With the development of ecosystem accounts for Southern Palawan nearing finalization, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), together with the World Bank, conducted dissemination forums in Palawan. This activity forms part of the implementation of review mission for the Philippines Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (Phil-WAVES) Project of the Bank.
Two forums were held on October 5 and 6, 2015 at Puerto Princesa City (PPC) and Municipality of Sofronio Española, respectively. The forums were aimed at informing the stakeholders about the Phil-WAVES Project and preliminary results of the ecosystem accounts.
A wide range of stakeholders, consisting of the provincial government of Palawan, concerned municipal officials, private industries including mining and tourism, and agricultural companies, local media, and academic and other research institutions attended the forums. Representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and local communities including farmers and fisherfolks were also in attendance.
During the forum at PPC, Vice Governor Dennis Socrates provided the context of Palawan by tagging the province as the “country’s last frontier.” Likewise, Governor Jose C. Alvarez expressed support to Phil-WAVES and appreciation of the study conducted by the project in Southern Palawan. He said the result of the study would serve as a useful decision tool in choosing the right development options for the province.
The stakeholders provided substantial comments about the project, which the Bank, DENR, and PCSDS greatly appreciated as it indicated interest to the project. As well, they suggested that additional accounts be developed to generate additional sources of baseline data.
Further, Sofronio Española Vice Mayor Rona Chou expressed gratitude to the WB, DENR and PCSDS for choosing their municipality as one of Phil-WAVES pilot sites. She added that Sofronio Española, being a relatively new municipality, welcomes opportunities for development.
The development of ecosystem accounts is one of the components of Phil-WAVES and is being undertaken in two pilot sites: Southern Palawan and Laguna Lake Basin. Said component is experimental and aims to test the United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (UN SEEA) experimental ecosystem accounting approach. #