UPLB-INREM initiates valuation of West PH Sea natural capital in Bataan municipalities
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The UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (UPLB-INREM) conducted coordination and data-gathering activities in the municipalities of Bagac, Mariveles, and Morong in Bataan on March 11-14, 2024.

These activities, implemented under the project “Natural Capital Accounting of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea” (RE-INVEST WPS Project 2), aim to establish linkages with stakeholders and collect preliminary data for the valuation of the natural capital of Bataan’s West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Faculty and staff of the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), particularly the Research and Innovation Center on Climate Change and Sustainability (RICCS) and BPSU Main and Orani campuses, joined the RE-INVEST WPS Project 2 research team during the fieldwork.

A memorandum of agreement between UPLB and BPSU, signed prior to the fieldwork, facilitates reciprocal assistance in implementing project activities in Bataan and enhancing local stakeholder capacities, particularly those in academe and local government units, to lead natural capital accounting initiatives.

The team paid courtesy visits to key LGU officials in Bagac, Mariveles, and Morong – municipalities in Bataan that face the West Philippine Sea.

Focus group discussions (FGDs) with fishers and government officials served as the highlight of the fieldwork. These FGDs aimed to gather preliminary information on the extent and condition of ecosystems in the project sites; fishing methods, commonly used fishing gears, and marketing practices of fisherfolk; drivers of ecosystem deterioration and recovery; and current and proposed policies and conservation programs, among others.

A workshop with UPLB-INREM and BPSU research teams synthesized the data and findings from the FGDs. Initial findings were then presented to key government officials, including representatives from the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Bataan.

The feedback and results of the workshop will be used as inputs in designing and implementing the second leg of activities, which will include the fishing and non-fishing household survey and recreation demand survey.

The UPLB-INREM team was composed of Dr. Rosario Velasco-Tatlonghari, project specialist, and research associates Karen M. Pajadan, Grace Anne S. Malolos, Christian Ray C. Buendia, and Pauline Cielo P. Palma. The BPSU contingent was headed by Jonna Abistado-Biong and included Dr. Roxanne T. Bongco, Elmar P. Egarta, Ma. Anna O. Feliciano, Marianne N. Gonzales, Lucky Sonny A. Ligsanan, Engr. Dan William C. Martinez, Lizette B. Tapang, and Ron Vincent D. Calderon.

RE-INVEST WPS Project 2 is the second component of the Resource Inventory, Valuation, and Policy in Ecosystems under Threat (RE-INVEST): The Case of the West Philippine Sea” Program implemented jointly by the UP Marine Science Institute, UPLB-INREM, and UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, the three-year project will be implemented until March 2025. (Christian Ray C. Buendia and Farah Y. Sevilla)

The article was originally posted at the UPLB Website here: https://uplb.edu.ph/all-news/uplb-inrem-initiates-valuation-of-west-ph-sea-natural-capital-by-bataan-municipalities/?fbclid=IwAR0rUsVpXN3rP3lpLiBilQVpvVv10pxEEhDXXAPWQbMY9IYlRkFAtUfC2eo_aem_AaL0Te_ju6RqBRtNfvkYuYvyXk5PZKyiFV3qtEuvu_BBdY7rsVIZ1VwXE0G8i4p-OR7C9NAzdLA-8ay-5xs_Fkta