institutionalizing a framework for compensating providers of essential water-related ecosystem services. Some of these providers are upland communities and indigenous people.

Such services are increasingly crucial amid rising demands and declining natural resources, highlighting the urgency for sustainable resource management practices.

The project’s significance is further underscored by recent legislative developments, notably the passage of Republic Act No. 11995, or the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act.

Enacted in May 2024, this law mandates the integration of PENCAS into national policymaking, aiming to enhance ecological resilience and balance through systematic environmental and economic accounting.

The project, based at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), is led by Dr. Asa Jose U. Sajise, with team members Dr. Canesio D. Predo, Dr. Juan M. Pulhin, CFNR Dean Marlo D. Mendoza, Atty. Fritzielyn Q. Palmiery, Dr. Rosario Velasco-Tatlonghari, Sheerah Louise C. Tasico, and Hannah Mae A. Tolentino.

At the project’s inception meeting, Monica B. Castillo, Science Research Specialist and officer-in-charge of the Policy Analysis and Information Management Unit (PAIMU) of DOST-PCAARRD, introduced the initiative. Dr. Ernesto O. Brown, director of PCAARRD’s Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD), delivered the opening remarks, and Ma. Roselle U. Precilla, Project Technical Assistant at PAIMU, DOST-PCAARRD, presented the highlights during the Directors’ Council Meeting.

Dr. Sajise presented the project overview, and focused on achieving the target impacts through strategic activities tailored for the stakeholders. This was followed by feedback from DOST-PCAARRD and external evaluators, including Dieldre S. Harder and Dr. Margaret M. Calderon.

Representatives from various DOST-PCAARRD divisions, including the Office of Executive Director for Research and Development, SERD, Forest and Environment Research Division, Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division, and Marine Resources Research Division, committed their support for this initiative.
With this project, UPLB-INREM aims to make significant strides in environment management and policy development. This initiative is pivotal in advancing sustainable practices and ensuring equitable resource management for a healthier environment and thriving communities. (Hannah Mae A. Tolentino)

This article was originally posted at the UPLB News Site here: