philccap pa boards approve mgt plansA farmer and his two carabaos take a break along the banks of the Pinacanauan River in Peñablanca.The primary administrative bodies of the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS) and the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape (PPLS) have approved the updated management plans for the two protected areas on October 23 and October 30 respectively.

The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) approval followed months of consultations among the PAMB, members of the local government units (LGUs), and other stakeholders, during which several issues unique to each protected area surfaced. These issues include the confusing management jurisdiction over watersheds in PPLS and the absence of a marine protected area network in SIPLAS.

The updated management plans were designed under PhilCCAP to address different issues and concerns pertaining to the preservation and management of the two protected areas. General and specific problems unique to each area were identified and goals have been set to strengthen each area’s capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change and human activities.

Among the general objectives identified in the management plans for PPLS and SIPLAS are the conservation of its various habitats and the restoration of degraded areas, the enhancement of the local communities’ participation in protected area management through a system of community-based mechanisms and structures, the establishment of an ecotourism program, the improvement of the capacity of communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and the strengthening of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).

In addition to the management plans, a monitoring and evaluation system was developed by the Orient Integrated Development Consultants, Inc. (OIDCI) to assist the PAMBs in its oversight function with tools enabling them to accurately and timely assess the condition of their respective protected areas.

With unhampered implementation, the updated management plans is seen to boost local human development and environmental preservation. #

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