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Corridor Learning from Sierra Madre and Palawan




Corridor Learning Initiative
Final Report










Socioeconomics and Policy Unit
September 2007

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


CorrIdor establIshment and management Is a new and challengIng experIence for the
PhIlIppInes, an archIpelagIc country requIrIng multIscale aspects to consIder In scope.
WIth SIerra |adre and Palawan as the fIrst landscapes In bIodIversIty conservatIon, the
spIrIt of partnershIp orIented toward InstItutIonalIzatIon and sustaInabIlIty equIpped wIth
the standard of scIence and technIcal experIence Is beIng purposefully achIeved wIth the
leadershIp of ConservatIon nternatIonal - PhIlIppInes (CP) In a scaled up scope and
vIsIon. ThIs Is what the CorrIdor LearnIng nItIatIve (CL) project assesses.

CorrIdor accomplIshments and status are presented In summary tables : from strategy
formulatIon (Summary Table A), followed by clarIfyIng the goal and focus In the corrIdor
strategy (Table 8), to CP role In ImplementatIon (Table C), and the status of knowledge
management In the corrIdor (Table 0).
Processes In context assessment, strategy framework development, and dIssemInatIon to
obtaIn corrIdorwIde apprecIatIon and support were opportune for establIshIng the
corrIdor, InItIatIng a new approach to envIronment and development lInkages,
encouragIng Interagency and multIsectoral Involvements, and a synergy In research,
plannIng, polIcy enhancement, and actIon (Summary Table A).
Summary Table A. Experiences in the Corridor Strategy Formulation Phase
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
Context assessment Undertaken within longer
time frame (1998 to 2001)

CI staff mainly, with
consultations involving
experts for biological data

Consultants hired for socio-
economic data following
RACE technique

Consultations with regional
government agencies,
provincial LGUs, academe,
key NGOs
Undertaken within shorter
time frame (mid-2002-2003)

Consultants tapped for data
on species, conservation
status, socio-economic
data, policy issues,
biodiversity threats,
conservation initiatives.

Generated and validated
with broad engagement of
stakeholders from
government at provincial and
selected municipal LGUs,
NGOs, academe, grassroots
Corridor strategy
framework development
Achieved by CI staff, with
data inputs from and
validation by regional
government agencies,
provincial LGUs, academe,
key NGOs
Achieved with broad
engagement of stakeholders
from government at
provincial and selected
municipal LGUs, NGOs,
academe, grassroots
Dissemination Undertaken widely with key
partners (agencies),
popularized at regional and
provincial level of agencies
Undertaken widely with key
agencies, popularized widely
at all levels
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The shortterm goal In the corrIdor has been the establIshment of PAs as approach to
stabIlIze the base of conservatIon work, eventually to connect the prIorIty crItIcal sItes for
protectIon as a corrIdor, the dIssemInatIon of corrIdor vIsIon, and buIldIng up a
conservatIon constItuency In the corrIdor through partnershIp where facIlItator and dIrect
ImplementatIon roles address dIfferent targets (summarIzed In Table 8). n SIerra |adre
8IodIversIty CorrIdor wIth CP In two Protected Areas (PA) and Palawan In 1 PA, the focus
In dIrect ImplementatIon Is In craftIng the management plan and capacIty buIldIng of
management unIts. Such focus Is stIll confIned to the terrestrIal ecosystem, although
coastal and marIne ecosystems are Included In the corrIdorwIde vIsIon.


Summary Table B. Setting Goal and Focus in the Corridor Strategy
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
1. Short-term goal :
o establishment of PAs
o dissemination of
corridor vision
o build conservation
constituency in the
corridor (partnership)

3 items in short term goal
addressed corridor-wide
Establishment or expansion of
protected areas as most
stressed
3 items in short term goal
addressed corridor-wide
Ecosystem/habitat management
as specific goal expressed in
Surublien), articulated
concretely as establishment of
protected area (later developed
as target)
2. Focus in direct
implementation of
conservation actions
CI-P focus on PAs (2), partner
agencies in other PAs/critical
sites
Focus on PA (1)
Formulation/updating
plans : land use,
physical framework

Facilitation at regional level
Direct role in formulation in
selected sites
(Focus in 2 PAs)
Direct role in formulation
Focus on PA (1)
Strengthening of
management plan and
unit/s in focus site/s
Strengthening of resource use
management systems
- capacity building among key
agencies, cooperative LGUs
Capacity building/strengthening
still at level of key agencies
Scope beyond terrestrial
ecosystem
Freshwaters, coastal and marine
zone development and
management. recognized,
planning and actual
implementation still being
addressed
Freshwaters, coastal and marine
zone development and
management. recognized,
planning and actual
implementation still being
addressed

As detaIled In Table C, dIrect ImplementatIon In the experIence of S|8A and P8C covers
capabIlIty buIldIng of the management unIt, forest enrIchment, lIvelIhood enhancement
startIng wIth traInIng In agroforestry for vegetatIve enrIchment and Income generatIon.
All stages of PA establIshment are beIng handled by the corrIdor unIt.

n Table 0, the roles of CP In operatIonalIzIng scIencebased method and technIcal
expertIse, human wellbeIng and partnershIp are summarIzed relatIve to knowledge
management.


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Summary Table C. Role in Implementation Phase
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
o focus on terrestrial ecosystem
( CBFM)
o expansion in coastal areas as
recent direction
o focus on terrestrial ecosystem
o coastal and marine
ecosystems covered by
parallel unit of CI
Direct implementation :
building up/
strengthening resource
use management
systems/programs


Direct implementation in sites of
focus PAs (selected
municipality in Cagayan and
Quirino) :
PA expansion management
plan preparation in expansion
sites; capability building of
mgmt. unit; forest enrichment;
training in agroforestry for
vegetative enrichment and
livelihood
PA establishment all stages
Direct implementation in site of
focus PA (in Mt. Mantalingahan
spanning several municipalities) :

PA establishment all stages
Facilitation in
- -improvement of
resource management
Undertaken with partners in focus
sites and beyond, but CI-P
implementation is focused on
selected sections of PA
Undertaken with partners in focus
site and beyond, though still in
plan
-- advocacy Undertaken as corridor (region-
wide); stress in focus sites
Undertaken as corridor (province-
wide; stress in focus sites
-- law enforcement Assumed as government agency
role
Partners (government and non-
government) assisted in activities


Summary Table D. Knowledge management in links of ecosystem services,
human well-being, and conservation
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
Knowledge management
accdg. to CI standard :
Science-based method
Technical expertise
Iterative learning
across levels
Data/information
generation sustained
to scale up, update
Proceeding as CI-P standard,
with conservation awareness
raising and advocacy to
stakeholders
Proceeding as CI-P standard,
with information, education and
communication (advocacy) to
stakeholders
Recent, focus in city for
watershed management through
sustainable financing but project
components and stakeholders
expanding to PA
Proceeding through partners
(REECS, Danum ti umili)

Recent, in research phase
involving consultants
Link to ecosystem
services
Carbon sequestration through
reforestation


None yet
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Direct implementation in
population and environment
integration in another
municipality in Cagayan
(Baggao)
Through partners, recent activity
Agroforestry training and
assistance in focus barangays in
PA, other sites under partner
NGOs (1 partner facilitated,
other partners in independent
programs)
Community development
Targetted in focus PA
Through facilitation of partner
NGOs, LGUs, POs, business
sector
Human well-being link
Scope in livelihood
enhancement still confined to
agro-foresty in focus site
None yet


Successes in the corridor and unique strengths of CI-P

Assessment of the experience highlights the following strong points :

Context assessment, strategy formulation, and dissemination as protocol were
successfully completed to start a corridor-wide appreciation of conservation action. A
more compact and shorter time-frame was adopted in Palawan as a learning from the Sierra
Madre experience. Another lesson learned by Palawan from the SMBC experience included
broad-based multi-sectoral engagement of stakeholders to ensure a wider buy-in process,
but at a provincial scale to benefit from timely decision-making by executive agencies of the
local government at the provincial level.

The wider scope in SMBC corridor establishment spanning three regions and involving six
provinces requires a longer investment. To work beyond resource limitations, the units
iterative approach in context assessment, stakeholder participation, and institutionalization
even up to implementation of the corridor plans has been a very successful practical move.
There are several specific investments on this situation that were facilitative :

one, the Protected Area approach allocated across agencies in keeping with the
spirit of partnership is the scheme that has worked best. The PA approach guides
the selection of priority sites, management arrangements, types of projects to
pursue, and workplan to observe; and

two, collective (cf. selective) partnership is a strategic type of collaboration with
partners in conservation which CI-P is building up.


To build up a corridor-wide network of agencies and stakeholders pursuing conservation, CI-
P and partners have evolved some workable strategies to address issues faced in the field :
(i) maximizing/ seeking out windows of opportunity among receptive potential partners (ii)
starting small and building on demonstrable results to encourage broader participation (iii) in
focus sites, linking livelihood enhancement and engaging communities in forest protection.


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FacIIItatIon and dIrect actIon or ImpIementatIon In focus sItes are the duaIs roIes of CI-
P unIts for the CC. HavIng led the corrIdor establIshment InItIatIve and sustaInIng Its
dIrect ImplementatIon In prIorIty PAs, corrIdor managements draws from CP technIcal
support, capacIty buIldIng assIstance and strengthenIng partners' motIvatIon. Dne of the
strongest elements In C's work Is Its expertIse In the areas of bIodIversIty conservatIon,
mappIng, resource economIcs, envIronmental polIcIes, and the lIke. ThIs expertIse
renders credIbIlIty to the organIzatIons' recommendatIons and actIons. |otIvatIng Its
partners Is a role of C wellrecognIzed by partners In the corrIdor. Some of C's partners
have saId that to some extent, C's presence In the area serves as an Impetus for agencIes
to undertake bIodIversIty conservatIon. WhIle these agencIes may have offIcIal mandates
to work on bIodIversIty conservatIon concerns, C boosts the achIevement of theIr
mandates through provIdIng technIcal assIstance, resources and venues for dIscussIons and
concrete actIons. Some partners also cIte how C's hardworkIng and dedIcated staff and
C's support encourages them to work harder.

A corrIdor conservatIon constItuency has been created. C's scIencebased approach
and expertIse In knowledge generatIon and management has aIded the process of
marketIng bIodIversIty corrIdors. Factual InformatIon dIssemInated openly and shared
across levels has provIded strong arguments for conservatIon on a corrIdor scale. Dne of
the bIggest challenges was to convInce stakeholders that ImplementatIon of a corrIdor
wIde approach Is vIable. SkeptIcIsm, lack of IncentIves/motIvatIons to take actIon,
weaknesses In the InstItutIonal mechanIsms for program/project ImplementatIon and
resource protectIon/management were some of the Issues faced In the fIeld.

The corridor strategy is being marketed to donors to mobilize resources. CI has taken
on an active role in developing proposals based on the identified projects/activities in the
strategy, encourages partners to seek funding for corridor-related projects, and links local
partners with prospective donors. The unit has been aggressive in addressing the need for
public-private investments by influencing and strengthening institutional mechanisms that
could ensure sustainable financing for biodiversity corridor strategy-related activities. These
include tapping into 20% allocation from the internal revenue allotment of local government
units, accessing resources from the Integrated Protected Area Funds (IPAF), ensuring the
appropriate use of water district funds allocated for forest development and facilitating the
formation of foundations that would generate finances for resource management projects.


Gaps and constrains in corridor management

Through the corrIdor strategy, there are gaps to address and next steps to take In
facIlItatIng learnIng, scalIng up and InstItutIonalIzatIon.

Regarding knowledge managements, conservation science in the corridors has yet to
be strengthened : to reach connectivity of KBAs/protected areas, the link between
terrestrial and marine ecosystems, relationship of settlement management with
ecosystem services, and lead in/be responsive to challenges in climate change. The
involvement of NGOs and GOs in fisheries and marine resources has not been strongly felt
because of the PA focused approach. This gap is currently being addressed starting with the
assessment of marine resources in SMBC and the parallel initiatives of another CI-P unit in
Palawan. The ecosystem inter-connectivity has to be a scaling up direction.

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As a direction of collective partnership, agencies within the corridor have yet to
review what aspects of the conservation-development dynamics can be addressed in
a better way. Inputs from partner agencies in their technical studies in land use planning,
policy updates, resource valuation, poverty reduction, and social services (health, education,
and others) are not linked up systematically in planning. As an example, ideas from experts
in resource assessment (RACE) early on since corridor establishment were available but not
maximized in planning and strategy formulation to emphasize and build up the strategy from
results linking social factors and natural resources (i.e., economic trends and conservation
issues). Poverty reduction, increasing population, and deforestation continue, however, yet
improved initiatives have been successfully expanding and strengthening the conservation
constituency.

Enabling actions in conservation (training, IEC, environmental education, livelihood
enhancement) has worked well in focus sites (PPLS, QPL and Baggao). These need to be
complemented more strongly by the investment of other agencies within the focus
sites and in critical sites where partners lead.

CapacIty buIIdIng requIres sustaIned updatIng after systematIc traInIng needs anaIysIs.
Dnly once has the TNA been done , partners plannIng and executIon of suggestIons have
not been achIeved because of resource constraInts. In addition, CI-P has also taken a
strong role in institutionalizing biodiversity conservation through the corridor approach. It
has taken advantage of existing policies, systems and procedures in advancing the corridor
approach. The NIPAS law, the local government code, land use planning, among others,
provide the biodiversity conservation corridor strategy with a legal and institutional
framework that would help ensure its adoption. The difficulty, however, lies in the
weaknesses of these institutional mechanisms, systems and procedures. A case in point is
the planning process at the barangay level. While the local government code clearly
outlines how this is to be done, the reality is far from ideal. The systems need to be
reinforced through capacity building in order for these to function effectively in support of
resource management and biodiversity conservation.

Lastly, inasmuch as the biodiversity conservation corridor has just been recently adapted by
CI- Philippines and is quickly accepted across levels and regardless of scale with the
successes in the two corridors, there is a need to learn from experience and to document
these learning for purposes of enhancing future work. To some extent, CI does this
internally through its annual planning and quarterly meetings. Generating lessons,
however, could be done and documented more deliberately. As it stands, much of the
lessons gained over the passed years have contributed to modifications in strategies. They,
however, have remained undocumented. Documented lessons would aid in scaling up.

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As the CL assessment shows, several lessons have been generated In the followIng
aspects:

A. Process and approach in corridor establishment

Learning # 1 : Starting corridor establishment is more opportune if handled rapidly
but efficiently comprehensive or at a provincial scale. Context assessment and
strategy formulation can be successfully achieved in a more compact, shorter time-
frame and broad buy-in process. This was the experience in Palawan.

Learning #2 : Working in a regional scale was a constraint in efficiently achieving
context assessment as close as possible to the more realistic level of provincial-level
decision-making and management. As a result, the buy-in process has been gradual
and had been proceeding in a longer time-frame.

Learning #3 : In terms of scale, involvement of regional agencies was deemed less
critical in Palawan since the whole biodiversity corridor is situated within a single
province. Aside from DENR, no regional agencies were engaged in the strategy
formulation.

Learning #4 : Nonetheless, iterative crafting, sustained broad dissemination and
implementation of the corridor strategy best characterize the experience of SMBC
which this document on learning emphasizes as one of the field units major
achievements even if retrospectively.


B. Stakeholder engagement in a partnership arrangement

Learning #5 : By stressing the recognized role of local organizations as key element
in partnership, this scheme is a strength in CI-Ps approach in corridor management.

Lecrnny # : Considering the breadth of the area to be covered, work using the
Protected Area approach had been apportioned among CI-P and its partners.
Building up collective partnership is a facilitating factor in running corridor
conservation over several management regions.

Learning #7: Focused implementation in selected sites has been most successful in
demonstrating multi-stakeholder and public-private collaboration in conservation
actions for critical sites for protection, such as Key Biodiversity Areas and
watersheds.

Learning #8 : As CBC, performance of role as facilitator or implementor was
encouraged by such delineation of lead roles among partners.

Learning #9: Partnership with NGOs and the government sector and engagement of
the grassroots is being sustained as a basic feature in the Palawan corridor. Unlike
the case of the SMBC, the opportunity for community consultation and community
engagement was realized even during the assessment and strategy formulation,
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most maximized despite limited time and funding. This is still a challenge in
partnership when there is turfing across agencies and sectors.

Lecrnny #10 : 0espte the lecrnny ]rom the SM8C exercse, corrdor mcncyement
n Pclcwcn s beny lmted by the emphcss on the PA cpprocch. ClP's role cs
]ccltctor ]or pcrtners s exercsed n other pcrts o] the corrdor, but ccn stll be
expcnded cs C8C role.


C. Knowledye manayement relatve to scence and techncal exertse amony
Cl's llars n conservaton

Learning #11 : Science and technical expertise has been most successful as CI-Ps
role in the conservation corridor, which all stakeholders across scales at all levels
recognized. Conservation-guided mapping, information system and spatial analysis
are most requested even beyond the current corridors, with much welcome
assistance in pursuing the inter-agency physical, structural and management
planning exercises of the government.

Learning #12 : Planning, coordinating and facilitation techniques in the context of
politically-informed and bureaucratic set up of governance at the local level were
facilitated by a number of factors that CI-P evolved in the two corridors : (i) broad
representation in transparent consensus-forming venues, (ii) key leadership of well-
accepted local agencies with track record in multi-sectoral processes, (iii) proximity
to the regional center which facilitates communication, coordination and access to
support and information on follow-through activities.

Learning #13: Capacity building in conservation action is being sustained in (i)
institutional structures across various levels of governance; (ii) strengthening through
ensuring adequate human resources for appropriate tasks in conservation
management, (iii) enforcement of forest regulations; (iv) skills improvement in
project management.

Learning #14 : Inputs from experts in resource assessment (RACE, annual
stakeholder conferences, watershed mapping and management by partners) have
been available but not maximized in planning and strategy formulation to emphasize
and build up the strategy from results linking social factors and natural resources
(i.e., economic trends and conservation issues).

Learning #15: Systematically planned and periodic training needs assessment has to
be pursued among the next steps..

Learning #16 : Conservation science in SMBC has yet to be strengthened to reach
connectivity of KBAs/protected areas, link settlement management with ecosystem
services, and lead in/be responsive to challenges in climate change. Climate change
initiatives are still a new direction in corridor work, which undoubtedly is among the
bigger next steps of CI-P that is leading in the terrestrial ecosystem.

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D. Scalny u adatve manayement n the corrdor

Learning #17 : As a major accomplishment in SMBC, the establishment of the
agency for volunteer funds is a unique model in public-private enterprise. The
corridor unit has yet to review how to scale up and institutionalize the experiment to
maintain it as a sustainable financing scheme.

Learning # 18 : As big constraint in conservation, poverty reduction and eco-
governance require long-term investment beyond the term of administrative (political)
office of leaders, regardless of level or scale of governance. Resource mobilization
still has to be beefed up throughout the corridor.

Learning # 19 : Appropriate use of technical and scientific expertise has to be
strengthened and expanded throughout the corridor among partners and
stakeholders.

Learning # 20: Enabling actions in conservation (training, IEC, environmental
education, livelihood enhancement) has worked well in focus sites (PPLS, QPL and
Baggao) to complement the investment of other agencies in human well-being
aspects, but these need to be sustained and expanded throughout the corridor.


CIven these lessons, the corrIdor approach has Indeed been weIghty In challengIng
opportunItIes for conservatIon. The conservatIon of specIes and habItats as outcome wIll
stIll need to buttress bIodIversIty corrIdor establIshment and support. ThIs Is a challengIng
strategy In a country where bIodIversIty values are not yet evIdently beIng prIorItIzed In
InstItutIonal mechanIsms and polIcy framework because of enormous challenges In
development.

Crounded and realIstIc promotIon of scIence, human wellbeIng and partnershIp must be
pursued In corrIdor work!


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Table of Contents

Section Content Page
Executive Summary i - x
Table of Contents xi
List of Acronyms xii
List of Tables xiii
Introduction 1
Section One Background and Context of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 4
Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor 4
Bio-geographic context 5
Socio-economic context 6
Palawan Biodiversity Corridor 8
Bio-geographic context 8
Socio-economic context 9
Section Two Corridor rationale and project objectives 11
Section Three Methodology 14
Section Four Results and next steps 16
I. The Case of Sierra Madre 17
A. Background: Establishing the Biodiversity Corridor
(Strategy Formulation Phase)
17
Context assessment in the Corridor 18
Developing a Corridor Strategy Framework 18
B. Implementing the Corridor Strategy 21
Expanding Protected Areas in SMBC 23
Strengthening PA Management 25
Reforestation, Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change Initiatives 31
Ensuring Sustainable Financing 32
C. Linking Human Well-being and Biodiversity Conservation 33
Bridging Livelihood Needs and Forest Protection 33
Influencing Population Growth 36
Strengthening Environmental Awareness 36
II. The Case of Palawan 37
A. Background : Context assessment and developing the strategy
(Strategy Formulation Phase)
38
Context Assessment 38
Putting Together a Corridor Strategy 40
B. Implementing the Corridor Strategy 42
Awareness-raising and capacity strengthening in conservation 42
Partnership and Community Engagement in Palawan 43
Establishing a Protected Area in Palawan 45
III. Institutionalizing Biodiversity Conservation in the Corridor 52
A. Critical involvement in Physical Framework Plan preparation 52
B. Forming planning and coordinating bodies among institutions 54
Section Five Lessons Learned 58
I. Strategy formulation phase 58
II. Corridor strategy implementation phase 61
A. Lessons In stakeholder In ImplementatIon 61
B. CIPs Role as Facilitator in the Corridor 64
Creating a conservation constituency in the corridor 64
Building partnerships 65
Marketing the corridor strategy to donors in mobilizing resources 67
Providing technical support, capacity building and strengthening
partners motivation
67
Facilitating learning, scaling up and institutionalization 68
C. Operationalizing Science, Partnership and Human Well-being 69
References 73
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LIST OF ACRONYMS

ADSDPP Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan


CADC/CALC Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim/ Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim
CADT/CALT Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title/ Certificate of Ancestral Land Title
CBFM Community Based Forest Management
CBFMA Community Based Forest Management Agreement
CENRO Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer
CEPF Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
CI Conservation International
CI Counterpart International
DA Department of Agriculture
DAO DENR Administrative Order
DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources
DILG Department of Interior and Local Government
EC European Commission
ELAC Environmental Legal Assistance Center
EMB Environmental Management Bureau
ENR Environment and Natural Resources
EO Executive Order
FLA Forest Lease Agreement
FMB/FMS Forest Management Bureau/Services
GEF Global Environmental Facility
GRP Government of the Republic of the Philippines
ICC Indigenous Cultural Community
IFMA Integrated Forest Management Agreement
IP/ICC Indigenous People/Indigenous Cultural Communities
IPRA Indigenous Peoples Rights Act
IRR Implementing Rules and Regulations
JBIC Japan Bank for International Cooperation
JICA Japan International Cooperation Agency
LGC Local Government Code
LGU Local Government Unit
LSBs Local Special Bodies
MAO Municipal Agricultural Officer
MC Memorandum Circular
NCIP National Commission on Indigenous People
NGO Non-Government Organization
NIPAS National Integrated Protected Areas System
PA Protected Area
PAMB Protected Area Management Board
PASu Protected Areas Superintendent
PAWB Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau
PCSD Palawan Council for Sustainable Development
PD Presidential Decree
PENRO Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer
PL Protected Landscapes
PO Peoples Organization
PPDO Provincial Planning and Development Office
RA Republic Act
REECS Resources Environment and Economics Center for Studies, Inc.
SEP Strategic Environmental Plan
SIFMA Socialized Integrated Forest Management Agreement
UNDP United Nations Development Program
USAID United States Agency for International Development
WFR Watershed Forest Reserve






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LIST OF TABLES

Table No. Title Page


Summary Table A Experiences in the Corridor Strategy Formulation Phase Ii
Summary Table B Setting Goal and Focus in the Corridor Strategy Iii
Summary Table C Role in Implementation Phase Iv
Summary Table D Knowledge Management in Links of Ecosystem Services, Human Well-
being, and Conservation
iv-v
Table 1 Scope of Corridor Learning in CIP 14
Table 2 Biodiversity Sites and Partners in SMBC 22
Table 3 Progress on 13 Steps Towards Establishing Mt. Mantalingahan as PA
under NIPAS Law, Palawan, December 2008
48-49
Table 4 Experiences in the Corridor Strategy Formulation Phase 51
Table 5 Setting Goal and Focus in the Corridor Strategy 52
Table 6 Role in Implementation Phase 53
Table 4 Knowledge Management in Links of Ecosystem Services, Human Well-
being, and Conservation
55


LIST OF FIGURES

Figure No. Title Page


Figure 1 Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor 5
Figure 2 Palawan Biodiversity Corridor 8
Figure 3 Penablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape 26
Figure 4 Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape 47

Corridor Learning Initiative Report, Conservation International - Philippines
Pre-final Report March 2007, Final Report September 2007

1


Corridor Learning from Sierra Madre and Palawan



Introduction

The corridor approach in the Philippines is a very rich source of learning in conservation.
After 10 years of experience in implementing projects in the country and, subsequently, the
identification of Philippine hotspots in 1998 and biodiversity conservation priority sites in
2002, Conservation International - Philippines (CI-P) has scaled up its work in order to
create a greater impact by using the corridor strategy.
1

2
What followed were series of
activities leading to the formulation and implementation of corridorwide strategies in priority
areas following the institutional framework in biodiversity conservation.
This report on the Corridor Learning Initiative (CLI) in Sierra Madre and Palawan focuses on
how the three pillars in conservation - science, partnership and human well-being - are
operationalized in the corridor approach pioneered in the Philippines by CI. Engaging varied
levels of institutions and stakeholders goes beyond involving them in any activity to support
conservation. The spirit of partnership oriented toward institutionalization and sustainability
equipped with the standard of science and technical experience is being purposefully
achieved in a scaled up scope and vision. As a source of learning, the experiences in two
corridors in these aspects are compared, the similarities and differences in approaches are
analyzed, and the lessons on what processes work or do not work are documented and
assessed. These learning points may be appreciated not only throughout the country but
even globally in similar contexts.
To advance the conservation of species and habitats, establishing a corridor is a challenging
strategy in a country where biodiversity values are not evidently prioritized in institutional
mechanisms and policy framework because of enormous challenges in development.

First, rapid habitat alteration and biodiversity loss cannot be effectively addressed easily
because of weak governance demonstrated in issues in inter-agency structures and
practices, intra-unit priorities and capacities, and policy consistency across levels. For
example, some officially declared protected areas are not handled well because the
mandated agency is in conflict with competing management schemes (under a private
logging company or mining exploration, ancestral domain rights of indigenous people,
community based forest management by upland dwellers, the local government unit with its
own programs and service delivery). As a result, actions in protection tend to be constrained
in scale, politically leveraged, and difficult to sustain.

Second, extractive and destructive natural resource-based economic activities as well as
urban development are the priorities in centrally designed and controlled government

1
The corridor strategy aims to connect biodiversity areas through a patchwork of sustainable land uses,
increasing mobility and genetic exchange among individuals of fauna and flora even in the absence of large
extensions of continuous natural habitat (http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/where_we_work/philippines/full_strategy.xml).





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programs. Constituency building in conservation among local government units and
communities is slowed down by externally controlled programs.

Third, poverty incidence and population growth rate increase (from both high fertility and in-
migration) as development pressure intensifies, aggravated by weak asset-based
improvements to counter inequitable access and control over resources. Poverty reduction
and population control are often devolved to resource-poor local government units. With the
expansion of human settlements in degraded lands, investments are neither sufficient for
well-being concerns nor prioritized for protection of habitats and ecosystem services.

Lastly, at a general level, mismanagement as well as human abuse and neglect of
biological resources palpably stem from a lack of genuine understanding and appreciation of
environmental sustainability. Across scales, synergy has to be achieved and sustained in
education and awareness raising about conservation and human well-being.

The corridor strategy is one clear recourse to scale up conservation initiatives that address
the fragmentation of habitats while supporting convergence, expansion and strengthening of
actions among stakeholders across levels. The two corridors prioritized by CI-P have the
most diverse, intact and highest degree of conservation status. These also benefit from the
widest variety of players that can be engaged : heterogeneous population in local
communities of indigenous peoples, traditional ethnic groups and settlers as primary
stakeholders; local government units and national government agencies with respective
mandates that need to be integrated and maximized; investors in logging, mining, plantation
establishment, industrial development, tourism and large-scale fishing with corporate
responsibilities and business interests that can be mobilized; and a broad range of local,
national and international support agencies with conservation and development initiatives to
build from and connect.

The challenges in the corridor approach are indeed extensive. As CBC, ,an assessment of
what we have learned is ImperatIve to scale up our conservatIon InItIatIves. The report Is
organIzed as follows :

Secton Dne covers the bIophysIcal and socIoeconomIc context of the corrIdors. ncluded
are the key specIes and habItats targeted In the conservatIon outcomes; the geographIcal
settIng; the features In the socIal, economIc, and polItIcal settIng; and the publIc and
prIvate stakeholders. ThIs InformatIon set Is a baselIne to understand the detaIls In the
corrIdorwIde management approach of CP as multIstakeholders across scales are
engaged.

n the lIght of the long term goal for the corrIdor, Secton Two sItuates the CL project
objectIves.

Secton Three detaIls the methodology used In the CL project. ncluded are the data
types and sources accessed, the procedure used reconstructIvely where documented
reports are not avaIlable, and IteratIvely to capture n stu flexIbIlIty of fIeld unIts In
ImplementatIon. Even the IteratIve learnIng revealed by the research methodology
confIrmed the rIch experIences In corrIdor adaptIve management exercIsed by the corrIdor
unIts across scales and levels of Involved stakeholders.

Secton Four covers the results In corrIdor learnIng and the next steps. The sectIon starts
wIth revIsItIng the approach and method In context assessment and strategy framework

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formulatIon to establIsh the corrIdor. ThIs Is followed by the maIn content of the sectIon,
whIch Is an assessment of how the strategy has been Implemented through corrIdorwIde
actIons and partIcularly through the Protected Area management approach In prIorIty
K8As as they are beIng connected. The assessment of how the PA approach has proceeded
Is tackled In the experIences of S|8C and Palawan whIch are presented separately to
understand In context how factors are facIlItatIng or constraInIng In corrIdor management
: how the conservatIon sItes are marked off for Investments, the engagement of
InstItutIons to connect sItes through advocacy and traInIng as enablIng actIvItIes, and the
scales and sectors to work wIth In Important ImplementatIon aspects such as governance
and human wellbeIng promotIon.

To hIghlIght what has posItIvely worked or not In strategy ImplementatIon, the sectIon
also assesses (1) how conservatIon Is InstItutIonalIzed corrIdorwIde, and (2) CP's role as
facIlItator and/or Implementor partIcularly In several concerns : creatIng a conservatIon
constItuency In the corrIdor, buIldIng partnershIps, marketIng the corrIdor strategy to
donors In mobIlIzIng resources, provIdIng technIcal support, capacIty buIldIng and
strengthenIng partners' motIvatIon. The aspects that need strengthenIng relatIve to CP's
role are stressed In the last dIscussIon on facIlItatIng learnIng, scalIng up and
InstItutIonalIzatIon as next steps.

Secton Fve reIterates the lessons In the corrIdor experIence (from the early phases of
strategy formulatIon to ImplementatIon) and CP's role In dIrect conservatIon actIon,
facIlItatIon and partnershIp. The dIscussIon In the sectIon Is thIs tIme relatIve to the
operatIonalIzatIon of the three pIllars In conservatIon to be consIstent wIth C's standards.


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Section One :
Background and Context of the Biodiversity Corridor Strategy

The bio-geographic and socio-economic context of each corridor presented in the section
emphasizes the similarities in species richness, status of threats being addressed and spatial scope
being covered. This information set is a baseline to understand the details in the corridor-wide
management approach of CI-P as multi-stakeholders across scales are engaged.

Guided by the identified biodiversity hotspots, Conservation International-Philippines (CI-P)
began its efforts to establish biodiversity corridors starting in the Sierra Madre Mountain
Range in 1998, then the province of Palawan in 2002 and subsequently in the Eastern
Mindanao Region in 2005. Sierra Madre and Palawan, the focus of this report, are the top
two corridors with highest richness and endemism in species in terrestrial ecosystems that
need protection. Both areas are also known for the rich biodiversity in marine ecosystems.


Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor

The Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor (SMBC) covers a land area of 1.8 million hectares
spread across 10 provinces (Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Nueva
Ecija, Aurora, Bulacan, Rizal, and Quezon) in 3 administrative regions (Regions 2, 3 and 4).
These administrative regions that cut up the corridor have their respective priorities in
development and environmental plans, the first challenge in corridor management schemes.

Bio-geographic context

Located within the Greater Luzon Bio-geographic Region, SMBC is mostly terrestrial and
serves as the backbone of Luzon and is also the longest mountain range in the country.
Its northernmost tip has some of the Batanes-Babuyan Islands and shorelines facing the
South China Sea and the Northern Pacific region.
This location and physiography gives it the greatest number of protected areas (68 national
parks, watershed forest reserves, natural monuments, marine reserves, protected
landscapes and seascapes) and the most extensive forest cover in the country (about 1.4
million hectares, accounting for 25% of the country's forest resources, including more than
40% of the remaining old growth forests). The Northern Sierra Madre National Park is the
largest and most important because it was the precursor for the Corridor Concept for
Conservation and has served a model for other regions in the Philippines. Half of the
roughly 800,000 hectares of primary forest that remain in the archipelago are found in the
corridor, hence the corridors importance.
SMBC is home to about more than 3,500 plant species (about 45% of species recorded in
the country, 58% endemism within the corridor and 41% endemism nationwide), 106 of
which are in the IUCN Red List of threatened plant species (42% of the total threatened
species of Philippine flora). Animal life in the area is also diverse, hosting at least 80% of all
resident breeding birds of Luzon, fourteen (20%) of the country's 65 threatened bird species,
about 38 mammals, 40 reptiles and 17 amphibians. Five mammals and six reptiles are
threatened with extinction. A total of 25 threatened higher vertebrates are present in the
corridor, 75% of them endemic to the Philippines.

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Fig. 1. Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor

Despite its very diverse species and habitats as described above, the biodiversity status of
the corridor is highly threatened. Loss of forest cover and severe habitat fragmentation has
led to the disappearance of numerous endemic species and pushed others to the brink of
extinction.
These forests are believed to be a refuge for about 50 percent of the threatened animals in
the country, including the Philippine eagle, Philippine crocodile, Golden crowned flying fox,
and the Luzon slender tailed cloud rat. The coastal waters of the Sierra Madre is also home
to several threatened marine life such as the whale shark, giant clam, and various sea
turtles.
The forest cover in the SMBC is the most extensive in the Philippines about 1.4 million
hectares, accounting for 25 percent of the countrys forest resources, including more than
40 percent of the remaining old-growth forests. Of the 13 forest types in the Philippines
recognized by Whitmore (1984a), 11 were reported present in the Corridor, including tropical



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evergreen rainforest, upper and lower montane rainforests, limestone forest, beach forest,
and wetlands such as mangrove forest and freshwater swamp. Plant biodiversity is high
with more than 3,500 species recorded in the area and the highest known level of plant
endemism within the Philippines. Generic endemism is also high, with 68 percent of
endemic genera found in the Corridor.
The number of threatened plant species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is 106
for the Corridor or 42 percent of the total threatened Philippine flora species.
With regard to conservation status, at least 28 faunal species are threatened: 17 birds,
including the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi); 5 mammals, including the Golden-
crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus); and 6 reptiles, including the Philippine crocodile
(Crocodilos Mindorensis). Records revealed that 21 of these threatened species (75%) are
endemics.
Socioeconomic context
The corridor is home to many ethnic groups : the dominant Ilocanos from the linguistic family
in the northern and central sections of the corridor (covering the provinces of Cagayan,
Isabela, Vizcaya, and Quirino), the Tagalogs in the southeastern section (Quezon and
Rizal), and the indigenous peoples with their abode spread throughout the corridor.
Dominant ethnic groups survive from services and regular employment in urban areas and
agriculture in wide lowland settlements. Human, financial and physical assets are well
developed and covered by government services in these areas. Elsewhere, among the
indigenous peoples, the Agtas reside along the coastal areas, while the Bungkalots and
Dumagats occupy the hinterlands. Their communities are less served by government
programs in health, education and economic activities, while physical (infrastructure) and
financial assets are very low. These communities therefore rely on small-scale agriculture,
forest product collection, and hunting for cash income and subsistence, relying on better
natural resource attributes and social assets in contrast with those in lower elevation and
urban areas. Other indigenous peoples are the Isneg, Ibanags, Ikalahans, Gaddangs,
Ifugao, Kalinga, Kankanays, and Ilonggots. Except for the Ikalahan and Ilonggots, most of
these people reside among dominant ethnic population in compact settlements in the
lowlands.
Corporate investments with government support in resource extractive development trends,
population pressure, and weak governance are priority sources of threat in biodiversity but
are also the bases of unstable quality of life in the corridor.
Commercial logging has historically degraded forests throughout Sierra Madre over
centuries but most particularly in the last four decades. Beyond extensive timber production
that deforested the corridor, large-scale operators have built logging roads that further
reduced forested areas and still continue to induce in-migration.

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High population growth rate and poverty incidence particularly in upland communities are
faulted for environmental degradation. Following the opening of forest lands for large-scale
logging and settlement expansion, growing population survived on erosive land for
agriculture, non-timber forest product gathering, poaching and the like, thus undermining
critical forest lands through unsustainable yet expanding small-scale agriculture as well as
destructive small-scale legal and illegal logging. In the absence of economic alternatives,
land conversion and destructive resource use continue as main source of income.
Several industrial development plans are pending : large-scale mining applications, further
road development and improvement through forested areas, the establishment of
government designated special economic zones in Cagayan and Quezon provinces. Five
lateral roads and four coastal roads have been identified to traverse the Sierra Mountain
Range. Claims for mineral extraction cover 661,341 hectares in Sierra Madre: 333,989
hectares under 32 exploration permit applications; 311,000 hectares under 8 Financial
Technical Assistance Agreements; 16,000 hectares by Mineral Production Sharing
Agreements; and 352 hectares by sand and gravel claims. Applications for these have been
delayed or withdrawn as these have been contested by the conservation constituency being
set up and strengthened over the last decade
In short, the presence of these industries have triggered the access and movement of
population to or near the biologically sensitive areas of the corridor with the ensuing small
scale logging/hunting/cultivation activities that further exacerbate the already degraded state
of much of the forest ecosystem. At the same time, logging and mining concessions
including small scale illegal activities, have influenced the development of support industries
in the lowlands catering to the processing of timber and mineral products. The cycle of
interdependence created in the economy of the corridor by these industries reinforces their
existence and serve to influence political support and tolerance for abuses.


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Palawan Biodiversity Corridor
The Palawan Biodiversity Corridor, on the other hand, covers the entire province of Palawan
consisting of 23 municipalities or a total of 1,489,600 hectares of land. Palawan is a
complex of more than 1,700 islands and islets in the Philippines, having a total land area of
more than 11,000 sq.km. and is therefore the fifth largest province in the country.

Bio-geographic context

Palawans land formations are interestingly diverse botanically, from the ultrabasic
formations in Mt. Mantalingahan and Anapahan, to the primary forest of Mt. Puyos, the karst
formation of the rugged terrain in the mainlands northern portion and the Calamianes group
of islands.



Fig. 2. Palawan Biodiversity Corridor.

It serves as refuge to some 106 globally important terrestrial and marine species. Palawan
often is called the Philippines last biodiversity frontier because it still retains almost 50% of
its original forest cover. The biological importance of Palawan is recognized both nationally
and internationally. In 1990, UNESCO declared the entire area as a Biosphere Reserve.

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The region includes several existing Proclaimed Conservation Areas - namely, Coron
Islands (7,580 hectares), El Nido Marine Reserve (89,140 hectares), Malampaya Sound
(90,000 hectares), and St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park.

The island has a large block of old growth forest and is home to many wildlife species
including the Philippine macaque, porcupine, the Palawan hornbill, and the critically
endangered Philippine cockatoo. Palawan supports 11 amphibians (46%) endemic to the
Philippines - eight of which are found only in Palawan. The island is also home to 25
Philippine endemic birds (15%), including 16 (62%) that occur only in Palawan, 18 endemic
mammals (33%), including 15 (83%) that are endemic to Palawan, and 24 endemic reptiles
(36%). Meanwhile, it has been estimated that the island contains about 1,522 species of
flowering plants with 15-20% endemism. The northern part of the island is home to the
endemic plant genus Adonidia (Palmae).
The entire province has also been declared a mangrove reserve. There are still abundant
coral reefs and sea grass beds with miles of mangroves dotting the coastline. It straddles
two of the worlds most important marine areas the Sulu and China seas. Part of the
Coral Triangle, Palawan accounts for 82 percent of the 462 coral reef species occurring in
the country (Veron and Fenner, 2000). More than 1,700 species of flowering plants and
about 41 percent of the countrys terrestrial vertebrates currently known to science are found
in the corridor. Palawan often is called the Philippines last biodiversity frontier, because it
still retains more than 50 percent of its original forest cover (1998 LandSat image analysis).
In terms of conservation status, 23 faunal species are threatened: nine birds, six mammals,
five reptiles, and one amphibian. At least 14 of the threatened species (61%) are endemic.
Socio-economic context
The richness and threats in biodiversity are matched by the state of human population and
well-being. The corridor has a high population growth rate (3.6%) exceeding the national
average (2.3%), and largely from natural fertility (65%) more than in-migration (35%).
Density is higher in in-migration sections that have no more alienable and disposable lands
(for private ownership), such that settlement expansion now requires land use planning to
discourage migration into critical areas.
The indigenous peoples are in the upland and interior areas or along banks of rivers or
coasts. These groups who have traditionally depended on natural resources both for income
and for important cultural and social reasons are threatened in their natural resource base.
Three land-based ethnic minority groups reside in increasingly degraded lands and waters
(Batak, Palawan and Tagbanua). These indigenous people have their land rights to be
tapped as pro-conservation opportunity. Specifically in Coron Island in the north, the
Tagbanuas have ancestral rights over the Island, with the national government giving
recognition through the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) covering a total area of
22,284 hectares of land surrounding waters.

4
Conserving Earth's Living Heritage: A Proposed Framework for Designing Biodiversity Conservation Strategies.
http://portals.conservation.org/downloads/storedfile/Document/Conserving%20Earths%20Living.PDF, page29. October 6, 2006.

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0omInant ethnIc groups whIch are largely settlers are In compact settlements along major
road In the lowlands. WIth healthIer human resources, such communItIes have better
opportunItIes to access fInancIal assets. 8ut rapId urbanIzatIon takIng place In the corrIdor
and consequent Increases In utIlIzatIon and extractIon of natural resources do not bode
well for Palawan's bIodIversIty.
Hence, populatIon growth rate needs to be reduced through planned settlement
expansIon, regulated InmIgratIon especIally In crItIcal habItats, Improved socIal
Infrastructure and support servIces.
The major threats to biodiversity conservation in the Palawan Corridor are numerous :
scattered and unorganized small scale illegal logging, unregulated collection of timber and
non-timber forest products, large and small-scale mining, rapid conversion of mangroves
into fishponds and ricefields, overfishing and illegal fishing, and population pressure. In the
marine realm, overfishing and rampant use of destructive fishing techniques has brought
tremendous pressures to coral reefs and related ecosystems. It is probable that less than
10 percent of the provinces coral reefs, determined to be in pristine condition a decade ago
(Gomez et al. 1994), may no longer be in good health.
Any development trend must be corrected, to be sustained by local resources within the
regenerating capacity asset improvement. The local government units need to invest in
resource assessment, valuation, carrying capacity studies.
As a positive situation, the policy climate offers a significant opportunity for biodiversity
conservation. There are basic institutional and legal mechanisms that allow for a localized
system of PA delineation that complement the national integrated protected areas system.
Palawan is the only province with its own Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Law (Republic
Act 7611) as policy framework, a zoning scheme referred to as Environmentally Critical
Areas Network (ECAN) to protect unstable and threatened habitats and the Palawan
Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) as institutional structure.


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Section Two: Corridor rationale and project objectives
Secton Two tckes o]] ]rom the lonyterm yocl ]or the corrdor cnd detcls the CLl pro]ect
ob]ectves.


The corrIdors have been set up for conservatIon of threatened specIes and habItats as
long term goal, through dIrect (or protectIon) and IndIrect (or enablIng) components
InvolvIng a spread of prIorIty sItes. Efforts to establIsh bIodIversIty corrIdors In prIorIty
conservatIon areas In the PhIlIppInes pIcked up momentum In 1999 wIth the move to
consolIdate a corrIdorwIde strategy for the SIerra |adre 8IodIversIty landscape. The
fundIng for thIs 5year (1999 to 2004) project was provIded by the USA0, wIth the
specIfIc aIms of :

a) establishing the SMBC participatory planning and implementation framework
b) gathering additional socio-economic and biophysical benchmark information
c) strengthening the capacities of stakeholders in open access areas
d) establishing SMBC data base, communication and education framework and the
monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system
e) developing a corridor-wide economic and policy intervention

While the SMBC project was mid-way through its implementation, a similar project was
launched in Palawan in mid-2002, this time, with a 1-year grant from the Critical Ecosystem
Partnership Fund (CEPF). The expected results of this project included:
a) a data base that consolidates biological and abiotic information and a map
representing the preliminary biological vision of the minimum requirements to ensure
the representation and persistence of Palawans biodiversity
b) spatial analysis and associated maps of social, economic and policy information and
analyses
c) a strategy document of Palawan conservation that includes 5 years outcomes, risk
of habitat loss, and other spatial analysis, conclusion of the social, economic and
policy assessment and recommendations for action.

These processes in preparing for corridor-wide conservation are elemental but are leading
to the goal of creating and managing new or expanded protected areas to be linked along a
common direction among partners. By being able to prioritize within a wide range of
possible areas of intervention within the corridor, partners and stakeholders from
conservation organizations, local government units, relevant government agencies, and civil
society sectors to adopt the corridor design


As a corrIdor, the targeted conservatIon outcome for S|8C Is to have the entIre range to
be under a permanent protected area status through a network of desIgnated
conservatIon areas wIthIn a perIod of ten years to conserve both threatened specIes and
habItats. NIne (9) conservatIon areas are under dIfferent modes of management system
whIch requIre dIfferent approaches. FIve conservatIon areas, the Northern SIerra |adre
Natural Park, Casecnan Protected Landscape, the proposed Penablanca Protected
Landscape and Seascape, QuIrIno Protected Landscape, and the |arIa Aurora NatIonal
Park are under a protected area system whIle the other four areas are partIally covered
by other management systems such as CommunIty8ased Forest |anagement (C8F|),

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Watershed Forest Feserves (WFF), Ancestral 0omaIn ClaIms/TItle (CA0C/CA0T) and other
tenurIal Instruments. These InstItutIonal and polIcyregulated realItIes, not to mentIon
the hIerarchIcal set up of governance structures, are challenges In the conservatIon
corrIdor approach.

Threatened and endemIc specIes In S|8C have been IdentIfIed, valIdated and expanded In
the early years of CP's work, but relegated to less ImmedIate prIorIty to set up fIrst the
InstItutIonal base of the corrIdor. After some three to fIve years of Investment In the buy
In process to set up the corrIdor, specIes conservatIon work has been proceedIng wIth
bIologIcal surveys accomplIshed In several Key 8IodIversIty Areas. ThIs and the
development of specIfIc actIon plans of potentIal key stone/umbrella specIes Is the stage
presently reached In specIes related actIon In the corrIdor.

For Palawan, the specIesrelated longterm goal for the corrIdor wIth Is "effectIve
protectIon of the wIldlIfe of the Palawan 8IodIversIty CorrIdor IncludIng the followIng
threatened or restrIcted range specIes: 15 specIes of threatened and/or restrIcted range
mammal, such as the endangered Palawan softfurred mountaIn rat (Pclcwcnomys
]urvus); 21 threatened and/or restrIcted range bIrd specIes, IncludIng the endangered
PhIlIppIne cockatoo (Cccctuc hcemcturopyyc), the Palawan strIpedbabbler (Stcchyrs
hypoyrcmmcc); and a specIes of frog (|ary's frog, lnyercnc mcrce) known only from |t.
|antalIngahan. ncluded In the vIsIon for the corrIdor Is stabIlIzatIon (wIthIn 5 years) of
populatIon trends of key specIes IdentIfIed In the UCN red lIst through threat reductIon,
and eventually the delIstIng (wIthIn 10 years) of specIes from the UCN red lIst that are
classIfIed as endangered.


The CLI project therefore looks back at the experiences in developing and implementing the
corridor-wide strategies with the purpose of culling out lessons/insights that may guide
similar work in the future. More specifically, the objectives of the CLI project are to :
1. compare the corridor strategy framework and processes in Sierra Madre and
Palawan : this is focused on how the framework is operationalized in stakeholder
engagement strategies; the kinds of analyses critical for supporting/making policy
arguments; and the hard lessons learnt;
2. document lessons learned and outstanding processes in the development and
implementation of corridor strategies (what works and why); and
3. lay the foundation for incorporating human-dimensions indicators into the
biodiversity-monitoring protocol in one of the corridors.
For clarity of discussion in this CLI project, distinction is made between two phases: (a)
corridor assessment, strategy formulation and planning (which we refer to as the strategy
formulation phase), and (b) implementation of the strategy and related plans including
efforts to mitigate destruction, rehabilitate degraded areas, and protect, conserve and
develop the areas (which we refer to as the strategy implementation phase).

Culling out from project documents and generated iteratively in primary data gathering, the
following are major questions that the CIL project addresses given the complexity of working
in a country like the Philippines :


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Guided by science, partnership and human well-being, how does conservation
in the corridor most successfully proceed?

To assist in achieving conservation outcomes, what actions and components
most effectively require attention either corridor-wide or only at specific
levels?

How are stakeholders and partners productively and sustainably engaged in
conservation? What principles can we identify as essential in working with
partners?



Related to the phases are processes essential to achievement of the objectives at each
stage, which often cut across and which this CIL project attempts to assess :

(a). constituency building and partnership building at different levels of operation
(b). community engagement
(c). capacity building both individual and institutional
(d). resource mobilization
(e). influencing policies
(f). monitoring, evaluation and institutional learning
(g). scaling up
(h). institutionalization

In addition, CIs core strategies (science, human welfare and partnership) serve as constant
points of reference in the process of establishing the corridor and its operationalization. The
overall view is to consolidate a corridor designed to meet conservation targets and address
existing and emerging threats while generating socioeconomic benefits and limiting
opportunity costs.
4


Two sets of specific questions also come to fore as we deal with the topic of assessing the
biodiversity corridor experiences : First, what does it mean to have an established
corridor; what are the elements of a consolidated corridor and how do we know we
have achieved this? Second, what does corridor facilitation mean and what roles,
functions and skills does it entail?

By clearly articulating the answers to these issues, CI-P would be in a better position to
assess the status of its work and define ways by which such work could be enhanced.
There had been adequate experiences and lessons over the past six years to define these
lessons and directions.


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Section Three: Methodology

The secton detcls the methodoloyy used n the CLl pro]ect. lncluded cre the dctc types cnd
sources cccessed, the procedure used reconstructvely where documented reports cre not
cvclcble, cnd terctvely to ccpture n stu ]lexblty o] ]eld unts n mplementcton. Even the
terctve lecrnny revecled by the resecrch methodoloyy con]rmed the rch experences n
corrdor cdcptve mcncyement exercsed by the corrdor unts ccross sccles cnd levels o] nvolved
stckeholders.


The studys geographic foci are two biodiversity conservation corridors: Sierra Madre and
Palawan. Corridor-wide and level assessment covered corridor establishment and the
pursuit of direct and indirect conservation actions in adaptive management such as
enforcement, policy enhancement and advocacy, information and education campaign, and
capacity building. To have a more detailed and in-depth assessment of engaging
stakeholders in conservation actions, the scope in the CLI project was further restricted to 1
key biodiversity area in each site, where relatively more advanced biodiversity conservation
efforts have taken place. These are the Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape
(PPLS) in the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Conservation Corridor (SMBC) and Mt.
Mantalingahan Range in the Palawan Biodiversity Corridor (PBC).
The CLI project has a time frame from October 2006 to March 2007. The period covered by
the review in the corridor experiences is that of strategy formulation as background and the
implementation period as focus, up to the first quarter (March) of 2007. teratIons In
research report wrItIng extended beyond the |arch 2007 cutoff date for the CL project
In order to Include very InterestIng recent developments In corrIdor management. Hence,
addItIonal InsIghts (recent developments) have been Included as updates).
TabIe 1. Scope of CorrIdor LearnIng In CI-P
Scale Focus Period within corridor time frame
covered by CLI project
Establishment
Context assessment
Strategy Formulation
SMBC
1998 2001
2002 2004
Palawan
2002 2002-
2003
Implementation
(Adaptive
management)
Direct protection
Indirect (enabling)
actions
2001 March 2007 2003-March 2007
Corridor-wide
Recent developments April June 2007 April June 2007
PPLS
2001-March 2007
Mt. Mantalingahan
2006-March 2007
Recent developments April June 2007 April June 2007
Baggao
Focus KBA/project
site
2002-March 2007




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15

Data collection relied solely on the review of documents and informal/unstructured
interviews with key persons from among CI-P staff and technical units. Reviewed project
data included those at the time the corridor strategy and context assessment were pursued.
As needed and made possible in coordinated opportunities, the evident process was
documented; particularly in SMBC, documentation was relied upon re-constructively through
interviews.
Focused group discussions, supplemented by surveys using semi-structured questions and
informal interviews were undertaken with varied groups of stakeholders and partners to
generate more in-depth discussions to enrich and validate data. The entire data gathering,
processing and initial analysis was pursued iteratively, obtaining feedback, soliciting
additional insights and sharing lessons that may enrich work related to the biodiversity
corridor strategy.
Selection of focus KBA within the corridor and specifically what communities to visit at the
village (barangay) level was more difficult in SMBC than Palawan. SMBC is larger, KBAs
with focused work are three, and these are not with similar purposes and project
components to match the CLI project objectives. Palawan, on the other hand, has a more
recent experience in KBA-based work when the CLI project started. After the strategy
development project and corrIdorwIde EC, C focused Its work In |t. |antalInagahan.
ThIs coIncIded wIth the K8A process where |t. |antalIngahan emerged as one of the hIgh
prIorIty terrestrIal areas. |eanwhIle, the choIce of Penablanca In SIerra |adre was
confIrmed by another project under SEPU (on human wellbeIng lInked to conservatIon
and partIcularly possIbIlItIes In ecosystem servIces).
The CLI project therefore pursued a more focused exploration of human well-being
elements in CI-Ps activities, but both partially in Peablanca and Banggao in Cagayan for a
minimum set of human welfare indicators identified during the National Biodiversity
Monitoring Workshop. The indicators to be used in the exploratory objective of the CLI
project were assumed to be tested in how useful and appropriate they are in a corridor
strategy design incorporating human wellbeing. As the research results subsequently
showed, several assumptions were clarified on the status of human well-being integration in
the corridor conservation agenda, another learning point for detailed discussion.


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16

Section Four: Results and next steps

The section analyzes what has and has not been working in the corridor experiences of CI-P, the
reasons as covered in the discussion, and gaps that can be addressed as next steps. These learning
points are summarized in italicized font. Covered cre the dynamics in corridor-wide management in
the CI-P experience from the establishment of the corridors with context assessment as shared
starting point, followed by strategy formulation, and subsequently advancing to implementation of
plans in adaptive management.

Use of the PA approach is prioritized corridor-wide, with CI-P and partners complementing roles n
prorty K8As. The cssessment o] how the PA cpprocch hcs proceeded s tcckled ]rst n the
experences o] SM8C cnd Pclcwcn whch cre presented sepcrctely. Next n the cnclyss o] whct
worked postvely or not s on (1) how conservcton s nsttutonclzed corrdorwde, cnd (2) Cl
P's role cs ]ccltctor cnd/or mplementor pcrtculcrly n the ]ollowny cspects : crectny c
conservcton consttuency n the corrdor, buldny pcrtnershps, mcrketny the corrdor strcteyy
to donors n moblzny resources, provdny technccl support, ccpccty buldny cnd strenythenny
pcrtners' motvcton. Lcstly, the secton explcns whct next steps should be tcken to strenythen
ClP's role n corrdor mcncyement; these cre tcckled n terms o] ]ccltctny lecrnny, scclny up
cnd nsttutonclzcton o] conservcton cctons.


The biodiversity conservation strategy in the corridor is intended to (a) lead to coordinated
action among players in the conservation field, moving further to maximization of resources
and better understanding of issues, threat and opportunities for conservation; (b) serve as
guide for NGOs, government and communities in focusing and prioritizing conservation
action; and (c) provide a road map for grant-making and future investment of conservation
resources.
5


The stage of corridor establishment has involved the assessment of the biophysical, social,
economic and policy contexts of the biodiversity corridor, identification of biodiversity threats
and key activities/strategies to respond to these threats, consultation with stakeholders,
refine of the strategies, culminating in endorsement and acceptance of the corridor strategy.
In the case of the Philippines, the end products of the processes are: the Sierra Madre
Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework and the Surublien: Strategies
to Conserve Palawans Biodiversity , both published in 2004. The next stage Is the
operatIonalIzatIon of the strategy framework, the purvIew of ImplementatIon, wIth
conservatIon actIons In CP's corrIdors rangIng from dIrect to IndIrect modes (I.e., wIth
dIrect and IndIrect Impact).

0Irect actIon Includes protectIon of specIes and habItats, restoratIon/rehabIlItatIon and
mItIgatIon (also of habItats) and development relatIng to human wellbeIng concerns as
drIvers In conservatIon. When taken at the corrIdor level, dIrect actIons are assocIated
wIth the clusterIng of sItes whIch follows elevatIon gradIents as a heurIstIc tool.
ProtectIon Is focused on the core zone of the Protected Area (terrestrIal or marIne),
whereas restoratIon/mItIgatIon and enforcement Is typIcally focused on the adjacent
buffer zone. StrIct protectIon and mItIgatIon zones are undefIned where habItat
degeneratIon Is crItIcal. |eanwhIle, development Is prImarIly focused on areas farthest
away from the core, may be from the buffer and multIple use zones to the centers of

5
Surublien: Strategies to Conserve Palawans Biodiversity, 2004



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17

compact settlements. CrosscuttIng these are IndIrect conservatIon actIons that Include
management (e.g., establIshIng or strengthenIng a Protected Area or a communItybased
coastal resources management board), Integrated educatIon and communIcatIon (EC) or
advocacy, traInIng, resource mobIlIzatIon, and polIcy work.
6
These IndIrect conservatIon
actIons cut across dIrect conservatIon sItes, from the corrIdor level down to the lowest
scale across elevatIon.
8oth dIrect and IndIrect conservatIon actIons are Important. Hence, In the case of S|8C,
opportunItIes to translate courses of conservatIon actIon artIculated In the strategy were
opened up even before the publIcatIon of the "SIerra |adre 8IodIversIty CorrIdor 0esIgn
and mplementatIon Framework". WIth the vIsIon to connect nIne protected zone
brIdgIng the entIre corrIdor, the fIeld unIt used a twopronged approach : (1) the
Protected Area approach wIth ontheground ImplementatIon In focused sItes, and (2)
corrIdorwIde actIon prImarIly for bIodIversIty constItuency buIldIng and enablIng
stakeholders. t Is stIll In keepIng wIth the PA approach In corrIdorwIde management that
facIlItatIon role Is pursued by C In areas where partners have lead roles In dIrect actIon.
n Palawan, meanwhIle, the PA approach Is focused on only one K8A, but IndIrect actIon
corrIdorwIde Is beIng sustaIned InvolvIng partners.

I. The Case of Sierra Madre

A. Background : Establishing the Biodiversity Corridor
(Strategy Formulation Phase)


Much of the work in the early stages of corridor establishment focused on assessment of the
corridor leading to the formulation/consolidation of a biodiversity conservation strategy.
Important learning points in the experience are the following:

Learning #1 : Iterative crafting and implementation of the corridor strategy best
characterizes the experience of SMBC which this document on learning emphasizes
as one of the field units major achievements.

Learning #2 : Working in a regional scale was a constraint in efficiently achieving
context assessment as close as possible to the more realistic level of provincial-level
decision-making and management. As a result, the buy-in process has been gradual
and had been proceeding in a longer time-frame.,

Learning #3 : Inputs from experts in resource assessment (RACE) were available but
not maximized in planning and strategy formulation to emphasize and build up the
strategy from results linking social factors and natural resources (i.e., economic
trends and conservation issues).

6
Adopted wIth updated revIsIon of strategIes In the framework desIgned by UPSF0S 8IodIversIty
ConservatIon of Puerto PrIncesa Subterranean FIver NatIonal Park: Assessment, 7IsIon and StrategIc
0IrectIons, prepared for UNF/SCP/CD|PACT, July 200J. nsIghts from thIs semInal work of Perry
Dng et. al. are acknowledged.



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18


To set up a conservation landscape over three administrative regions has been an early
tough recognition, such that gradual strategy formulation and coverage has to proceed from
a base (Cagayan) for the entire range, expanding in geography and functional aspects over
the years. Assessment of biodiversity status and threats had proceeded as wide
benchmarking activity only at the beginning, with species-specific protection shelved to give
way to corridor establishment through a buy-in process with institutional players and
stakeholders who were involved in corridor establishment. Three to five years of such
investment completed the strategy formulation phase with various sources of support. (The
SMBC Design and Implementation Framework benefited from the generous support of the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Biodiversity Corridor
Planning and Implementation Program (Corridor) Cooperative Agreement No. LAGA-00-99-
00046-00 and Critical Ecosystem.) Subsequently, implementation required mutual benefits
from strategy framework refinement and detailed context assessment as adaptive corridor
management advanced (with support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, other
donors and partner agencies).

Context Assessment in the Corridor

Consistent with CIs science-based approach, the assessment focused heavily on the state
of biodiversity in the corridor. This is to establish floral and faunal endemism and diversity in
the area and to identify/locate threatened species and their respective habits. The findings
lead to identification of priority biodiversity areas that are then earmarked for intervention.
The information are also intended to serve as baselines for species and habitat monitoring
and evaluation of intervention outcomes/results. Data collection in this regard relies heavily
on existing records and scientific studies as well as actual field assessments. Corridor
assessment also defined the human context within which the biodiversity corridor will be
established. In particular, the assessment looked into existing resource management
schemes and the existing and potential threats to biodiversity in the area. Social, economic,
and policy environments also figured in the assessment. The identification of biodiversity
threats, in particular, led to the identification of appropriate intervention actions in each of
the key biodiversity areas within the corridor.

The biological assessment was conducted mainly by compiling information from biological
surveys/explorations conducted by various scientists in the region in the past 100 years.
This process of compiling data was spearheaded by CI staff. Data were enriched through
the information collected on the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, specifically in Mt. Cagua
Complex in Gonzaga, Cagayan; Mt. Cetaceo in Peablanca and Baggao, both also in
Cagayan; Mt. Lataan in Central Sierra Madre/Nagtipunan, Quirino and Mt. Binuang in the
southern corridor area/ General Nakar Quezon. Considering the amount of work and detail
involved, as well as the area covered, the research in the biological conditions of the
corridor remains an ongoing process. Review of the information provided in the Sierra
Madre Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework and discussion with
SMBC staff indicate that the state of the marine ecosystems in the SMBC, especially in the
northeastern region still requires more intensive documentation, given that the protected
areas in this region include marine ecosystems.


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19

Biophysical assessment also included extensive collection and generation of maps and
review of geographic information. These include information on administrative boundaries,
land use, forest types, land cover and vegetation, slope, settlement and roads, hot spots for
illegal logging, fishing, and smuggling of logging products, among others
7
. Maps were
subsequently digitized and used as input in planning activities.

For the assessment of the socioeconomic situation, CI engaged the expertise of a RACE
advisor to develop terms of reference for the Rapid Assessment of Conservation Economics
(RACE). A resource economist was hired to manage and supervise the conduct of the
RACE. Prior to the implementation, social and economic data had been collected by CI staff
from relevant government line agencies. The RACE itself was conducted in 2001 by four
external consultants, completed in two months and results were validated in a number of
experts focused group meetings at the national, regional and provincial levels and
subsequently incorporated in the corridor strategy design. It focused on a) identifying
economic incentives and underlying causes of biodiversity threats, b) assessing economic
profitability of land uses, c) determining the opportunity cost of conservation and d)
presentation of strategy options in resource management.
8


The assessment process through RACE brought in the knowledge and expertise of
scientists and other specialists, but also engaged was available information at the local level
from local agency partners among various government agencies and local government units
with whom data gathering, consolidation, validation and processing had to be done. Data
sharing among the agencies and NGOs was and continues to be a foundation upon which
further areas and partnerships are formed. For instance, data sharing among partners
extended beyond the strategy development stage because of the formation of a Regional
Geographic Information Network (RGIN) that will continue the efforts of improving data
management and data utilization through the use of GIS technology. Data sharing among
partners also became the take off point of the collaboration in revising the Regional Physical
Framework Plan of Region 2.

Methods used in situation analysis relied mainly on existing information. There had been
minimal primary data collection and data validation. This may be largely due to time
constraint and the lack/weakness of the institutional mechanisms for grassroots involvement
in data collection and validation. Subsequent steps, however, seek to redress this gap
through next phases in baseline construction which is being sustained as corridor
management surfaces new tasks and implementation aspects.

Developing a Corridor Strategy Framework

Data that were collected were subsequently consolidated, analyzed in order to identify areas
for intervention, and validated by key partners who are a) knowledgeable in the area and b)
are potential partners in implementation of intervention measures.

The main venue for such consultations in the SMBC was the Annual SMBC stakeholders
Conference initiated in 2002. Discussions in this 2-day conference focused on a) updates
on the work that CI is doing in the SMBC, b) the status of the biodiversity in the area and c)

7
FY00 Annual Progress Report on USAID Biodiversity Corridor Planning and Implementation Program,
January 15, 2001.
8
RACE presentation slides in the Final Report on Provincial Stakeholders Orientation/Consultation. PCED
Hostel, UP Diliman, Quezon City, July 25, 2001.

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the experiences of various government and non-government organizations in implementing
conservation programs/projects. At the end of the workshops, the participants resolved to
support the biodiversity conservation and protection program of the government and to
adopt the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor strategy designed by CI in consultation and
collaboration with all stakeholders.
9
This resolution forged at the end of the first
Stakeholders Conference signified support for the general principle of a corridor approach
to biodiversity conservation. Details of the strategy are still to be formulated in subsequent
conferences.. In the year that followed, more organizations were able to share their
experiences in resource management. In one of the workshops, Conference participants
identified conservation issues and the management strategies applicable to the region. CI
staff then consolidated this output and the results of previous researches, and these
became major sections of the corridor strategy
10
, now known as the Sierra Madre
Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework, which was published in 2004.

Key feature of this document is the ten-year vision map for the SMBC which aims to put the
whole Sierra Madre Range under a permanent protection status through a network of
designated conservation areas. Based on the analysis, the SMBC will be strategically
managed under the National Integrated Protection Area System (NIPAS) that governs the
Protected Area approach, through the establishment of 9 permanent conservation areas.
The corridor plan also aims to harmonize all compatible management systems including
development programs and projects of the local government units. It also envisions better
partnership among stakeholders and in the involvement of local communities in the
sustainable management of and conservation of the entire SMBC.
11


Common strategIes across the dIfferent bIodIversIty areas Include: a) establIshment or
expansIon of protected areas, b) conservatIon awareness and advocacy c) strengthenIng
the ImplementatIon of C8F| Projects or other sImIlar resource use management systems
d) updatIng of ProvIncIal PhysIcal Framework Plans and ComprehensIve Land Use Plans and
strengthenIng of Local CoordInatIng UnIts e) freshwaters, coastal and marIne zone
development and management and f) populatIon and envIronment IntegratIon.

The use of a broad scale covered in context assessment and limited time within which the
strategies were to be completed were constraints in strategy formulation. These factors also
did not allow direct consultation with people affected by the project.. A review of the list of
participants to this conference indicates representation of two major sectors: the Department
of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR) and non-government organizations, with a
handful of local government unit officials and peoples organizations
12
.

The entire range of the SMBC was also not necessarily equally represented. Thus, it may
be fair to say that the consultations in strategy formulation had been limited to scientists and
academic experts, development practitioners, government personnel and elected officials
who purportedly represent a wider constituency. Trickling down of information to these

9
Proceedings of the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Program Stakeholders Annual Meeting, Baguio City,
September 26-27, 2002.
10
See pages 33-35, 39-41, 45, 49, 53-55, 59-60, 64,68-69, 73-74 of Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor Design
and Implementation Framework, 2004.

11
Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework
12
Proceedings of the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor: 2
nd
Annual Stakeholders Conference, Baguio City,
October 8-10, 2003

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constituencies and aggregating and articulation of their interests were not necessarily a part
of the consultation process.

The attendant activities, however, provided opportunity to undertake parallel consultations
with primary stakeholders. In SMBC consultation/information campaign came alongside
consultations in relation to the proclamation of the protected areas. NIPAS procedures
mandate such consultation while narrower in focus, it paves the way to the broader
understanding of the whole corridor biodiversity conservation strategy. The process of
consultation with communities is by no means complete. Hence, in the post strategy-
development period, much work has been devoted to a downward dissemination of the
strategy especially in the southern regions of the corridor through meetings, conferences,
orientation session as well as through direct engagement with communities in the
implementation of specific projects and/or community organizing activities.

Conference proceedings also do not clearly show how the baseline information was
incorporated in the identification of conservation issues and management strategies
applicable to the region. It is particularly important to explicitly address the link between
economic activities and conservation issues. Considering that the interplay between social
factors and natural resources is strongly economic in character, RACE results are very
important inputs in the planning and strategy formulation for the corridor. The link between
such results and the strategy needs to be strengthened
Other conferences that followed yielded additional suggestions on improving the strategy
and its implementation. The third of these annual conference yielded discussions and
recommendations on broad strategies to be adopted in the corridor. These included
research, integrated planning, information, education and communication,
collaboration/partnership building, capability building and fund sourcing. The fourth and fifth
conferences also yielded additional recommendations for field implementation thereby
contributing to refinement of the overall corridor strategy.

B. Implementing the Corridor Strategy

Lecrnny n relcton to strcteyy mplementcton especclly n the ecrly phcse s
summcrzed n the ]ollowny ponts :

Lecrnny #4 : Considering the breadth of the area to be covered, work using the
Protected Area approach had been apportioned among CI-P and its partners, and
this was a facilitating factor in running corridor conservation over several
management regions.

Learning #5 : By stressing the recognized role of local organizations as key element
in partnership, this scheme is a strength in CI-Ps approach in the corridor
management.

Learning #6 : As CBC, performance of role as facilitator or implementor was
encouraged by such delineation of lead roles among partners.


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Learning #7: Focused implementation in selected sites has been most successful in
demonstrating multi-stakeholder and public-private collaboration in conservation
actions for critical sites for protection, such as Key Biodiversity Areas and
watersheds.


Of the nine areas identified as conservation priorities, CI has direct field activities in two -
Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape and the Quirino Protected Landscape.
Partners leading the process of protected area expansion in the sites include Cagayan
Valley Partnerships for Peoples Development (CAVAPPED), Aurora Resource
Development Initiatives Association, Inc. (ARDIA) and Yakap Kalikasan Tungo sa Kaunlaran
ng Pilipinas, Inc. (YAKAP), while those engaged in area rehabilitation and community
development are Process Luzon, Friends of the Environment for Development and
Sustainability, Inc. (FRENDS) as well as the DENR, LGU, PAMB and the PASu. The table
below presents the areas where these partners work.

Table 2. Biodiversity Sites and Partners in SMBC.
BIODIVERSITY AREA PARTNERS INVOLVED
1) North-eastern Cagayan
Conservation Area
Cagayan Valley Partnerships for Peoples
Development (CAVAPPED)
Process Luzon
2) Peablanca Protected Landscape
and Seascape
Conservation International
Counterpart international
REECS
RARE
3) Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park DENR, NGO, LGU, PAMB PASU, CI
4) Quirino Protected Landscape Conservation International
5) Nueva Vizcaya Conservation Area Friends of the Environment for
Development and Sustainability, Inc.
(FRENDS)
6) Aurora Memorial National Park Initially, Conservation International
Aurora Resource Development Initiatives
Association, Inc. (ARDIA)
7) Southern Corridor Conservation
Area
Yakap Kalikasan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng
Pilipinas, Inc. (YAKAP)

8) Southern Isabela Conservation
Area
9) Northern Aurora Conservation Area
Identified as long term priority areas
because of existing Timber License
Agreements (TLA) in the areas.


The establishment or expansion of protected areas took up a great deal of the work during
the 5-year period and much of the work after that as discussed below. Direct and enabling
conservation actions include rehabilitation and development of protected zones through
reforestation, as well as efforts to address population and livelihood issues though these
have been happening still on a smaller scale in the focus implementation sites of CI-P and
partners in their respective assigned sites.



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Expanding Protected Areas in the SMBC

The Presidential proclamation of the Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape
(PPLS), an expansion of the Peablanca Protected Landscape (PPL) from 4,136 to 118,
108 hectares in October 6, 2003, can perhaps be considered as one of the milestones in the
SMBC. The proclamation was preceded by two years of work revolving around the 13
steps of the NIPAS law. With funds provided by CEPF, CI Philippines worked with the
DENR on the expansion of the protected area. Interviews with the persons directly involved
in the process indicate that the work was greatly enhanced by the mutually supportive
working relations between the PASu and CI field staff as well as the personal/ professional
respect between CI personnel and the PASU borne out of previous working relations.

The proclamation entailed community consultations in and complete enumeration of
residents (SRPAO) in 7 expansion barangays. Accounts indicate that with minimal funding,
the field staff worked untiringly even during weekends and holidays and braving dangers
brought by bad weather conditions. Support from the municipal government of Peablanca
came in the form of two personnel assigned by the Municipal Planning and Development
Office (MPDO) through request made to the Municipal Mayors office. Support from the
Provincial Office, on the other hand, culminated with endorsement of the proposed
expansion in December 2002
13
and the provincial governors endorsement to the Regional
Development Council. Both endorsements helped pave the way for the Presidential
Proclamation and subsequent Congressional action.

In addition, efforts towards the protection of the Northeastern section of the corridor were
undertaken with the backing of the provincial governor of Cagayan Province. In August 14,
2003, the governor issued Executive Order 11, putting the entire Cagayan Sierra Madre
Biodiversity Corridor under protected area status. This proclamation includes five other
municipalities apart from Peablanca - Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-lo, Gattaran and Baggao.
In the same E.O., the governor also requested the DENR to undertake and facilitate the
process for the Presidential and Congressional Proclamation of the Cagayan Protected
Landscape and Seascape
15
. This facilitated the way towards putting the entire North-
eastern section of the SMBC under permanent protection status. In December 2004, the
Cagayan Valley Partners in Peoples Development (CAVAPPED), started to work on the
requirements for a Presidential Proclamation of the North-eastern Cagayan Protected
Landscape and Seascape, picking-up from the provincial executive order that put the area
under protected area status.

With CEPF funding, CI undertook similar efforts to establish the Quirino Protected
Landscape and take initial steps toward the expansion of the Aurora Memorial National
Park. The Provincial Government of Quirino Province had been supportive in this endeavor,
even recommending the inclusion of three municipalities in addition to the two
recommended by CI for protection. After two years of work, the Quirino Protected
Landscape was proclaimed through Presidential Proclamation 548 in February 9, 2004. The
protected area encompasses 206,875.411 hectares distributed among the municipalities of
Diffun, Cabarroguis, Aglipay, Maddela and Nagtipunan.

13
http://www.bayanihan.org/html/article.php/20021212072032207. September 26, 2006.
15
Executive Order No. 11, Series of 2003. The Province of Cagayan.

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Work in Aurora also received the support and endorsement of the Aurora Provincial
Development Council in 2003; it, however, experienced some resistance at lower levels
hence work towards the expansion did not progress smoothly. Some sectors
16
were
reportedly against the expansion of the National Park. They were, instead, seeking
additional funds for the management of the existing protected site. Following this impasse,
CI had put its work on hold to devise a different approach. The work was later picked-up in
2005 by a local partner, the Aurora Resource Development Initiatives Association, Inc.
(ARDIA). CEPF provided funds for this project while CI, for its part, provided ARDIA with the
documents and background information necessary to proceed with the NIPAS steps. This
time, there had been greater responsiveness to the issue of environmental protection due in
part perhaps, to various flood and landslides that swept the country in the interim. Also, the
recent election brought pro-environment leaders into office, thus paving the way for a
continuance of previous discussions on PA establishment. The local links of ARDIA also
came into play in speeding up the work. As of present writing, the Initial Protected Area
Plan (IPAP), which forms part of step 7 in the NIPAS process, has been written up.

Another local partner, the Yakap Kalikasan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Pilipinas, Inc. (YAKAP),
started to work on the proclamation of a protected area in the Mt Irid- Mt Angilo area. The
work commenced in June, 2005 and is expected to continue till the end of 2006.

Except for the work in Peablanca and Quirino, the task of establishing protected areas
across SMBC has been delegated to local partner NGOs with funding from CEPF and
technical support from CI. This strategy enables simultaneous actions in different section of
the SMBC without putting too great a strain on the resources of CI. It will be noted that PA
establishment undertaken by these local partners remains anchored on the notion of a
biodiversity conservation corridor and is a priority strategy as stipulated in the Sierra Madre
Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework. This, of course, is not
surprising considering the close partnership between CI and CEPF and their shared vision
of conserving key biodiversity areas and biodiversity corridors.

Also by engaging these local partners, CI working closely with CEPF is also able to
contribute to strengthening the roles and capacities of civil society groups in biodiversity
conservation and environmental protection. In fact, PA establishment in SMBC was funded
under CEPFs Strategic Direction 3 (Building capacity of civil society to advocate for better
corridor and protected area management and against development harmful to
conservation)
17
indicating CEPFs and CIs intention to meaningfully and substantively
engage civil society in biodiversity conservation.

A case in point is the NGO called FRENDS (Friends of the Environment for Development
and Sustainability, Inc.), a local NGO operating in Nueva Vizcaya. FRENDS has received
CEPF funding in 2004 and a second grant in 2006 to undertake partnership building and
information campaign activities. Although FRENDS has not been involved in PA
establishment, engaging FRENDS in such projects is purportedly intended to beef up
FRENDSs credentials and strengthen its capacity to undertake bigger projects within the
corridor including, perhaps, the task of establishing/ expanding PAs.

16
PENRO
17
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/recent_grants/grantsbyregion.xml?region=The+Philippines&year= 2004 .
September 27, 2006.

Corridor Learning Initiative Report, Conservation International - Philippines
Pre-final Report March 2007, Final Report September 2007

25

With CI and its partners working in their designated areas, much of the Sierra Madre
Mountain Range is now moving towards protected area status. The only areas that are not
covered by PA proclamation activities are the South Isabela and Northern Aurora
Conservation Areas. These areas are currently under Timber License Agreements and
Integrated Forest Management Agreements. Because of the legal and political
repercussions, little work towards PA establishment can be done until the TLAs have
expired.

Although the actors are different, the processes are similar across sites since all areas are
guided by the NIPAS steps for PA proclamation. Adherence to the NIPAS law provides the
institutional and legal framework of the SMBC PAs. Variations in the experiences of these
partners and the lessons that each may have learned in the process are perhaps worth
documenting, especially if these would lead to recommendations for the improvement
procedures for PA proclamation. At present, there is little venue for cross-learning and for
documentation of lessons learnt by the partners. To some extent, the annual Stakeholders
Conference provides space for such discussions. The cross-learning and documentation,
however, could be facilitated more deliberately, focusing on topic areas that could lead to
improvement of the processes associated with PA declaration.


Strengthening PA Management

PA proclamation alone does not guarantee natural resource protection and biodiversity
conservation. The NIPAS law provides for institutional mechanisms that would support the
operations of the protected areas. These include the creation of the Protected Area
Management Board (PAMB) and the preparation of a two-tiered management plan.
Following the NIPAS prescriptions, one of CIs earliest steps in implementing the corridor
approach was to address gaps in PA management. This line of work is currently underway
in three areas: the existing protected area the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and the
expanded protected area the Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape and the
new protected area- the Quirino Protected Landscape.

Since the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park is an older and relatively established
protected area, preparation of plans was deemed unnecessary. Intervention in PA
management in this area comes in the form of strengthening management capacity, while
management interventions In Peablanca and Quirino start with plan preparation.


Corridor Learning Initiative Report, Conservation International - Philippines
Pre-final Report March 2007, Final Report September 2007

26


Fig. 3. Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape


Developing management plans

For Peablanca, two documents: the PPLS manual of operation and the PPLS management
plan were developed and approved on December 14, 2004. The first document outlines the
structure, composition, functions, duties and responsibilities of the Protected Area
Management Board in accordance with the provisions of the NIPAS Act. The second
provides a description the geophysical, biological, socio-economic conditions and policy
context of the 18 barangays located within the PPLS zone It defines the various
management zones
18
and outlines management strategies including: (a) management
zoning, (b) information, education and communication, (c) resource protection and
monitoring, (d) community-based resource management, e) sustainable livelihood
alternatives, (f) capacity building, (g) research and development, h) networking and (i)
sustaining PA management operations.

These formed bases for the formulation of a 5-year implementation plan and budgetary
requirements that covers 3 major components: 1) biodiversity conservation and
environmental restoration, 2) economic and social programs and 3) institutional

18
Management zones include: strict protection zone, multiple use sones, restoration zone, habitat management
zones, cultural zone, recreation zone special use zone and buffer zone.

Corridor Learning Initiative Report, Conservation International - Philippines
Pre-final Report March 2007, Final Report September 2007

27

development program. A monitoring and evaluation plan was crafted alongside this plan.
Implementation was subsequently (partially) funded through a CEPF grant in 2005.

Translation of the PPLS management
plan at the barangay level comes in the
form of the Community-Based
Resource Management and
Development Plan (CRMDP). Through
CIs and DENRs facilitation, a CRMDP
was developed for each of the seven
barangays that were included in the
protected area by virtues of the
expansion of the PPLS. These
barangays are: Baliuag, Bical, Cabbo,
Lapi, Mangga, Minanga and
Nanguilatan. Major components of
these CRMDPs are: a) statement of
vision, mission, goals and objects, b)
proposed management and
development strategies, c) proposed
functional land use plan d) projected
food and agricultural land requirements
and e) proposed programs and
projects in the areas of livelihood
enhancement, natural resource
management, basic health
improvement, basic educations
improvement and infrastructure and
other support facilities. The section
that outlines the implementation plan,
on the other had, includes local
administration, resource mobilization,
assessment of effects/impacts, and plans
for monitoring and evaluation.

As of present writing, a similar process to
develop a manual of operation, a
management plan and CRMDPs for the
Quirino Province is well underway.
Meanwhile, the other areas are still to
move into this stage after the respective
presidential / congressional PA
proclamations are completed.
Review of existing PA management
plans in old PAs the Northern Sierra
Madre Natural Park and the areas/
barangays covered by the old Peablanca
Protected landscape, does not figure
strongly in the process of implementing
the corridor strategy. Such a review may
prove to be valuable as it may lead to the
enhancement/ updating of existing plans,
identification of problems/issues in the
implementation of the plans and
identification of ways to move ahead in PA
development and management
Vision

3usla|rao|y raraged Perao|arca Prolecled
Lardscape ard 3eascape W|lr |ls rao|lals ard
ecosyslers ard lre|r assoc|aled o|o|og|ca| ard
cu|lura| d|vers|ly corserved, prolecled ard
raraged oy corrur|l|es |r parlrersr|p W|lr
prolecled area raragererl ard olrer
sla|ero|ders lor lre|r oWr |org-lerr deve|oprerl.

Mission
Tre r|ss|ors ol lre PAV8, |r parlrersr|p W|lr lre
var|ous sla|ero|ders, are lre lo||oW|rg:

a. To deve|op c|ear ard |rp|ererlao|e po||c|es |r
lre prolecl|or ol lre PPL3 ard prorole lu||
urderslard|rg oy a|| seclors ol lrese po||c|es;
o. To cooperale W|lr var|ous sla|ero|ders |r
eslao||sr|rg appropr|ale |rsl|lul|ora| arrargererls
|r lre corserval|or ol lre par|;
c. To lac|||lale lre prov|s|or ol recessary |og|sl|ca|
supporl lo erao|e lre var|ous sla|ero|ders lo
perlorr lre|r ro|es |r corserv|rg lre PPL3.

28


Strengthening Human Resource Capacity in Protected Areas

Learning #8: Capacity building in conservation action is being sustained in (i)
institutional structures across various levels of governance; (ii) strengthening through
ensuring adequate human resources for appropriate tasks in conservation
management, (iii) enforcement of forest regulations; (iv) skills improvement in
project management.

Learning #9: Systematically planned and periodic training needs assessment has to
be pursued among the next steps..

While the management plan is an important guide in protected area management, many
other factors come into play when translating plans into actions. Availability of financial
resources and institutional mechanisms to implement the plans are undoubtedly critical
elements. In this section, however, we will focus mainly on activities that pertain mainly to
human resource capacities, leaving other elements of institutional capacity for later
discussion.

SMBC documents indicate that much of the human resource capacity building done over the
past 5 years focused on improving knowledge on and enhancing positive attitudes towards
biodiversity conservation. This is evident from the numerous orientation sessions on
biodiversity corridors, endangered species and biodiversity habitats as well as lectures on
ecology. Audience in these orientation sessions are diverse ranging from national
government officials to local government unit officials and staff, local communities and
students.


Strengthening capacity for enforcement of forest
regulations is another dimension of the capacity
building work in SMBC. In some cases, building
capacity means ensuring the stability of the
personnel engaged in this line of work. In one
instance, during the early stages of the work in
Peablanca, the municipal government/ DENR
planned to re-assign the PASu to another area.
This PASu had been ardently supporting and
working for the proclamation of the PPLS. His
transfer would have meant a disruption of field
activities in establishing the PA not to mention
the time and effort it would take to orient and adjust to his alternate. In view of the risks
involved, CI informally lobbied for the PASu to be retained. This gratefully received positive
results. The PASus personal account indicates that the tenure in his appointment has
enabled him to see some of the results of his work. This gave him positive feelings about
his work, which in turn affects his work motivation.

At present, CI is also informally following-up on the appointment of a CENRO in
Peablanca. The current CENRO is working on an ad hoc status thereby limiting long term
involvement. A CENRO with permanent appointment status would help enhance stability
and sustainability in the implementation of the PPLS management plan.


29

In other cases, capacity building means ensuring adequate number of personnel with
appropriate skills for the job. As per the PASus report, one of the biggest challenges faced
in the expanded PPLS was the lack of personnel to patrol the area. Since hiring additional
DENR personnel is not a viable option, the PASu, with CIs support, recommended and was
granted 17 forest rangers who would be reporting directly to him. Previously, forest guards
assigned in the area reported to the CENRO, by-passing the PASus authority and making
the delegation of functions difficult. Following this change, the PASU was in a better
position to work out appropriate job assignments and delegation of duties. Forest guards
were deployed to patrol different sections of the PA. This significantly reduced the scope of
the PASus work and increased effectiveness in forest protection. Another strategy to meet
human resource needs in forest management is to involve forest occupants and other
community members in forest management. This topic will be dealt with in subsequent
sections of this report.

Another dimension of capacity building is ensuring adequate and appropriate knowledge
and skills among personnel. Training to undertake their new roles were also provided to the
forest rangers. They notably received paralegal training and were honed on forest
protection and forest development skills.

Other training activities conducted in the SMBC are part of the design of specific projects,
focused on the specific objectives and capacity needs of the project. In Baggao, for
instance, training/ capacity building sessions target community residents of reproductive age
(15-49), local government units and Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) to improve delivery
and use of reproductive health and family planning information, supplies and services. The
A/R CDM project in Quirino on the other hand focuses training activities on carbon
monitoring, while the RGIN project looks into training on the use and maintenance of RGIN
and databases for planning.

Training on program/project management skills focus on the PAMB members, local
coordinating unit members, local leaders, and other partners. Topics covered include:
project management and livelihood project development and management, community
planning and mapping, project implementation, monitoring, evaluation and the formulation of
local ordinances. Other training on skills that would help enhance the corridors sustainability
has also been included in recent years. These include: fundraising and proposal
preparation, training of trainers on biodiversity conservation and environmental protection,
training on the development of IEC materials.

There have also been recent efforts to conduct
training needs assessments in the Peablanca
and Quirino areas. Considering the breadth of
the protected areas, the diversity of the
stakeholders in the corridor, the variety of
knowledge and skills involved in effective PA
management, and the possibility of movement
among community members and key personnel,
training and capacity building is expected to be a
continuous process. The TNA is a positive step
towards systematizing training and capacity
building activities.


30

As next step, the TNA would enable the SMBC to
identify the knowledge and skills needed by
various stakeholders and plan out ladderized
training programs, leading perhaps to formation
of pools of local trainers who may be able to
broaden the reach of capacity building activities
and institutionalize capacity building efforts. A
coordinated capacity-building program could also
help streamline the use of resources since
training events, training designs and materials
may be shared across sites.

In developing the capacity building plan, it would be useful to consider the fact that training
is only one venue for capacity building. Hands-on experiences, coupled with close
mentoring and supervision, may also be deliberately utilized as venues for capacity building.
Finally, it would also be useful to integrate monitoring evaluation of capacity building project
in order for the team to systematically assess the results of their work and assess the gaps
in capacity building efforts.


Steps after Presidential PA Proclamation and Project Initiatives in Protected Areas


The steps following the Presidential Proclamation of a protected are as demanding as the
steps leading to the proclamation. As cited earlier, these steps include the formation of the
PAMB, the development of PA management plans as well as the community based
resource management plans, implementation plans in direct and indirect conservation action
(conservation of threatened species, protection of habitats, support for human well-being,
among others). . Following NIPAS prescriptions, it is also necessary to demarcate
boundaries and establish zones for various human activities. At a lower scale, community
planning itself involves community mapping and planning activities, validation of resource
management plans through public hearings and its integration in the PA management plan.
Demarcation and zoning, on the other hand, entails the conduct of surveys, preparation of
maps, validation of survey results through public hearings before the actual preparation and
installation of concrete monuments and billboards. PA maps are then finalized for the
approval of the DENR Secretary and the preparation of the PA Bill. While the steps are
tedious, they are necessary in order to secure the legal status of the protected areas.

The completion of the corridor strategy and the proclamation of new or expanded protected
areas ushered in opportunities to implement projects that directly or indirectly intervene in
corridor biodiversity conservation. Translating the strategies into concrete activities on the
ground is the next challenge faced by CI and its partners. Immediate results in this aspect
of the work were made possible by funding from the Critical Environment Partnership Funds
(CEPF), USAID, and other donor organizations. CIs CEPF funded project called the
Corridor Facilitation and Protected Area Management of Core Nuclei within the Sierra
Madre Biodiversity Corridor, aims to support the adoption and implementation of the
protected area management plans of the recently expanded Peablanca Protected
Landscape and Seascape and newly created Quirino Protected Landscape through the

40
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/recent_grants/grantsbyregion.xml?region=The+Philippines&year=2005, October
11, 2006.

31

active participation of municipal government in management activities. The project, which
began in January 2005 was expected to run through until December 2006
40
but has been
extended up to mid 2007.

The corridor experience has more learning points in implementation of the strategy, as the
next discussions will show. The PPLS PASu admits that prior to CIs involvement in the
Sierra Madre Area, activities within the protected area were limited to forest protection
activities. Little work had been done in relation to community and forest development. The
current set up (the corridor approach with focused implementation site like PPLS and QPL
and facilitation as CBCs role of CI-P) has opened greater opportunities for linking
development activities and human welfare with forest protection and biodiversity
conservation. In view of the fact that threats to biodiversity are in part rooted in poverty,
community development is critical to biodiversity conservation work.

Reforestation, Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change Initiatives

Learning #10 : Conservation science in SMBC has yet to be strengthened to reach
connectivity of KBAs/protected areas, link settlement management with ecosystem
services, and lead in/be responsive to challenges in climate change. Climate change
initiatives are still a new direction in corridor work, which undoubtedly is among the
bigger next steps of CI-P that is leading in the terrestrial ecosystem.


Still in keeping with the long-term goal for the corridor, SMBC has been sustaining habitat
protection based on reforestation and agroforestry which has been pursued cy CI-P in PPLS
in the last three years, and similarly in QPL. While a partner NGO (REECS) in PPLS
concentrated on linking forest protection to watershed management, the same direction has
been taken in QPL by connecting the initiative to carbon sequestration including the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM). Meanwhile, other partners are working on reforestation
too in other protection and critical forests for watershed management improvement.

PPLS and QPL are major watersheds of Cagayan FIver. QuIrIno Is the headwaters of
Cagayan FIver, whIle PPLS Is the watershed of PInacanauan rIver whIch Is a major
trIbutary of Cagayan rIver. Fecently, the C0| project wIthIn QPL and the Toyota
supported reforestatIon and agroforestry project In PPLS are gettIng headway wIth major
fundIng. These projects are prImarIly maInly focused on the protectIon and maIntenance
of the watershed functIons of these protected areas and to mItIgate human pressures on
the forest rather than connectIvIty (as yet) between K8As/protected areas. The
reforestatIon and agroforestry project help maIntaIn the watershed functIons of these
protected areas whIle agroforesty provIdes the communIty alternatIve or addItIonal source
of Income to reduce dependence on natural resources In the area such as tImber and
fIrewood.

The C0| project In QuIrIno Is a combInatIon of energy and A/F C0| project. The project
Is desIgned to provIde multIple benefIts through protectIon of bIodIversIty through
reforestatIon and protectIon of old growth and secondary forest, provIsIon of lIvelIhood
through agroforestry and development of bIofuel for energy. The project approach Is to
use the communItybased forest management program by the 0ENF. Presently, the fIeld
unIt Is stIll In the fIrst step I.e., development of the Project 0esIgn 0ocument (P00).
|eanwhIle, specIesrelated InItIatIves as related to clImate change InItIatIves are stIll

32

recent and In the research stage. Areas that need bIologIcal survey have been IdentIfIed
through the CEPF funded serIes of surveys and the FegIonal Natural HerItage Program
(FNHP) project sItes. The FNHP project Is currently buIldIng a database on huntIng
pressure of threatened lowland. The CCFAF project, meanwhIle, Is addressIng areas
suItable for wIde rangIng specIes (such as the PhIlIppIne eagle and flyIng foxes) and to
develop conservatIon targets for these threatened specIes.



Ensuring Sustainable Financing

Learning #11 : As a major accomplishment in SMBC, the establishment of the
agency for volunteer funds is a unique model in public-private enterprise. The
corridor unit has yet to review how to scale up and institutionalize the experiment to
maintain it as a sustainable financing scheme.


One of CIs commitments stipulated in the Corridor Facilitation project is to increase local
government support and involvement in the implementation of the PA Management Plan. In
this regard, CI had been negotiating for LGU
appropriations for projects within the PA from
the LGUs 20% annual IRA allocations. LGU
funding is one mechanism of ensuring self-
reliance in the implementation of the CBRMPs.
Because of limited resources and multiple
priorities, barangays have not committed funds
for the implementation of the CBRMPs. At the
Municipal level, Peablanca has allocated
PhP100,000 for natural resources conservation.
Dialogue with the LGU thru the Municipal
Planning and Development Council led to a
recommendation to allocate PhP 100,000 per
barangay instead of the PhP 100,000 for the
entire municipality. The proposal is to be
presented to the Sanguniang Bayan, and if
approved, the funds will support nursery
establishment, protection and other activities
related to natural resource conservation.
In addition to this CI had been negotiating with the Tuguegarao Water District in order to
direct funds for the rehabilitation of forest areas in San Roque in Peablanca. CI was also
instrumental to the formation to the Danum ti Umili, a sustainable financing scheme that
aims to generate financial resources through grants, donations and fees from the
households, business establishments, other institutions, tourists in Tuguegarao City in order
to support livelihood, agroforestry, reforestation and tourism projects in the upland areas/
critical watershed of the PPLS.


33


C. Linking Human Well-Being and Biodiversity Conservation

Learning # 12 : As big constraint in conservation, poverty reduction and eco-
governance require long-term investment beyond the term of administrative (political)
office of leaders, regardless of level or scale of governance. Resource mobilization
still has to be beefed up throughout the corridor.

Learning # 13 : Appropriate use of technical and scientific expertise has to be
strengthened and expanded throughout the corridor among partners and
stakeholders.

Learning # 14 : Enabling actions in conservation (training, IEC, environmental
education, livelihood enhancement) has worked well in focus sites (PPLS, QPL and
Baggao) to complement the investment of other agencies in human well-being
aspects, but these need to be sustained and expanded throughout the corridor.


The CLI project has interest in exploring the link of human well-being and conservation in
the corridor. Project records and interviews on this in Peablanca indicated that human
well-being and ecosystem services are not yet mainstreamed in the PA agenda. Indicators
in human well-being are methodologically being developed and tested through another
project of the unit, but the actual state of official data generation by mandated agencies has
limited usefulness at the moment. .

Qualitative techniques in research were nonetheless used to surface the status of human
well-being concerns in corridor plans, with focus on livelihood, population growth and
environmental awareness as priorities. Despite unavailable numbered data on human well-
being indicators from CI-Ps corridor team, notwithstanding direct implementation activities,
many accomplishments and lessons can be derived from the assessed processes.


Bridging Livelihood Needs and Forest Protection

CIP seeks to meet the economic/ livelihood improvement and economic needs of forest
dwellers while ensuring sustainable use and conservation of natural resources. As such,
one of its stated objectives in CEPF assisted projects is to pilot alternative income
generating projects implemented for the local stakeholders. Initial target in Peablanca is to
establish agro-forestry projects in 5 barangays Aggugaddan, Sisim, Lapi, Mangga,
Minanga.
41
Manga and Minanga are Counterpart International project sites, while Barangay
Quibal, along with Lapi, had existing agroforestry areas prior to 2005. Barangays San
Roque, Nabbabalayan at Buyun, other critical watershed areas were added to the list. San
Roque agroforestry is to be funded through the watershed rehabilitation funds of the
Tuguegarao Water District while Nabbabalayan at Buyun are REECS project sites for a
market-creation scheme for the watershed in Lagum. Payment for environmental services
(PES) is the window being developed by the partner NGO in the low elevation sections of
the PPLS.

41
Mariano Roy M. Duya. Penablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape Project Updates. Powerpoint
presentation presented during the 2005 SMBC Annual Meeting.


34


Agro-forestry is an expected entry point since the target communities are agricultural areas
and the upland occupants know nothing but farming. Exploring alternative economic
activities remains for future work. Identifying the project sites, on the other hand, entailed a
process of identifying critical areas for rehabilitation and finding receptive communities to
engage in agro-forestry activities. In spite of the PA status of the area and the consultations
done in relation to the PA proclamation and CBRMP preparation, not all communities
demonstrated readiness at this stage to engage in appropriate resource management
projects.

The PASu attests to a number of problem communities where the peoples motivation to
be involved in forest protection is low, often requiring some form of material incentive. This
attitude towards community work was in part influenced by prior working relationships with
NGOs that worked in the area, particularly where a dole-out mentality was in competition
with the self-reliance value being encouraged by CI-P. There are also instances where
communities take on a critical/ cynical wait and see attitude, wanting to see results before
taking the risks involved in project engagement. CI and its partner PASu and forest
rangers, opted to bide their time and invest their energies in more receptive communities. In
the long run, demonstrable results would convince adjacent communities of the viability and
benefits of these forest protection strategies.

Implementation of agro-forestry projects is done in a gradual and liberal manner. Strict
enforcement of forestry laws and agro-forestry would undoubtedly antagonize the
communities. Through gradual and liberal implementation, field staff would be able to win
the support of communities while slowly converting their agricultural practices from corn
monoculture to poly culture. At present, a draft memorandum of agreement among the
PPLS PAMB and the upland farmers serves as guide to agro-forestry implementation.

In the case of Barangay Quibal, the entry points of the work were the upland farmers.
These farmers are in fact residents of the lowland areas of barangay Aggugadan who have
cleared the sloped sections for farming purposes. They were allowed by the PASu to
continue occupation and use of sloping land in spite of existing policies. The trade-off,
however, is a promise from these upland farmers to a) make no further expansion of their
existing clearings b) prevent further incursions of farmers into the area and c) become forest
protectors. With CI facilitating the process and providing some funds, these uplands
established nurseries, planted tree crops, practiced multi-cropping systems and organized
themselves into an association of upland farmers. At present, tree nurseries have been
established not only in the upland area but also in Aggugadan These upland farmers have
also taken on the task of reporting illegal logging activities. The measure of the communitys
commitment to forest protection is the amount of risk they are willing to take in the line of
their work in forest protect. In this regard, the PASu reports one case where a farmer was
killed preventing illegal logging activities.

In Manga and Minanga, Counterpart International introduced a technology called analog
farming , which is basically a forest garden program where farmers are assisted to plant
species that are :architecturally and ecologically similar to the original forest but provides
them with income generating crops.
42
This program had been previously implemented in
Cebu, Bohol, and Negros. Upon its entry in May 2005, Counterpart International started
with community mobilization. Since then, it had introduced the farming technology to about

42
Counterpart International brochure, 2006.

35

210 households and about half of these are actively practicing the technology. Counterpart
international has also organized 2 cooperatives and established a micro-finance project that
provides loans to farmers from about 18 barangays. The most significant change in the
area is reportedly the fact that farmers in the two Counterpart International project sites are
now able to meet their consumption needs and still be able to bring some of their produce to
the market. Previously, the movement of goods had been one way, i.e., from the market to
Lagum (the interior part of Peablanca). Now, farmers from Lagum are able to bring goods
to the market.

Similar agro-forestry projects are implemented in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park
through Ricoh funding and with the PAMB as main implementers. Such reforestation
projects not only provide alternative and sustainable livelihood options. They also serve as
entry points for environmental education, strengthening community organizations and
venues for engaging communities in forest protection.

Engaging communities in forest protection is another strategy to bridge the gap in human
resource needs at the field level. The process of achieving this ideal, however, is long and
arduous as the PPLS PASu attests. It requires changing peoples perception of and re-
building the communitys trust and confidence in the DENR personnel. It means helping
communities to understand that environmental protection works to their advantage. It also
requires enabling communities to meet their needs and ensure land tenure within the
framework of forest protection and conservation.

Leadership is also undoubtedly a strong factor. Receptive, active and innovative leaders
who favor environment protection are easier to work with and are better able to mobilize
support for conservation work. The PASu also does not discount the contagious effect of
hard-working and committed staff. He notes how the people are willing to work because of
the examples set by field personnel.

Conservation International contributed to this endeavor by facilitating Counterpart
Internationals entry in the SMBC. With its mandate to facilitate and coordinate corridor
programs/projects, CI actively seeks out and encourages appropriate NGOs to work within
the Corridor, as in the case of Counterpart International in Peablanca. Prior to its work in
SMBC, Counterpart International had been working in mainly in the southern parts of the
country, upon CIs invitation, Counterpart Internationals national office prepared a proposal,
based on identified needs and priorities in the Peablanca Management Plan. The proposal
was subsequently funded by CEPF. To date, Counterpart International implements projects
in two barangays in Peablanca with plans of expansion in the near future (when CEPF
funding ended in May 2007).

CI continues to work closely with Counterpart International by providing technical support,
support in workshop facilitation, monitoring and coordination with other partners.
Counterpart International claims that with corridor strategy and management plan in place,
the problems in their two sites were clear thus facilitating the identification of interventions
and the proposal development. Also there are clear baseline information that contributed to
the ease of measuring achievements. Also, since the residents of the two barangays took
part in the formulation of their CBRMP (Community-Based Resource Management Plans),
there was some sense of ownership and participation in the activities that emanated from
the management plan.



36

Influencing Population Growth

While livelihood projects in the protected areas directly intervene in biodiversity conservation
through the introduction of environment-friendly livelihood activities, the USAID project in
Baggao indirectly intervenes in environmental concerns by influencing population factors.
Dubbed as Healthy People, Healthy Forests, this project seeks to help local communities
and policy-makers understand the relationship between having smaller and healthier
families with an improved stewardship of natural resources. It further aims integrate
biodiversity conservation with improved access to reproductive health (RH) and family
planning (FP).

Activities leading to these objectives include couples classes, training for rural health
workers, free medical missions for bilateral tubal ligation & no scalpel vasectomy,
community-based distribution of contraceptives, strengthening the implementation of CBFM
through provision of technical assistance to 3 CBFM POs, capacity building for POs &
indigenous peoples, logistical support to forest protection team, agro-forestry training & farm
development to AFCs, community awareness raising and M&E. After about four years of
implementation, the program claims achievements in the following areas:
43


Increase in contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) by 16% (from 49% in May
2003 to 65% in June 2006)
Increase in referrals for pre- and post-natal services based on health workers
records
Availability of RH/FP services and supplies at the sitio level
More funds allocated [PhP 1.8M for 2006] in the LGUs Annual Investment
Plan for various RH/FP and NRM projects/activities.
More realistic natural resource management plans formulated through the
updating of 3 Community Resources Management Frameworks (CRMF)the
long term management plans of the CBFM areas.
Improved implementation of conservation policies in the target areas, which led
to the confiscation of illegally extracted forest products and unregistered
chainsaws, regulation/control of land squatting and slash-and-burn.
Upland farmers are becoming receptive on agro-forestry farming and have
agreed on the use of intercropping is a good farming method.
Women becoming more involved in the POs activities such as in the
preparation of management plans and monitoring illegal harvesting of timber
forest products.


Strengthening Environmental Awareness

Activities to increase environmental awareness are undertaken across all sites.
Recognizing the value of environmental awareness in biodiversity conservation, CI
conducted workshops in 2004 to develop an information, education and communication
(IEC) program/ strategy. Availability of resources constrained the full implementation of the
IEC plan. IEC, however, is undertaken as an integral part of the projects that are
implemented on field.

43
Mar Viernes report, 5
th
SMBC Stakeholders Conference, September 13-15, 2006, Tanay Rizal.

37

CI itself has launched a weekly radio program, undertakes the production and distribution of
IEC materials and conducts ecology orientation for various audiences.

One of its partners, RARE, a U.S.-based conservation NGO has undertaken the IEC Pride
campaign in Peablanca. With CEPF funding, the campaign has targeted the general
public, school children, fishermen, and farmers. The campaign includes sharing information
on the importance of the protected area, how citizens can get involved through planting,
clean-up drives, and reporting on illegal logging activity, and information on potential
ecotourism activities such as serving as tour guides and making souvenirs. The project
seeks to rally support for environmental protection by generating a sense of pride in the
rufous hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax), a bird that is endemic to the region and is a symbol of
what is special about the region.
44


In Nueva Vizcaya, Friends of the Environment for Development and Sustainability, Inc.
(FRENDS) combines IEC and awareness campaign, community mobilization, capacity and
alliance building for the sustainable management of 2 critical watershed areas in the Palali -
Mamparang Mountains. IEC campaigns focused on increasing knowledge in biodiversity
and environmental policies as well as the environmental and economic value of resources in
the area. Main audiences of this campaign are local government officials, communities and
the private sector. To date, the project is credited for changing attitudes toward resource
conservation. About 14 barangays have identified and declared community watershed
areas after public hearings while 2 municipalities have formed their watershed management
boards. FRENDS representatives also claim a decrease in expansion of farming in upland
areas.

CI for its part had been instrumental in linking FRENDS with CEPF which provided funds for
the 2 phases of the project. Also, CI provided assistance in the conduct of trainings and
seminars for stakeholders and provided training materials.


II. The Case of Palawan

Palawans establishment as a corridor was initiated in 2002, the development of the corridor
strategy was completed in 2003, and implementation commenced in 2005 with focus in
disseminating the corridor strategy throughout the province and second, the establishment
of a protected area covering the Mt. Mantalingahan range as start in Protected Area
approach. Corridor work in Palawan benefits from the earlier tested approach and
conservation aspects of SMBC. The lessons are more clearly generated therefore, but there
are new challenges.

Learning # 15 : Context assessment and strategy formulation had a more compact,
shorter time-frame and broad buy-in process in Palawan.

44
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/news/in_focus/2004/Pride_Campaigns/Pride_Philippines_Dirain.xml. October
12, 2006.

38


Learning #16 : In terms of scale, involvement of regional agencies
45
was deemed
less critical since the whole biodiversity corridor is situated within a single province.
Aside from DENR, no regional agencies were engaged in the strategy formulation.

Learning #17: Partnership with NGOs and the government sector and engagement
of the grassroots is being sustained as a basic feature in the Palawan corridor.
Unlike the case of the SMBC, the opportunity for community consultation and
community engagement was realized even during the assessment and strategy
formulation, most maximized despite limited time and funding.

Lecrnny #18 : 0espte the lecrnny ]rom the SM8C exercse, corrdor mcncyement
n Pclcwcn s beny lmted by the emphcss on the PA cpprocch. ClP's role cs
]ccltctor ]or pcrtners s exercsed n other pcrts o] the corrdor, but ccn stll be
expcnded cs C8C role.


A. Background : Context Assessment and Developing the Corridor Strategy
(Strategy Formulation Phase)

Establishing the corridor was supported by funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership
Fund (CEPF) within a relatively shorter period compared with SMBC. There was no
opportunity to engage in project implementation yet alongside the process of strategy
development, in which the SMBC had a more commodious opportunity. Funds for actual
project implementation in Palawan were made available only after the strategy had been
finalized.

Context Assessment

Strategy formulation in Palawan began with a corridor-wide assessment within a relatively
shorter period relying mainly on external experts with local field teams. Four research teams
covered the biological, social, economic and policy aspects. The assessment also included
a survey of current resource management mechanisms and biodiversity threats.

Biological assessment covered both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and relied mainly on
biological data from various institutions. The social, policy and economic components, on
the other hand, used varied research methods and sources of information such as
secondary data from various institutions, spatial analysis using GIS, key informant interviews
and focused group meetings at local level leading to the preparation of case reports.
Primary data collection for these three components where conducted in common research
sites in the Northern, Central and Southern areas of the Province.
46
This enabled resource
sharing and efficient use of resources as well as cross-validation and cross-component
exchanges of ideas which enhanced data analysis in each component.

The existence of a Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic and Adjustment Policies (MIMAP)
project in Palawan, particularly the implementation of the Community-based Monitoring

45 Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon


46
North: Taytay, San Vicente, Taytay, Calamianes; Central: Puerto Princesa (both Honda and Ulugan Bay
Barangays); South: Bataraza, Rizal, Narra, Balabac.


39

System (CBMS) greatly facilitated data collection and presents opportunities for
GovernmentCI collaboration in monitoring and assessment of human welfare-environment
linkages in the corridor. The CBMS is implemented and managed by the Research and
Evaluation Division of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) with
assistance from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). At the time of the
baseline data were being collected for the corridor strategy, the CBMS team was also due to
embark on its second round of data collection at the municipal level. Using the process that
the project has adopted from the start, a series of orientation trainings were conducted for
local representatives and enumerators. The 2002 CBMS implementation involved a sample
consisting of 37.15% of the population. Validation workshops were subsequently held in
Narra, Aborlan, Taytay and San Vicente. In the first cycle, 21 of the 23 municipalities
participated thereby covering about 54% of the total population. Only Kalayaan and Culion
were unable to participate due to the physical distance of these island municipalities from
the center. The city of Puerto Princesa was also not involved because of its relatively large
population. It has, however, joined the third cycle of CBMS implementation.
47


Data collected through the CBMS complemented data from other secondary sources
especially in the socio-economic aspect. CBMS information was used mainly for the
qualitative analysis of case studies in selected areas. CI, for its part co-funded the collection
of CBMS data in the sample sites.

Data processing and consolidation was another aspect of collaboration between the CBMS
and CI. At some point, the CBMS team adopted the Natural Resources Database (NRDB),
a database and mapping application for developing and distributing environmental
databases. It was originally developed for the Bohol Environment Management Office,
Philippines by Richard D. Alexander, through the assistance of Voluntary Service
Overseas.
48
CI commissioned Mr. Alexander to update the system for use in Palawan. To
date, CI and the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) through the Research
and Development Office (RDO) continue to exchange updates on a periodic basis. The
RDO provides CI with recent CBMS data while CI obtains NRDB updates and ensures that
the RDO and CI copies of the software are regularly upgraded.

Through the CBMS project, skills in data collection, encoding and processing at the
provincial and municipal levels are improving. Data validation involving barangay and
municipal representatives apparently helps in enhancing data analysis and planning skills.
Also, a recent exercise conducted by the RDO has shown the potential use of the CBMS in
monitoring and evaluation. In this case, CBMS data were used to enhance the
Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program. Given the
existing venues for collaboration, the potential of CBMS for monitoring/ assessment of
human well-being and its interplay with biodiversity and environmental factors is, perhaps,
worth pursuing.

47
Victoria Bautista and Lilibeth J. Juan. Palawan: The First to Implement the CBMS, unpublished manuscript.
48
http://www.nrdb.co.uk/

40

The development of a conservation
strategy among key stakeholders is
expected to begin a coordinated effort to
save species and key biodiversity areas in
Palawan. Such effort is especially
important considering the numerous
actors in the conservation field who are
working in the province but are not
necessarily able to pull together efforts
that will allow maximization of resources
and a better understanding of the issues,
threat and opportunities for conservation.

Furthermore, the strategy guides NGOs,
government and communities to make
better decisions about where to focus
conservation efforts and what needs to be
done most urgently. It also provides a
road map for grant-making within Palawan
by the CEPF, and hopefully, for future
investment of conservation resources by
other donors. (Surublien: Strategies to
Conserve Palawans Biodiversity, 2004)
Putting Together a Corridor Strategy

Consolidating the corridor strategy in Palawan consisted of a number of stages of
consultation and discussion. Foremost of these are small team discussions among the
researchers and team leaders during the data collection and analysis phases. The output
these are about six written reports on the biological, social and economic status of the
corridor as well as assessments of existing policies, eco-tourism activities, conservation
initiatives and biodiversity threats. Case studies were also compiled and analyzed and
reports were written up for
reference.

In addition, two sets of stakeholder
consultation workshops were
organized. The first consisted of 4
sectoral consultations, one for each
of the research teams. The main
purpose of these workshops was to
enrich and validate the assessment
results with experts on the topics
and those knowledgeable in the
local area.

The second was an intensive
integrating workshop that took
place in July 2003. Results of the
biological, social, economic and
policy researches were presented
to stakeholder representative from
across the province. In this
workshop, threats and conditions
specific to the different key
biodiversity areas were
consolidated and different Key
Biodiversity Areas working groups
identified the strategies and priority actions to respond to the threats. In brief, these
strategies are grouped as follows: a) ecosystem management; b) law enforcement c)
data/information generation d) information, education and communication e) capacity
building for key agencies f) stakeholders participation and g) community development.

Two other workshops followed in August of the same year. One aimed to develop a IEC
strategy for Palawan; and the other was a workshop towards the establishment of a
monitoring and evaluation system in the corridor.

Results of the baseline researches and the workshops were then consolidated by two
editors who then packaged it into the Surublien: Strategies to Conserve Palawans
Biodiversity , which was published in 2004.

The context assessment and corridor strategy development project was essentially a
research and planning exercise done in a period of 18 months. As a planning exercise, the
project involved communities during key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
The support of local organizations, both government and non-government and the inherent

41

capacity of local stakeholders all served as primarily responsible for the success of the
project, egged on by the project staffs painstaking effort to engage the key stakeholders at
all times in the project, informing them of the progress and getting them committed to the
implementation of all activities. Winning the trust and support of key partners led to a more
efficient pooling of information which provided the strong basis for the development of the
conservation strategy for Palawans biodiversity corridor.


42


B. Implementing the Corridor Strategy

Upon completion of the strategy in 2003, implementation took three modes : CIs
coordination with agencies in a corridor-wide dissemination of conservation, (b) facilitation of
NGOS in Palawan to develop their own projects as partners, and (c). working through the
protected area as a focus in direct implementation of CIP.


Awareness-raising and capacity strengthening in conservation

To pursue some of the identified priority actions in the conservation strategy, a series of
workshops in mid-2003 strengthened the corridor team in building up the conservation
constituency. A communications strategy was formulated by local communicators in a
workshop facilitated by CIs International Communications Department. The IEC strategy
included priority objectives, target public and the product or event. The strategy was crafted,
conservation problems were validated, priority target audience and appropriate tools &
messages to address the problems were identified.

CI-P subsequently worked out another grant from CEPF to catalyze conservation initiatives
within the entire corridor. The primary need in the corridor is an awareness campaign to
protect the threatened species and their habitats. Following the IEC framework designed in
2003, information materials targeting priority audiences were developed and disseminated.
These include the pictorial guide booklet for law enforcers, fact sheets and comics on
protected areas, T-shirts featuring threatened species in Palawan. An environmental
education program of the Department of Education was also supported through refresher
courses on environmental education integration for primary and secondary school teachers.





43

To complement these IEC activities, a capacity-strengthening component premised on
facilitation work focused on three major groups: partner biologists and foresters working in
the 17 terrestrial key biodiversity areas, the wildlife enforcement officers, and the GIS users.
Important material produced by the corridor unit was a field guide for law enforcers. Training
programs were developed and implemented with the aim of strengthening their role in
biodiversity conservation in the province.

Biologists and foresters received a training on basic biodiversity assessment methodologies.
A biodiversity research agenda has been adopted by the Palawan Council for Sustainable
Development through its Environment and Natural Resources Committee where CI sits as
member of the technical working group.

Wildlife enforcement officers in Puerto Princesa (30), El Nido (25), Taytay (40) and Quezon
(30) were trained and deputized. These areas are considered the primary sources of wildlife
traded in other parts of the country and the world. We are doing this in partnership with the
Kilusan Sagip Kalikasan, a law enforcement body created by the Provincial Government.

The organization of the Palawan GIS users network is soon to be formalized through a
Provincial Executive Order. These came about after a series of training and meetings
among the GIA users in Palawan with the aim of standardizing the data sets and formulating
data sharing protocols to avoid duplication of efforts and save our limited resources.

There are increasing requests for CI-Ps technical assistance from various partners in the
other KBAs in the corridor. These are for :

1. Protected area establishment of Lake Manguao in Taytay
2. Public-private partnership in managing Irawan watershed with the Palawan Flora &
Fauna and Watershed Reserve
3. Technical support to the research program of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean
River National Park.


Partnership and Community Engagement in Palawan

Partnership with NGOs and the government sector and engagement of the grassroots is
being sustained as a basic feature in the Palawan corridor. Unlike the case of the SMBC,
the opportunity for community consultation and community engagement was realized even
during the assessment and strategy formulation, most maximized despite limited time and
funding. Through the use of primary data collection methods, notably Focused Group
Discussions, the conditions and sentiments on the ground came to fore even early on in
corridor context assessment phase, further supported by the feedback/ validation workshops
that followed.

Beyond mere cooperation, CI assumed a facilitative role for partners by providing service as
coordination mechanism in fact among the partners and in linkages with potential funders or
sponsors of training opportunities. NGO partners were asked to submit proposals based on
identified priorities in the strategy.




44

This generated a significant interest among the partners and the CEPF resources funded 5
of them including:

Palawan Conservation Corps
Establishment of an Educational Nature Park to Build Local Capacity (1/03-
12/04)
Enhancement of Educational Park as Reforestation Training Center (Phase II)
(9/04-10/05)
Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc.
Community Enforcement Initiative to Stop Poaching and Illegal Forest
Destruction (7/03-6/06)
World Pheasant Association
Building Conservation Capacity Through Research of Threats to Key Birds in the
Palawan Corridor (Palawan peacock pheasant -Polyplectron emphanum)
(4/05-6/07)
Katala Foundation, Inc.
Southern Palawan Anti-Poaching Initiative (4/05-6/06)
Western Philippines University, Puerto Princesa Campus
Study on the Status and Dynamics of Trade of Heosemys Leytensis
(1/06-5/07)

The experience has influenced the way in which the NGOs undertake their own respective
mandates. For NGOs that have not been previously involved in environmental issues, there
has been increased awareness and appreciation of the significance of environmental
concerns in their community development work. Appreciation of the significance of scientific
data and the use of such evidence in environmental advocacy were cited as significant
changes in NGO work. ELAC, for its part, claims the experience has led them to venture
into work that they the organization has not previously engaged in, i.e., the enforcement of
environmental laws and policies where they used to focus on policy research and advocacy.
This re-orientation was a product of the process of reflection within the organization
triggered by its involvement in the policy assessment in the Palawan Corridor.

Involvement of regional agencies
49
in this corridor was deemed less critical since the whole
biodiversity corridor is situated within a single province. Aside from DENR, no regional
agencies were engaged in the strategy formulation. The main government partner is the
Provincial government and its constituent agencies. The Provincial Planning and
Development Office (PPDO), specifically the Research and Evaluation Division, played a
key role in providing relevant information to the corridor assessment teams. Also, since the
Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan (Republic Act 7611) mandates that the
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) is the body responsible for the
enforcement of the provisions of the SEP Law and the performance of related functions
which shall promote the development, conservation, management, protection, and utilization
of the natural resources of Palawan
50
, PCSD and (or through) its technical arm, the PCSDS
are essential partners in Palawan.

49 Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon


50
http://www.pcsd.ph/about_pcsd/council/functions.htm (accessed September 6, 2006)

45

Partnership with local NGOs has mainly been through the Palawan NGO Network, Inc., a
network of some 20 NGOs51 and Peoples organizations formed in 1991 for the purpose of
furthering each member NGOs development program through inter-organizational
consultation and by presenting a broader NGO consensus in policy making at the local and
provincial levels.52 PNNI was a valuable partner in data collection and the conduct of
Focused Group Discussions. Prior personal and professional interaction of CI Palawans
former Program Manager with PNNI facilitated the link. To this day, CI remains as one of
the member organizations of the said network.

The initial basis for partnership with the government and non-government groups was to
facilitate data collection during the assessment phase of the program. The partnership
advanced into the strategy formulation and implementation phases. Subsequently, a
number of the partner NGOs, and a few others obtained CEPF grants to implement parts of
the strategy.


Establishing a Protected Area in Palawan

The process of establishing a protected area is currently focused on the Mt. Mantalingahan
Range in the southern part of the province.

The take-off point of the work is the Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Program (PTFPP),
an EU-funded program that began in 1995 and completed in 2004. Geographically, the
PTFPP originally covered the municipalities of Bataraza, Brookes Point, Espanola, Quezon,
Rizal and the St. Pauls Subterranean River National Park. In 1998, these five
municipalities, agreed to establish the Mt. Mantalingahan Management Area to enable the
local government units to undertake measures to protect, conserve and manage the natural
resources as well as promote socio-economic development
53
This declaration was followed
by an Executive Order issued by the Provincial Governor, which created the Mt.
Mantalingahan Management Planning Task Force whose responsibility was the formulation
of the strategic management plan for the Mt. Mantalingahan Management Area.

In March 2000, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) declared the Mt.
Mantalingahan Area, encompassing an area of about 983,827 hectares, a special
management zone to be administered within the framework of the Strategic Environmental
Plan (SEP).
54
The Mt. Mantalingahan Management Planning Task Force was tasked to
formulate a management plan. It was later re-organized and renamed as the South Palawan

51
Alayka Palawan, Inc. (ALPI); Bahatala Foundation, inc.; Bangsa Palawan-Phils, Inc (BPPI); Conservation
International (CI); Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC); Foundation for Womens Advancement,
Rights Development and Empowerment, Inc. (FORWARDE); Haribon- Palawan; Indigenous Peoples
Apostolate (IPA), Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives, Inc. (IDEAS);
Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas World Wildlife Fund (KKP-WWF); Land of Paradise Community
Development Foundation (LoP); Ligaya ng Buhay Community Development Foundation, Inc. (LnBCDF);
Nagkakaisang mga Tribu ng Palawan, Inc. (NATRIPAL); Northern Palawan Community Development
Foundation, Inc. (NPCDF); Palawan Center for Appropriate Rural Technology (PCART); Palawan
Conservation Corps (PCC); Sagipin Gubat at Dagat ng Palawan (SAGUDA); Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa
Mainit at Imulnod, Inc. (SAMMI); Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI); World Vision
Development Foundation, Inc. (WV).
52
Palawan NGO Network, Inc brochure (accessed July 2006)
53
http://www.pcsd.ph/resolutions/resolutions/sep/res00-164.htm October 2, 2006.
54
http://www.pcsd.ph/resolutions/resolutions/sep/res00-164.htm October 2, 2006.

46

Planning Council (SPPC) by virtue of Provincial Executive Order No. 24 series of 2001. The
primary objective was to enable local government units to undertake measures to protect,
conserve and manage the natural resources and promote socio-economic development in
Mt. Mantalingahan area.

The South Palawan Planning Council (SPPC) is composed of the Local Chief executives
and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators of the five municipalities covering
Mt. Mantalingahan: Bataraza, Brookes Point, Sofronio Espanola, Quezon & Rizal, along
with representation from the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), the Office
of the 2
nd
Congressional District, and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development
Staff (PCSDS). SPPC is responsible for elaborating and implementing the programs
outlined in the management strategy adopted by PCSD in July 2001 and those stipulated in
Executive Order No. 24 series of 2001.

In 2003, the SPPC approached CI-Philippines to determine its interest in filling at least some
of the gaps that have been created as PTFPP scales back its activities in the area. The
response was positive because Mt. Mantalingahan range emerged as a priority site for both
conservation and research in the priority-setting exercise and its subsequent refinement by
the Palawan stakeholders. The Mantalingahan Range Forest is an AZE site and is one of
the 11 IBAs in Palawan. Most of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Palawan
Endemic Bird Area occur in the Mantalingahan range and the adjacent lowlands.

The partnership that was forged veered towards the establishment of the Mt. Mantalingahan
Protected Area through NIPAS. This differed from the thrusts of the PTFPP, which included:
development of watershed catchment management plans and land use plans, support to
tenurial instruments, livelihood assistance, capacity building for LGU, PCSDS, NGO
partners and DENR, environmental awareness information campaign and advocacy and
ensuring stakeholder participation in program activities. This shift in focus necessitated
some adjustment on the part of the SPPC.

CIs initial activites in Mt. Mantalingahan in 2003 to 2004 involved the verification of the
presence of some threatened and restricted-range species. Rapid biodiversity surveys were
conducted in selected sites on the periphery of the Mantalingahan Range to assess optimal
shape/zoning of the PA.

Nine species of threatened and/or endemic species of mammals, such as the endangered
Palawan soft-furred mountain rat (Palawanomys furvus), 23 threatened and/or restricted
range bird species, including the endangered Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua
haematuropygia) are known to occur in Mt. Mantalingahan. It is also the sole location for
Palawan striped-babbler (Stachyris hypogrammica). There is a species of frog (Marys frog,
Ingerana mariae) known only from Mt. Mantalingahan.

An assessment of habitat protection options was undertaken with the help of a consultant
through a review of PA and natural resource management legislation and consultations with
the SPPC and other key stakeholders. The findings concluded that there is broad
stakeholder support for the creation of a protected area in southern Palawan if it is designed
and managed for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development objectives.





47



Fig. 4. Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape
The findings of these assessments and stakeholder consultations, combined with the results
of the CEPF funded Palawan Corridor Strategy Development project, had notable impacts
on our proposed strategy and technical approach, including:
An emphasis on establishing core zones first in critical habitats as a short-term
strategy while the long-term goal of achieving legal recognition as a protected
area for the entire Mount Mantalingahan Range and adjacent lowlands is
pursued.
The pursuit of a long-term strategy to accommodate both economic development
and conservation priorities in the Mount Mantalingahan area and surrounding
landscape in order to maintain stakeholder support for conservation.

The data and recommendations produced by this initial studies were used for seeking funds
for the establishment and long-term management of the Mantalingahan range as a
protected area.


48

CI eventually received a project grant from the Global Conservation Fund. The strategy of
CI-P and the SPPC is to pursue area-protected outcomes on two legal tracks and on two
timelines. In the short term, we will pursue legal protection of Mt. Mantalingahan range
within the SPPA through municipal government ordinances and provincial government
executive orders under Republic Act 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, and PCSD
recognition under the newly enacted Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The longer-term goal is to pursue legal recognition of Mt. Mantalingahan range as a
Protected Landscape and Seascape (IUCN Category V) under Republic Act No. 7611, the
Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) law, which is legislation unique to Palawan, and/or
Republic Act 7586, the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.
This step is critical in order to provide a long-term legal framework for landscape scale
management that is embedded within the larger Palawan conservation corridor.
Table 3. Progress on 13 steps towards establishing Mt. Mantalingahan
as PA under NIPAS Law, Palawan, December 2006
Legal Requirements
by Chapter III,
Section 3 of the
NIPAS Act
Essential Activities to
ensure stakeholder
participation in policy
evolution, planning and
management
Duration and
Status in Mt.
Mantalingahan
Indicators
1 Compilation of
maps & technical
descriptions
Preparation of proposed
PA map including technical
description
6 months Signed by cartographer who
prepared map (DENR); reviewed
by Regional mapping unit; chief of
PAWD; RTD; RED; DENR
Secretary c/o PAWB.
Ref. : Department Memorandum
Circular (DMC) 22 series of 1992
Scale: 1:50,000 if more than 500
has; 1:20,000 if below 500 has
2 Initial screening
Initial biodiversity surveys,
socio-institutional studies
6 months PASA Report.
Attachments: Forms and Matrices
to be signed by DENR on
suitability of the proposed area.
Ref: DMC 17 Series of 1993
3 Public
notifications
Posting of notices in
strategic places
including municipal
centers

1 month
minimum;
completed
Notices
4 Initial
consultation
Barangay consultations
and initial awareness
raising for all the
barangays covered by the
proposed PA
6 months
minimum;
completed;
formal
endorsements
by the 36
barangays were
obtained
Process documentation of
consultative meetings; attendance
sheets; pictures.

+ Endorsements (optional)
5 Census &
registration of
PA occupants
Socio-economic & cultural
surveys
6 months
minimum
SRPAO
involving some
3,000
households in 36
barangays on
going

Listing of PA occupants; summary
of accomplished survey forms.
SRPAO report signed by CENRO.
Ref : Department Administrative
Order (DAO) 13 Series of 1993
6 Resource
profiling
Consolidation of ecological
surveys; validation
2 months RBI Reports signed by DENR.
Raw data to be deposited at
DENR.
Ref.: Department Memorandum
Order 10 Series of 1991

49

Legal Requirements
by Chapter III,
Section 3 of the
NIPAS Act
Essential Activities to
ensure stakeholder
participation in policy
evolution, planning and
management
Duration and
Status in Mt.
Mantalingahan
Indicators
7 Initial Protected
Area Plan,
including
delineation
Formulation of Initial
Protected Area Plan
(IPAP)
3 months;
completed
IPAP. Can be drafted by
proponent, endorsed by DENR.
Ref. : DMC 34 Series of 1994
8 Public hearings Presentation of IPAP
(Initial Protected Area
Plan) and PA plan to
all Barangays and
municipalities affected,
Department of
Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR-
CENRO, Community
Environment & Natural
Resources Office/PENRO,
Provincial Environment &
Natural Resources Office)
at least 6
months;
Endorsements of
the 5 MDCs
obtained

PDC, RDC, &
DENR pending
Endorsements of MDC then, PDC
then, RDC.
Parallel endorsements of DENR
(PENRO, CENRO).
9 Regional review
&
recommendation
s
Presentation to Regional
DENR, NEDA (National
Economic Development
Authority), RDC (Regional
Development Council) to
secure their endorsements
Target
completion:
Target
completion by
end of March
2007at least 6
months
Complete Staff Work (CSW).
Endorsements of complete
documentary requirements
produced from step1 to 8 by
DENR Region, then RDC.
1
0
National review
&
recommendation
s
Presentation to the
National Review
Committee for evaluation
and endorsement
at least 3 months Through PAWB; Technical Review
Committee; Endorsement of
DENR National
1
1
Presidential
proclamation
Presidential approval
Experiences with
other PAs vary
from 3 months to
3 years
Endorsement of DENR Secretary
to the President.
1
2
Congressional
action
Drafting of Bill,
Congressional hearings
and enactment of the law
Experiences with
other PAs vary
from 1 to 5 years
Bill drafted by DENR
1
3
Demarcation Establishment of
monuments, buoys, etc.
Can be done
right away if
funds are
available
DENR
After congressional act


As a first phase of this initiative, CI-P and the SPPC have agreed to pursue the following
three outputs over two years which officially commenced in September 2005:
Core zones established and managed through community SPPC partnerships
The institutional capacity for conservation planning and management within the
South Palawan Planning Area is strengthened
A framework for long-term conservation management and financing is established

At present, the SPPC, working closely with CI field staff, has completed 7 out of the 13 legal
steps required under the NIPAS law.

When the process of proclaiming the PA is completed, it will do well for CI and the SPPC to
review of South Palawan Strategic Management Plan, developed in 2001 in order to assess

50

its usefulness as PA management guide and its relevance to the NIPAS provisions.

The projects long-term goal is to put in place Mt. Mantalingahan range under permanent
protected area status through its proclamation as a Protected Landscape (IUCN Category
V) under Republic Act No. 7611, the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) law, a unique
legislation for the province of Palawan and Republic Act No. 7586, the National Integrated
Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992. The target area was 120,000 hectares and as
of January 2006, the total delineated area with technical description for the proposed Mt.
Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) is 120,457 hectares.

The projects short-term goal is to pursue legal protection of Mt. Mantalingahan range in
South Palawan initially through municipal government ordinances and provincial
government executive orders under Republic Act 7160, the Local Government Code of
1991, and recognition of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) as
critical habitat under the newly enacted Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
while initiating the process of obtaining the documentary requirements required under
existing relevant laws to finally establish the area as protected area through a Presidential
Proclamation or a Republic Act.

The current grant agreement covers an initial two-year phase for our strategy that will make
significant advances towards our ultimate area-protected outcome target, including the
delineation of core zones in fragmented lowland habitats. The major project outputs are: 1)
Presidential Proclamation establishing the Mt. Mantalingahan range as a protected area
under the NIPAS framework; 2) an initial protected area plan of the proposed Mt.
Mantalingahan protected area by establishing appropriate management zones based on the
revised ECAN zoning regulation under the SEP law and the general management
framework of the NIPAS law; 3) increased awareness and understanding of all stakeholders
on the opportunities for conserving and developing Mt. Mantalingahan range; and 4)
enhanced technical capacity of South Palawan Planning Council and its technical
committee, the DENR, LGU and other stakeholders in planning, sustainable management
and development, monitoring and evaluation and the establishment of a sustainable
financing mechanism that will provide enough resources to sustain the activities of the
SPPA in particular the conservation of the proposed Mt. Mantalingahan protected area.
This project was designed to establish the Mt. Matalingahan range as a protected area
through a co-financing arrangement of GCF and CEPF.
As of January 2007, the signed endorsements of all the 36 Barangay Councils and all 5
Municipal Development Councils for the protected area establishment have been obtained
after a series of consultations and iterative information dissemination to various
stakeholders. The Protected Area Suitability Assessment, Resource Basic Inventory, and
Initial Protected Area Plan were completed through the leadership of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office
(DENR-PENRO). The Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) by the indigenous communities is
now under validation by the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Survey and
Registration of Protected Area Occupants is 80% completed. The Initial Protected Area Plan
is scheduled to be presented at Provincial Development Council and the Palawan Council
for Sustainable Development for their endorsement and will be used as supporting
document in the Regional and National levels endorsement of the establishment of Mt.
Mantalingahan as a protected area and the subsequent approval by the President of the
Philippine Republic.

51

GCF funding has been spent in the following key activities:
1. Determining the optimal size and extent of the protected area through
biodiversity assessment and policy studies.
2. Developing and disseminating conservation awareness materials for
communities and government.
3. Providing technical support to the South Palawan Planning Council, the
provincial government of Palawan and the Palawan Council for Sustainable
Development (PCSD) in the protected area gazettal process, including:
compilation of technical description and mapping of PA, public notification and
consultation, survey and registration of occupants, resource profiling, initial
protected area plan, and public hearings.
4. Determining the ecological value of the Mount Mantalingahan forest range
environmental services and the management costs of protecting Mt.
Mantalingahan.
5. Assessing legal options and designing an appropriate mechanism to ensure long
term financing for conservation management.
6. Providing technical support to local government units and engaging communities
in participatory planning process.


The collaborating entities include the South Palawan Planning Council (SPPC) and its
technical committee, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Palawan
Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) and the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). The SPPC provides policy direction and guidance in the
prioritization and implementation of SPPAs major programs, with its technical committee as
the coordinating body that integrates the concerns of the five (5) municipalities within the
Strategic mgt plan framework for SPPA. Plans, formulate and oversee program
implementation. The DENR takes the lead in the conduct of the NIPAS 13 steps for the PA
establishment of Mt. Mantalingahan. The PCSDS, provides technical assistance and
monitors program implementation in accordance to the provisions of the SEP. The NCIP is
the primary government agency that formulates and implements policies, plans and
programs for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights and well-being of
Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and the recognition of their ancestral domains and their rights.
The protected area gazettement process under the NIPAS is a cumbersome, drawn out
process that typically takes at least 5 years to complete. Achieving our ultimate area-
protected outcome result which includes both the establishment of core zones in critical
habitats and the legal recognition of Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape through a
protected area bill is possible in 5 years or more. By the end of the current grant agreement,
the 3 most cumbersome steps out of the 13 legal steps will not be fully accomplished. CIs
continued assistance to our key local partners in Mt. Mantalingahan will catalyze
effectiveness and sustainability of the management of Mt. Mantalingahan Protected
Landscape.




52

III. Institutionalizing Biodiversity Conservation in the Corridor

CIPs operational strategy is to work according to the institutional and policy framework of
existing systems and procedures as stipulated in such laws such as the NIPAS Act and the
Local Government Code, Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, among
others. This is the practice wherever CI unit operates in specific sites throughout the
corridor. Particularly in Palawan, the SEP Law is important element of the legal framework
that assures institutional clout beneficial to conservation.

At the level of critical sites or administrative units are opportunities that support the
institutionalization of the conservation approach (corridor) and agenda, which generated the
following learning points :

Learning #19 : Science and technical expertise has been most successful as CI-Ps
role in the conservation corridor, which all stakeholders across scales at all levels
recognized. Conservation-guided mapping, information system and spatial analysis
are most requested even beyond the current corridors, with much welcome
assistance in pursuing the inter-agency physical, structural and management
planning exercises of the government.

Learning #20 : Planning, coordinating and facilitation techniques in the context of
politically-informed and bureaucratic set up of governance at the local level were
facilitated by a number of factors that CI-P evolved in the two corridors : (i) broad
representation in transparent consensus-forming venues, (ii) key leadership of well-
accepted local agencies with track record in multi-sectoral processes, (iii) proximity
to the regional center which facilitates communication, coordination and access to
support and information on follow-through activities.


A. Critical involvement in Physical Framework Plan preparation

Influencing policies, planning, and implementation in conservation concerns in the corridor is
best demonstrated in land use planning at the regional and sub-regional levels, distinctly a
success separate from the pivotal role in protected area work (establishment, expansion,
management capacity building).

In the SMBC, the opportunity to influence land use planning opened up at the regional level
when National Economic Development Administration (NEDA), the government body
charged with coordinating the formulation of Regional Physical Framework Plan, received
mandate to update the existing document for 1991-2025. The updating was necessary in
order to incorporate recent policies that were formulated after the completion of the Region
Physical Framework Plans in the early 90s.

Collaborations between NEDA, ,CI-P and other organizations in the development of the
corridor strategy opened the opportunity for CI-P to assume a recognized role in the revision
of the RPFP in Region 2. Given the fact that data sharing was a key feature of the
collaboration, CI was in the position to share information on biodiversity and the threats to
the environmental resources in the area. Furthermore, CI was in the position to share
technical knowledge in generating maps for planning purposes through GIS technology.
NEDA/ Regional Development Council, for its part, had been equipped with GIS facilities

53

since 2000. Internal capacity to use the system, however, was extremely constrained.
NEDA welcomed CIs assistance in this regard while CI welcomed the opportunity to
influence land use plans.

CIs engagement in the RPFP formulation was taken a step further when CI was accepted
as an NGO representative to the RPFP technical working group. This enabled CI to engage
in debates and discussions on the final form of the revised Physical Framework Plan.

Backed by scientific data, the revised RPFP (2001-2030) clearly earmarked conservation
zones in areas that have been identified as biodiversity conservation priorities. The
document also defines areas for resource utilization and priority investments in these areas.

The operationalization of the spatial strategy includes the
delineation of the region into three (3) major/broad land use
categories i.e., protection within the forest corridor, production at the
valley side and multiple use within the Cagayan Riverine Zone as
well as other land areas with more than one distinct use. These
broad land use are further subdivided into sub development zones
which are delineated based on homogeneity in terms of natural
resource endowments. Protection areas are classified as
conservation zones while production areas are zoned as the Free
Trade Zone, Economic Zones, Light Industrial Estate, Regional
Industrial/ Financial/ Commercial/Institutional Zones, Agriculture
Zones, Fishery Zones, Agro-Forestry Zones, Potential Mining Zones,
Tourism Zones (Island, Coastal, Upland, Lowland).


In addition, the document outlined 3 phases in plan implementation. It will be noted that
resource protection and conservation priorities are integrated in the implementation phases
alongside resource utilization priorities. For instance, the document provides that the first 10
years of implementation will focus on intensified efforts on full restriction and strict regulation
on protected areas as well as the rehabilitation of degraded areas. The next phase will
focus on the rehabilitation of watersheds and other degraded areas within the protected
forest.

After the painstaking work in developing the RPFP, it was approved by the Regional
Development Council in February 2005. With this approval, the RPFP has become the
official guide to resource utilization and investments in Region 2 for the next thirty years. A
lot of work still needs to be done before the RPFP is translated into concrete results.
However, its formulation and approval increases the chances that government bodies would
honor the commitments embodied in the biodiversity corridor strategy.

At present, NEDA, all relevant line agencies and local government units are in the process
filtering the RPFP down to lower levels of government and guiding them in the preparation
of Physical Framework Plans, Comprehensive Land Use Plans and Development Plans
consistent with the RPFP.

These processes are closely aligned with the effort to enhance the use of GIS technology
for physical planning at regional and sub-regional levels. This work is spear headed by the

64
Cagayan Valley Regional Framework Plan (2001-2030).

54

Regional GIS Network (RGIN), which is a regional body that took off from the CI-GO
collaborative work.

Given its technical knowledge and resources, CI plays an important role in building the
capacity of the RGIN and its local counterparts. At the same time, CIs position within the
RGIN gives it crucial access to various agencies and local government units providing the
regular and official venue for influencing policy-making regarding resource management
and biodiversity conservation. Through the RGIN, CI is able to further its constituency-
building while contributing to the enhancement of data management, data sharing among
agencies, situation assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation.
Similar steps to influence the development of RPFP in other areas in the corridor have
rolled, across regions, down to other provinces beyond Region 2. Work in Aurora province
(in Region 4), has moved towards the formation of a Provincial Physical Framework Plan
which was subsequently approved by the Provincial Board in 2005. CIs engagement with
the regional offices in Region 3 and 4 is admittedly not yet as strong as its relationship with
the regional offices in Region 2. This may be partially accounted for by the fact that only
portions of Region 3 and 4 are within the biodiversity corridor.


B. Forming planning and coordinating bodies among institutions

Another strategy adapted by CI to facilitate working relationship with various partners is the
formation of local coordinating units (LCU) that would serve as an inter-agency forum for
organizing, planning and coordinating collective actions through consultations and/or
workshops. It is envisioned that the agency members of the LCU will work to resolve
strategic, program planning, implementation and monitoring issues that cut across agencies
in order to avoid inconsistencies in natural resource and biodiversity management. It is
further envisioned that the LCU shall formulate annual work plans that outline the roles and
responsibilities of each partner organization. The LCU Memoradum of Understanding also
stipulates the development of a multi-agency budget to cover the LCU activities and the
activities in the work plan.
65
Through the LCU, NRM work of government line agencies,
local government units, private, business and industrial sectors, community groups, land
holders and managers are to be integrated and coordinated.

LCUs differed slightly in composition and structure across areas due to variations in local
conditions. Despite the achievement of an MOU, the experiment did not work out.





65
From the Local Coordinating Units Memorandum of Understanding

55




ChaIIenge In CorrIdor hanagement
Why the envsoned coordnatve body n Serra Madre has not advanced

Local CoordInatIng UnIt (LCU) creatIon was InItIated along the entIre corrIdor, successful In
4 provInces namely, Cagayan, Aurora, QuIrIno and Nueva 7Izcaya at the start as evIdence a
|DU sIgned between the dIfferent stakeholders from each provInce : LCUs, regIonal
government lIne agencIes, local NCDs and peoples' organIzatIons. At the InItIal stages these
LCUs were actIve In the dIscussIons about the envIronmental concerns for each provInce. C
was able to create the awareness on the Importance of each provInce from Its neIghborIng
provInce. n order to maIntaIn such Interest C convened the dIfferent stakeholders along
the corrIdor, the begInnIng of the S|8C Conference held once a year startIng 2000 to 2006
to facIlItate the exchanges of InformatIon, knowledge and Ideas between provInces.

However, In the long run some of these LCUs evolved Into somethIng else. The LCU In Nueva
7Izcaya became a part of the ProvIncIal CouncIl for SustaInable 0evelopment (PCS0. n the
case of QuIrIno provInce, the LCU evolved as the InterIm PA|8 of QuIrIno Protected
Landscape (QPL) when the protected area was proclaImed through presIdentIal
proclamatIon. n Aurora provInce, the LCU It evolved Into a dIfferent group now called
"KalIkasan" whIch has focused on addressIng Illegal actIvItIes such as tImber poachIng.

The only remaInIng LCU Is the Cagayan CouncIl for SustaInable 0evelopment created by the
provIncIal governor through ExecutIve Drder no. 11, and It enjoIns all sectors wIthIn the
provInce of Cagayan to convene and dIscuss envIronment and development concerns.
Through thIs councIl the provInce of Cagayan was able to formulate the Cagayan
EnvIronmental Code and InItIated the process of the proposed North Eastern Cagayan
Protected Landscape and Seascape (NECPLS).

0espIte the absence of an LCU In the J provInces, strong tIes and sustaIned network Is
pushIng the conservatIon agenda. The strong presence of C on the ground sustaIns the
lInkages In the corrIdor.

FacIlItatIng factor : strong polItIcal wIll of LCU offIcIals, strong presence and acceptabIlIty
of local NCD that can facIlItate envIronmental work

ConstraInt : separatIon of conservatIon and development agenda

Challenge : C8C stIll has to explore wIth partners what InstItutIonal structure can InItIate
Involvement In conservatIon InItIatIves In the provInce to connect corrIdorwIde the targets.

Source : ntervIew wIth S|8C unIt of CP, September 2007.

56


An assessment presented during the fourth SMBC Stakeholders Conference indicates that
the LCUs in all three province, have yet to fulfill their functions
69
. A similar structure in
Isabela was initiated separately by the Provincial LGU and the Kabang Kalikasan ng
Pilipinas
70
. This, however, has failed to materialize and CI has opted to work with/ through
the PAMB of the NSMNP. In Cagayan, a body consisting of about 35 partner organizations
from government and non-government agencies
71
, referred to as the Cagayan Council for
the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor (CCSMBC), plays the LCU role. Although some of its
members are also PCSD members, the CCSMBC, remains distinct from the PCSD. This

69
See fourth SMBC Conference proceeding specifically section on Status of Stakeholders Partnership: The Region 2 Experience by Ms.
Perla A. Visorro.,
70
See fourth SMBC Conference proceeding specifically section on Status of Stakeholders Partnership: The Region 2 Experience by Ms.
Perla A. Visorro.,
71
Cagayan Council for Sierra Madre Biodiversity Conservation (CCSMBC) consisting of the Provincial Governor, CAVAPPED, EWW,
Process and CI as NGO representatives, PENRO, NEDA, DILG, BFAR, DENR, MENROs, Provincial DILG, DTI, DOH and DepEd.


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57

body is headed by the Provincial governor of Cagayan and includes representatives from
relevant regional offices. It remains more active than the other LCUs. Its
accomplishments/outputs include the passing of an environmental code for the Province of
Cagayan. A number of factors may account for the CCSMBCs encouraging performance
relative to other LCUs: active leadership, commitment and involvement of its members,
proximity to the regional center which facilitates communication, coordination and access to
support and information on follow-through activities. In addition to these, it is likely that its
separation from the PCSD contributed to the CCSMBCs relative stability. It is likely that
PCSDs functioning as LCUs suffer from much of the same issues that plague PCSDs,
thereby limiting their effectiveness as a coordinating unit. A clause in the LCU MOUs may
also spell out an inherent limitation of the LCU; i.e. This MOU does not alter or amend any
existing laws or regulations, and it does not create or give any party any authority or right to
try to enforce the document.
72


To some extent, the RGIN also functions as a coordinating body. It brings together the 5
provinces in Region 2, the regional offices of DA, DAR, BFAR, DENR, Center for Health
Development, DPWH, MGB, NEDA, DTI, NEDA, TESDA, Commission on Population,
DepEd, PIA, DOLE, DOST, DILG, Bureau of Local Government Finance, DSWD and NSO
with Conservation International as the sole NGO representative. It is envisioned to be a
venue for promoting development collaboration and coordination through data sharing and
integration and for promoting the utilization of GIS technology in planning, programming and
project monitoring and evaluation.
73
At present, the RGIN is in the process of providing
training to relevant departments at regional and sub-regional levels with CEPF funding. Its
performance relative to the LCUs may also be explained by a variety of reasons, including a
relatively limited focus, mandate/authorization granted by the respective agency heads,
among others. Such factors may be considered in review the LCU s viability.

Thorough assessments of the LCUs and PCSDs are beyond the scope of this report. Such
assessment, however, is called for, considering the fact that the LCU appears to be central
to the strategy of implementing the biodiversity corridor approach and appears to be
envisioned as the institutionalized mechanisms for inter-agency/ inter-sector coordination in
terms of planning, implementing and monitoring resource management work within the
biodiversity corridor. In this review, it would do well to be familiar with literature and
researches on multi-agency coordination. It would also do well to consider literature on
trans-boundary coordination as the biodiversity corridor approach, in the longer run, would
have to face the issue of coordinating actions across PAs or Key biodiversity areas.

72
From the Local Coordinating Units Memorandum of Understanding
73
See RGIN Memorandum of Agreement
77
Region 2 consists of five provinces: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino

58

Section Five: Lessons learned and Challenges Ahead

Secton Fve reterctes the lecrnny ponts n corrdor mcncyement relctve to the
operctonclzcton o] the three pllcrs n conservcton to be consstent wth Cl's stcndcrds.
Postve lessons cre mcrked cccordnyly n summcry tcbles ]or emphcss (wth + syn).
Recommendctons cre presented n the secton.


Details in the corridor management tackled in Section Four are summarized in tables to
show where assumptions, methods, specific techniques, and tools have worked and where
common issues are still faced by corridor units. The tables hopefully will facilitate the
surfacing of important lessons on factors that worked well for corridor management.


I. Strategy formulation phase

Processes In context assessment, strategy framework development, and dIssemInatIon to
obtaIn corrIdorwIde apprecIatIon and support were opportune for establIshIng the
corrIdor. The corrIdor approach Itself Is a new approach beIng popularIzed to emphasIze
the more scIencebased understandIng of envIronment and development lInkages, the
approprIateness of Interagency and multIsectoral Involvements, and a synergy In
research, plannIng, polIcy enhancement, and actIon (Table 4).

Table 4. Experiences in the Corridor Strategy Formulation Phase
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
Context assessment Undertaken within longer
time frame (1998 to 2001)

CI staff mainly, with
consultations involving
experts for biological data

Consultants hired for socio-
economic data following
RACE technique

Consultations with regional
government agencies,
provincial LGUs, academe,
key NGOs
Undertaken within shorter
time frame (mid-2002-2003)

Consultants tapped for data
on species, conservation
status, socio-economic
data, policy issues,
biodiversity threats,
conservation initiatives.

Generated and validated
with broad engagement of
stakeholders from
government at provincial and
selected municipal LGUs,
NGOs, academe, grassroots
Corridor strategy
framework development
Achieved by CI staff, with
data inputs from and
validation by regional
government agencies,
provincial LGUs, academe,
key NGOs
Achieved with broad
engagement of stakeholders
from government at
provincial and selected
municipal LGUs, NGOs,
academe, grassroots
Dissemination Undertaken widely with key
partners (agencies),
popularized at regional and
provincial level of agencies
Undertaken widely with key
agencies, popularized widely
at all levels

59


WhIle the protectIon of fragmented crItIcal sItes can be addressed by a corrIdor approach,
the shortterm goal Is to use PA approach to stabIlIze the base of conservatIon work,
eventually to connect the prIorIty crItIcal sItes for protectIon as a corrIdor, the
dIssemInatIon of corrIdor vIsIon, and buIldIng up a conservatIon constItuency In the
corrIdor through partnershIp where facIlItator and dIrect ImplementatIon roles address
dIfferent targets. To reIterate, S|8C has CP In two Protected Areas (PA) and the
partners In other sectIons of the mountaIn range, whIle Palawan has 1 PA beIng worked on
as the focus (Table 5).

Table 5. Setting Goal and Focus in the Corridor Strategy
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
1. Short-term goal :
o establishment of PAs
o dissemination of
corridor vision
o build conservation
constituency in the
corridor (partnership)

3 items in short term goal
addressed corridor-wide
Establishment or expansion of
protected areas as most
stressed
3 items in short term goal
addressed corridor-wide
Ecosystem/habitat management
as specific goal expressed in
Surublien), articulated
concretely as establishment of
protected area (later developed
as target)
2. Focus in direct
implementation of
conservation actions
CI-P focus on PAs (2), partner
agencies in other PAs/critical
sites
Focus on PA (1)
Formulation/updating
plans : land use,
physical framework

Facilitation at regional level
Direct role in formulation in
selected sites
(Focus in 2 PAs)
Direct role in formulation
Focus on PA (1)
Strengthening of
management plan and
unit/s in focus site/s
Strengthening of resource use
management systems
- capacity building among key
agencies, cooperative LGUs
Capacity building/strengthening
still at level of key agencies
Scope beyond terrestrial
ecosystem
Freshwaters, coastal and marine
zone development and
management. recognized,
planning and actual
implementation still being
addressed
Freshwaters, coastal and marine
zone development and
management. recognized,
planning and actual
implementation still being
addressed

The earlIer sectIon tackled Important lessons In corrIdor establIshment to reItaerate as
follows:

Learning # 1 : Context assessment and strategy formulation can be successfully
achieved in a more compact, shorter time-frame and broad buy-in process. This was
the experience in Palawan.

Learning #2 : Working in a regional scale was a constraint in efficiently achieving
context assessment as close as possible to the more realistic level of provincial-level
decision-making and management. As a result, the buy-in process has been gradual
and had been proceeding in a longer time-frame.


60

Learning #3 : In terms of scale, involvement of regional agencies was deemed less
critical since the whole biodiversity corridor is situated within a single province.
Aside from DENR, no regional agencies were engaged in the strategy formulation.

Learning #4 : Nonetheless, iterative crafting, sustained broad dissemination and
implementation of the corridor strategy best characterize the experience of SMBC
which this document on learning emphasizes as one of the field units major
achievements.

In pursuing context assessment and strategy formulation from two corridors in the
Philippines, what worked best were several aspects in Palawans experience : (i) a shorter
time frame for a more compact plan in generating and validating results; (ii) participation of a
broader base of stakeholders from institutions in governance at all levels, local communities,
academics and other sectors, working with scientists and experts; and (iii) engagement of a
more basic management scale (province) which had greater efficiency from data gathering
for context assessment, to processing and validating the strategy framework. The provincial
scale of context assessment is more appropriately utilized than the regional scale; agencies
are at that level and scale the operational information or baseline data generation as well as
executive units in decision-making and implementation. Palawan is a single province within
one administrative region spanning about 1.4 million hectares, while Sierra Madre has 10
provinces distributed across four regions over 1.8 million hectares of area.

The scale in coordinating with management units did not only have a bearing on the
coverage of corridor-wide context assessment, but even on the appropriate representation
of all provinces and sectors in the entire range of the SMBC as to generate balanced bio-
physical and socio-economic benchmark. The consultations in strategy formulation had
been participated in by scientists and academic experts, development practitioners,
government personnel and elected officials who purportedly represent a wider constituency,
but whose scope of information to share was limited to secondary data and whose decision-
making roles were limited to their immediate units.

SMBCs experience has a richer and longer base of scientific inputs, but it more selectively
entailed engagement of middle- to regional-level partners and stakeholders. Since SMBC is
wider from a management perspective, the approach in context assessment and strategy
formulation had buy-in processes in Cagayan as base and center of corridor-wide actions.
Involvement of other regions/areas are being pursued gradually, as expansion of growing
corridor scope. This was a realistic choice of methods, considering that the corridor has 9
conservation areas in different management systems and 4 regional units overseeing the
politico-administrative units from provincial to village level. How the lower levels of
stakeholders are involved to ensure realistic data usefulness and appropriate
recommendations is maintained by the corridor unit in Sierra Madre in field-site level
implementation rather than planning.

In contrast, Palawan Corridor involved partners and stakeholders across levels throughout
the strategy formulation phase despite limited time frame as part of buy-in process in
conservation throughout the province. Beyond strategy formulation phase, and considering
that Palawan has a smaller ring of political/institutional key players to be influenced and won
over (compared with SMBC), dissemination of the strategy framework and updates about its
status is best sustained as regular activity of the corridor unit.


61

In both corridors, partners among stakeholders are awaiting updates and sustained
involvement. Among stakeholders at the grassroots level, realistic turn-out of conservation
initiatives (as implementation of the corridor framework) are recognized, the interest and
motivation of the people are sustained, even anticipated.

These are results of conservation actions that must not be neglected or less prioritized by
corridor units, as these are basic elements of constituency and partnership building that the
corridor strategy opens up.

The short-term goal in both corridors is recognized as differently expressed by the corridor
units but contains similar elements (Table 5). The use of PA approach to build the corridor
(from fragmented habitats and unconnected critical areas for protection) is seemingly a
decision among partner agencies (and this is being replicated, although through facilitation
rather than direct implementation in Eastern Mindanao). Common objectives and content in
context assessment and strategy formulation are shared by the two corridors.

II. Corridor Strategy implementation Phase

8etween CP unIts and the engagement of partners and other stakeholders, roles In
ImplementatIon as purvIew of corrIdor management have ranged from dIrect
ImplementatIon and facIlItatIon.

The shortterm goal In the corrIdor has been the establIshment of PAs as approach to
stabIlIze the base of conservatIon work, eventually to connect the prIorIty crItIcal sItes for
protectIon as a corrIdor, the dIssemInatIon of corrIdor vIsIon, and buIldIng up a
conservatIon constItuency In the corrIdor through partnershIp where facIlItator and dIrect
ImplementatIon roles address dIfferent targets (summarIzed In Table 5). n SIerra |adre
8IodIversIty CorrIdor wIth CP In two Protected Areas (PA) and Palawan In 1 PA, the focus
In dIrect ImplementatIon Is In craftIng the management plan and capacIty buIldIng of
management unIts. Such focus Is stIll confIned to the terrestrIal ecosystem, although
coastal and marIne ecosystems are Included In the corrIdorwIde vIsIon.

As detaIled In Table 6, dIrect ImplementatIon In the experIence of S|8A and P8C covers
capabIlIty buIldIng of the management unIt, forest enrIchment, lIvelIhood enhancement
startIng wIth traInIng In agroforestry for vegetatIve enrIchment and Income generatIon.
All stages of PA establIshment are beIng handled by the corrIdor unIt.

A. Lessons In StakehoIder Engagement

Several lessons can be reIterated :

Learning #5 : By stressing the recognized role of local organizations as key element
in partnership, this scheme is a strength in CI-Ps approach in corridor management.

Lecrnny # : Considering the breadth of the area to be covered, work using the
Protected Area approach had been apportioned among CI-P and its partners.
Building up collective partnership is a facilitating factor in running corridor
conservation over several management regions.


62

Learning #7: Focused implementation in selected sites has been most successful in
demonstrating multi-stakeholder and public-private collaboration in conservation
actions for critical sites for protection, such as Key Biodiversity Areas and
watersheds.

Learning #8 : As CBC, performance of role as facilitator or implementor was
encouraged by such delineation of lead roles among partners.

Lecrnny #: Pcrtnershp wth N6Ds cnd the yovernment sector cnd enycyement o]
the yrcssroots s beny sustcned cs c bcsc ]ecture n the Pclcwcn corrdor. 0nlke
the ccse o] the SM8C, the opportunty ]or communty consultcton cnd communty
enycyement wcs reclzed even durny the cssessment cnd strcteyy ]ormulcton,
most mcxmzed despte lmted tme cnd ]undny. Ths s stll c chcllenye n
pcrtnershp when there s "tur]ny" ccross cyences cnd sectors.

Lecrnny #10 : 0espte the lecrnny ]rom the SM8C exercse, corrdor mcncyement
n Pclcwcn s beny lmted by the emphcss on the PA cpprocch. ClP's role cs
]ccltctor ]or pcrtners s exercsed n other pcrts o] the corrdor, but ccn stll be
expcnded cs C8C role.

The work that needs to be done in order to establish biodiversity corridors is multi-faceted
and multi-leveled involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders and covering a wide geo-
political sphere. No single organization can undertake the job by itself. As corridor work
moved on to the implementation phase, the nature of CIs partnerships became focused
around specific roles and specific areas of work.

Table 6. Role in Implementation Phase
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
o focus on terrestrial ecosystem
( CBFM)
o expansion in coastal areas as
recent direction
o focus on terrestrial ecosystem
o coastal and marine
ecosystems covered by
parallel unit of CI
Direct implementation :
building up/
strengthening resource
use management
systems/programs


Direct implementation in sites of
focus PAs (selected town in
Cagayan and Quirino) :
PA expansion management
plan preparation in expansion
sites; capability building of
mgmt. unit; forest enrichment;
training in agroforestry for
vegetative enrichment and
livelihood
PA establishment all stages
Direct implementation in site of
focus PA (in Mt. Mantalingahan
spanning several municipalities) :

PA establishment all stages
Facilitation in
- -improvement of
resource management
Undertaken with partners in focus
sites and beyond, but CI-P
implementation is focused on
selected sections of PA
Undertaken with partners in focus
site and beyond, though still in
plan
-- advocacy Undertaken as corridor (region-
wide); stress in focus sites
Undertaken as corridor (province-
wide; stress in focus sites
-- law enforcement Assumed as government agency
role
Partners (government and non-
government) assisted in activities

63


CIP as CBC distinguishes implementation and facilitation. While there are understandably
benefits to show model experiences/impacts that direct implementation can yield, there are
several issues to consider : presence of systematic M&E function, project ID and design,
appropriate selection of contracted resources (trainors, experts), resources and logistics,
role and motivation of partners (partnership terms and relations). These were the domains
tackled in Section III and IV.

There is no monitoring and evaluation that can systematically determine in what concerns
direct implementation is effectively and efficiently achieved, but primary data gathering
revealed that it is in the expansion and/or establishment of protected area where steps are
thoroughly being pursued as required per stage; capability building in management unit is
well appreciated; forest enrichment was undertaken; so was training in agroforestry for
vegetative enrichment and livelihood. Nonetheless, these activities have not been regularly
undertaken (often 1 or 2 session training only) nor programmatically scaled up.

Whether these are the activities that work best, to convince new conservationists, or if
corridor units can sustain the capacity/capability building, are critical. In a PA, for instance,
facilitation of a partner to enhance the economic conditions of communities produced results
that are more evidently experienced and thus easily surfaced by residents in FGDs, but the
results are less effective nor felt in the site of direct implementation by the corridor unit.
Asset-based improvements introduced in conservation and development projects need to be
carefully determined.

Beyond the focus of implementation, facilitation on the premise of partnership is the
recourse. Considering the usually limited scale of NGO operations and their constrains in
terms of resources and mandate finding adequate NGO partners at local level to respond to
the prioritized activities in the corridor strategies remains a challenge. There is a need to
continuously seek out and engage more organizations in biodiversity conservation and link
these organizations to the prospective donors and other partners working within the corridor.
CI had been active in this regard. The SMBC and Palawan units are very active in pursuing
opportunities to engage partners, although somehow as recourse to internal constraints in
resource mobilization in the institution.

The biodiversity conservation strategy provides a framework for such partnership. This
framework helps define NGO engagement and creates greater chances of integrating each
organizations contribution towards greater impact at a corridor level. It provides a rational
way of allocating the work according to the strength and capacities of each organization. By
taking on a monitoring role in relation to its partners, CI is able to ensure that the varied
work of different groups spread out across the corridor, are moving in a common direction
towards a consolidated biodiversity corridor.

CI would also be able to detect the gaps and move towards address these through active
resource generation. This monitoring is currently done through meetings and informal
dialogue with the partners and the donor (CEPF). To some extent, the annual stakeholders
conferences also serve as opportunity for updating on progress towards the consolidated
corridor. The system, however, could be formalized further with partners having an equal
stake in monitoring the corridor activities. This would enhance their sense of ownership of
the overall strategy and improve the chances of sustaining the each stakeholders
commitment to the corridor strategy. The monitoring mechanism could engage partners in
tracking common agreed upon indicators of change and progress.

64


B. CI-Ps Role as Facilitator in the Corridor

The complex meaning of facilitation is detailed in this sections assessment of the corridor
experiences of CIP.

The process of establishing the biodiversity corridor in SMBC began in the late 1990s. The
process was spear-headed mainly by Conservation International Philippines, but it also
necessarily involved key government agencies like the DENR and NEDA as well as Local
Government Units, NGOs, POs, academic institutions and experts. Engaging these groups
in a spirit of partnership began at the assessment phase and gradually evolved to include
partnerships in the strategy development and implementation phases. The model is
replicated in the Palawan and Eastern Mindanao corridors.

As the initiator of the corridor approach, CI-P has necessarily assumed a variety of roles
reduced to facilitation : de facto guardian, catalyst, coordinator, implementation model
positions all necessary to ensure that the corridor strategy is translated in concrete actions
that would yield desired conservation and human well-being results. The implied vision,
however, is to eventually, share these functions and associated responsibilities with the GO,
NGO and PO stakeholders.

The current review highlights some of these functions and reveals many areas where CI
may play a significant role as facilitator-partner.


Since the Sierra Madre Mountain Range cuts across three regions, partnerships had to be
forged at different levels regional, provincial, municipal, and barangay levels.

1. Creating a conservation constituency in the corridor

One of the earliest challenges faced in establishing the biodiversity corridor is convincing
stakeholders that this is an essential and viable approach to biodiversity conservation.
SMBC Program Manager recounts that some of stakeholders deemed the approach
ambitious and impracticable. Others question the need for such a broad approach,
choosing instead to strengthen and bring in resources for existing resource management
systems. Many members of the NGO sector, on the other hand, were more familiar with
community development showing little interest in integrating environmental protection in
their work.

The process of marketing the biodiversity corridor approach hinged on a gradual process of
information dissemination and education campaigns utilizing various fora. Orientation
workshops/ meetings with key stakeholders and potential partners were numerous during
the first years in order to gain stakeholders involvement in the strategy development and
in its subsequent implementation. CIs science-based approach has aided the process of
marketing biodiversity corridors. Factual information has provided strong arguments for
conservation on a corridor scale.

While the involvement of key government agencies, local government units and NGOs has
already been achieved to some extent, there is still a continuing need to promote knowledge
and acceptance of biodiversity conservation. This is because the corridor is broad and the

65

stakeholders are multi-tiered. Orientations at the start of the biodiversity corridor program
have not reached all appropriate audiences. In recent years, attention had been focused on
the southern portion of the corridor. It would do well to systematize the IEC campaign and
partner with organizations in expanding the campaign. Also monitoring and assessment of
campaign results are called for so that CI could better assess its progress towards
stakeholder awareness, acceptance and support for the corridor approach.


2. Building partnerships

There are two modes of project implementation adopted in the corridor. First, CI directly
implements the program/ project and second, CI serves as facilitator, viz, programs/
projects are implemented by partners in the government or non-government sectors. In
either case, programs/ projects are anchored in existing PA/community management plans
and ultimately, the corridor strategy. For programs/projects managed by partners, CI
frequently performs a facilitating function.

The sphere of work within which CI and its partners operate is undoubtedly complex and
challenging. A program officer admits that one of the biggest challenges is to convince
stakeholders that implementation of a corridor-wide approach is viable. Skepticism, lack of
incentives/motivations to take action, weaknesses in the institutional mechanisms for
program/project implementation and resource protection/management are but some of the
issues faced on field.

It is apparent that in the process of program/project implementation CI and its partners have
evolved some workable strategies to address issues faced in the field. These include: a)
maximizing/ seeking out windows of opportunity among receptive potential partners b)
starting small and building on demonstrable results to encourage broader participation c)
mixing livelihood and engaging communities in forest protection.

Forging working relationships with government agencies, non-government organizations,
external experts and grassroots organizations is a critical part of the strategy formulation
and its subsequent implementation. One of the foremost functions of such partnerships is to
facilitate access to information needed in the assessment of the biodiversity corridor.
Government agencies and local government units function as repositories of geographic,
resources, social, economic data that are crucial in understanding the areas. Policies,
existing land use systems, and land/resource use and development plans prepared and
implemented by these agencies and government units also define the context within which
the biodiversity conservation corridor would be established. As such data sharing was one
of the starting points of the partnerships that were formed.

The scope of these partnerships, however, expanded as work in corridor establishment
grew. During the strategy formulation, government agencies, academic institutions, non-
government organizations were drawn in for the consultation process. Since the Sierra
Madre Mountain Range cuts across three regions, partnerships had to be forged at different
levels regional, provincial, municipal, and barangay levels. Involvement of regional
agencies, particularly those in Region 2
77
was crucial in the groundwork activities and in
integrating the overall strategy for the Region.

Identifying and linking up with partners in SMBC was to a large extent contingent on
delineation of the boundary of the biodiversity conservation corridor. At the early stages of

66

strategy formulation, the southern boundary was not as clearly defined as the northern
boundary. Hence, partnerships in the Northern area, particularly in Region 2, were
established earlier than in the southern regions. Also, regional-level partnerships in Regions
3
78
and 4
79
may not have been strongly pursued since only portions of these regions are
found in within the SMBC. In these two regions, partnerships were initially forged mainly
with those provinces and municipalities that lie within the corridor although the regional
involvement of DENR was deemed necessary.

Three points are worth noting with regard to the partners involved in the consultation
process. First, there was minimal engagement of agencies involved in social service
delivery. Their participation came to fore when the Baggao project on population and
environment began. Relationships with such agencies need to be strengthened as CI
strengthens the integration of human well-being in its work. Second, the involvement of
NGOs and GOs in fisheries and marine resources was also not strongly felt. This gap is
currently being addressed starting with the assessment of marine resources. Third, in the
same way, the involvement of local government units and peoples organizations was
limited. During the early stages of strategy formulation, much of the efforts at partnership
development were focused at the regional and provincial levels. Reaching the grassroots is
particularly important since corridor area is wide; while a focus area is important in order to
demonstrate success, gain lessons and experiences and serve as spring board for
expansion, there is the danger that some areas would be left behind. Also, since community
participation/consultation had been limited and uneven during the strategy formulation
stage, there is now a need to promote the corridor strategy among the primary stakeholders
and their leaders in order to ensure greater involvement when specific intervention activities
are in place.

Activities that strengthen grassroots engagement are part of project implementation.
However, given resources restrictions, CI focused grassroots work in Cagayan and Quirino
provinces, delegating grassroots work in other areas to NGO partners, mostly through
grants provided by CEPF.

NGO involvement in the assessment and strategy formulation phases maximized the
strengths of NGOs in facilitation and community consultations. In the Sierra Madre area,
Cagayan Valley Partners in People Development (CAVAPPED) proved to be a useful
partner in the conduct of orientation and consultation workshops. Other NGOs were called
upon to share experiences in natural resource management in their respective areas during
the annual stakeholders conferences which also served as venue for discussions on the
corridor strategy. Lessons gained by these agencies were thereby considered in the final
form of the SMBC strategy.

Relationships with most of the organizations that took part in the strategy development
stage were informal based on common interests. Formal arrangements with selected
organizations were in deemed necessary in some cases where specific or long term
engagements are involved. In these cases, memorandums of agreement were formed.

78
Region 3, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales
79 Batangas, Cavite Laguna, Quezon and Rizal

67


3. Marketing the corridor strategy to donors/ in mobilizing resources

Ensuring investments in the corridor to support the implementation of the corridor strategy
poses great challenges. CI has taken on an active role in developing proposals based on
the identified projects/activities in the strategy. CI encourages its partners to seek funding
for corridor-related projects. In addition, CI links local partners with prospective donors,
sometimes actively seeking out the partners that can adequately work on specific projects
for which it has generated funding. In recent year, CI is moving towards training partners
on proposal development. This is essential as CI devolves some of its guardianship roles to
its partners.

The close working relationship between CI and CEPF works to the advantage of strategy
implementation. CEPF has supported numerous strategy-related projects. CEPF, however,
is not the only donor interested in the SMBC. The strategy also needs to be communicated/
promoted to these potential donors whether or not they would eventually work with
Conservation International and/or its partners to ensure that the projects they support would
complete, support or at least not ran counter to the principle behind the biodiversity
conservation approach.

Also, as part of its role in mobilizing resources, CI works to influence and strengthen
institutional mechanisms that could ensure sustainable financing for biodiversity corridor
strategy-related activities. These include tapping into 20% allocation from the internal
revenue allotment of local government units, accessing resources from the Integrated
Protected Area Funds (IPAF), ensuring the appropriate use of water district funds allocated
for forest development and facilitating the formation of foundations that would generate
finances for resource management projects.


4. Providing technical support, capacity building and
strengthening partners motivation

One of the strongest elements in CIs work is its expertise in the areas of biodiversity
conservation, mapping, resource economics, environmental policies, and the like. This
expertise renders credibility to the organizations recommendations and actions. Hence,
one of CIs most common role in the corridor is to provide such technical assistance to its
partners. In recent years, CI had been moving towards equipping its partners with the skills
needed to effectively implement biodiversity corridor projects. Some of those skills are
technical in nature. Most of the skills needed at field level, however, pertain to project
development and project management - planning, resource generation, proposal
development, monitoring, community organizing, policy making, advocacy, among others.
These perhaps are areas where CI needs to build its own capacity in order to able to
provide adequate support to its partners.

Also, as mentioned in earlier sections, CIs capacity-building function could well be guided
by an assessment of the capacity needs of its partners. The TNA would help systematize a
training program, leading perhaps to formation of pools of local trainers who may be able to
broaden the reach of capacity building activities and institutionalize capacity building efforts.
Motivating its partners is perhaps on of the most subtle roles that CI plays in the corridor.
Some of CIs partners have said that to some extent, CIs presence in the area serves as an

68

impetus for agencies to undertake biodiversity conservation. While these agencies may
have official mandates to work on biodiversity conservation concerns, CI provides some
boost toward the achievement if their mandates by providing technical assistance, resources
and venues for discussions and concrete actions. Some partners also cite how CIs
hardworking and dedicated staff and CIs support encourage them to work harder.

5. Facilitating learning, scaling up and institutionalization
Inasmuch as the biodiversity conservation corridor has just been recently adapted by CI-
Philippines, there is a need to learn from experience and to document these learning fro
purposes of enhancing future work. To some extent, CI does this internally through its
annual planning and quarterly meetings. During these meetings, CI staff assess their
progress towards accomplishment of their respective assignments and make adjustments in
implementation as necessary. Learning is imbedded in the process. In the same way,
periodic meetings with partners allows for assessment of progress and re-alignment of
activities based on the issues encountered on field. Generating lessons, however, could be
done and documented more deliberately. As it stands, much of the lessons gained over the
passed years have contributed to modifications in strategies. They, however, have
remained undocumented.
Documented lessons would aid in scaling up. At present, CIs strategy is to implement
projects in small areas and gradually build up from there. Scaling up can be done a gradual
manner, adapting the elements that have worked and re-aligning the strategies that had
been less effective.
Finally, CI has also taken a strong role in institutionalizing biodiversity conservation through
the corridor approach. It has taken advantage of existing policies, systems and procedures
in advancing the corridor approach. The NIPAS law, the local government code, land use
planning, among others, provide the biodiversity conservation corridor strategy with a legal
and institutional framework that would help ensure its adoption.

The difficulty, however, lies in the weaknesses of these institutional mechanisms, systems
and procedures. A case in point is the planning process at the barangay level. While the
local government code clearly outlines how this is to be done, the reality is far from ideal.
The systems need to be reinforced through capacity building in order for these to function
effectively in support of resource management and biodiversity conservation.

69


C. Operationalizing Science, Partnership and Human Well-being

The corridor approach is weighty in opportunities for conservation guided by CIs 3 pillars :
scIencebased method and technIcal expertIse, human wellbeIng and partnershIp. ts
operatIonalIzatIon relatIve to knowledge management Is summarIzed In Table 7.


Table 7. Knowledge management in links of ecosystem services,
human well-being, and conservation
Aspects in corridor
approach
SMBC experience PBC experience
Knowledge management
accdg. to CI standard :
Science-based method
Technical expertise
Iterative learning
across levels
Data/information
generation sustained
to scale up, update
Proceeding as CI-P standard,
with conservation awareness
raising and advocacy to
stakeholders
Proceeding as CI-P standard,
with information, education and
communication (advocacy) to
stakeholders
Recent, focus in city for
watershed management through
sustainable financing but project
components and stakeholders
expanding to PA
Proceeding through partners
(REECS, Danum ti umili)

Recent, in research phase
involving consultants
Link to ecosystem
services
Carbon sequestration through
reforestation


None yet
Direct implementation in
population and environment
integration in another
municipality in Cagayan
(Baggao)
Through partners, recent activity
Agroforestry training and
assistance in focus barangays in
PA, other sites under partner
NGOs (1 partner facilitated,
other partners in independent
programs)
Community development
Targetted in focus PA
Through facilitation of partner
NGOs, LGUs, POs, business
sector

Human well-being link
Scope in livelihood
enhancement still confined to
agro-foresty in focus site
None yet


70


Several lessons In knowledge management wIthIn the corrIdor need to be hIghlIghted:

Learning #11 : Science and technical expertise has been most successful as CI-Ps
role in the conservation corridor, which all stakeholders across scales at all levels
recognized. Conservation-guided mapping, information system and spatial analysis
are most requested even beyond the current corridors, with much welcome
assistance in pursuing the inter-agency physical, structural and management
planning exercises of the government.

Learning #12 : Planning, coordinating and facilitation techniques in the context of
politically-informed and bureaucratic set up of governance at the local level were
facilitated by a number of factors that CI-P evolved in the two corridors : (i) broad
representation in transparent consensus-forming venues, (ii) key leadership of well-
accepted local agencies with track record in multi-sectoral processes, (iii) proximity
to the regional center which facilitates communication, coordination and access to
support and information on follow-through activities.

Learning #13: Capacity building in conservation action is being sustained in (i)
institutional structures across various levels of governance; (ii) strengthening through
ensuring adequate human resources for appropriate tasks in conservation
management, (iii) enforcement of forest regulations; (iv) skills improvement in
project management.

Learning #14 : Inputs from experts in resource assessment (RACE and annual
stakeholder conferences) have been available but not maximized in planning and
strategy formulation to emphasize and build up the strategy from results linking
social factors and natural resources (i.e., economic trends and conservation issues).

Learning #15: Systematically planned and periodic training needs assessment has to
be pursued among the next steps..

Learning #16 : Conservation science in SMBC has yet to be strengthened to reach
connectivity of KBAs/protected areas, link settlement management with ecosystem
services, and lead in/be responsive to challenges in climate change. Climate change
initiatives are still a new direction in corridor work, which undoubtedly is among the
bigger next steps of CI-P that is leading in the terrestrial ecosystem.



Iterative but science-based knowledge management is profusely integrated in planning and
executing activities in both corridors. At the institutional level, SMBC experience in
terrestrial ecosystems serves as take-off point and model of other units in replicating the
corridor strategy in Palawan and Eastern Mindanao, but these more recent corridors are
also scaling up the corridor experience by connecting the terrestrial and marine programs,
involving partner agencies (government, non-governmental organizations, academic
institutions, local experts and human resources) in corridor establishment and
strengthening.

In engaging institutional mechanisms, the corridor strategy serves as guide to the
implementation of priority conservation-related activities. It also provides a framework for

71

allocating resources and delegating NGO and GO engagements according to their
respective capacities while increasing chances of integrating each organizations
contribution towards greater impact at a corridor level towards a consolidated biodiversity
corridor. Among different partners and stakeholders down to the grassroots level, working
and connecting corridor-wide provides ample room to enhance cross-learning, with the CI
now in a position to play an active role across corridors.

Since the corridors have broad coverage and the work is multi-faceted and multi-tiered, no
single organization could adequately handle all elements of work involved in establishing the
biodiversity corridor. Implementation of the components of the strategy is allocated among
CI and its partners. CI has assumed de facto role as guardian of the biodiversity
conservation approach because of its role in introducing the approach and spear-heading
the establishment of the corridors. Species-related data from biological surveys and specific
species conservation action plans are the most important achievements of CIP that serve as
basis of conservation action throughout the corridors. Corridor and site-specific
management of conservation actions is a recognized critical role of CI. The implied vision,
however, is to share this guardianship role with stakeholders in government, non-
government sector and civil society. As such, it is perhaps safe to postulate that one
measure of success in establishing the biodiversity corridor is the extent to which various
government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations and peoples
organization assume the responsibility of promoting and implementing the biodiversity
corridor strategy. This entails their strong sense of ownership and commitment to the
strategy. Therefore, apart from its role in direct implementation at field level, much of the
role that CI plays are actions leading to broad-based and institutionalized ownership of the
strategy. These functions include:

a) marketing the biodiversity corridor approach and strategy to NGOs, GOs, POs and
civil society
b) marketing the biodiversity strategy to donors and ensuring sustainable financing for
the implementation of project in the corridors
c) coordinating project implementation and establish good working relationships among
partners
d) contributing to building capacities for partners to effectively undertake biodiversity
conservation.
e) facilitating learning and cross-learning among partners in order to contribute to
effective scaling-up of corridor programs and projects.
f) strengthening the institutional mechanisms within which the biodiversity corridor
strategy can effectively operate
g) facilitating the setting of direction and ensuring that action would lead to the
consolidated biodiversity corridor.

However, CI-P while providing technical and facilitation support to its partners needs to beef
up its capacity and credibility in implementing biodiversity conservation to influence the
direction and consolidation of gains at the corridor scale. Lessons in scaling up and
institutionalization are important to strengthen adaptive management in the corridor,
summarized as follows :

Learning #17 : As a major accomplishment in SMBC, the establishment of the
agency for volunteer funds is a unique model in public-private enterprise. The
corridor unit has yet to review how to scale up and institutionalize the experiment to
maintain it as a sustainable financing scheme.

72


Learning # 18 : As big constraint in conservation, poverty reduction and eco-
governance require long-term investment beyond the term of administrative (political)
office of leaders, regardless of level or scale of governance. Resource mobilization
still has to be beefed up throughout the corridor.

Learning # 19 : Appropriate use of technical and scientific expertise has to be
strengthened and expanded throughout the corridor among partners and
stakeholders.

Learning # 20: Enabling actions in conservation (training, IEC, environmental
education, livelihood enhancement) has worked well in focus sites (PPLS, QPL and
Baggao) to complement the investment of other agencies in human well-being
aspects, but these need to be sustained and expanded throughout the corridor.



For instance, knowledge management in the link between conservation and ecosystem
services, can be initiated by facilitated partners, but the initiatives in research, planning, and
start-up projects must be on a coordinated, complementation and information sharing
principle in partnership especially if the project components are happening in the focus KBA.
Connecting sub-watersheds, communities, institutions (LGUs), and the business sector
cannot be an expectation simply from partners.

Knowledge management in the operationalization of CIs pillars in conservation is also best
handled well in linking conservation and human well-being. Being broad in what it means,
human well-being includes basic material needs for a good life, freedom of choice and
action, health, good social relations, and security. Investments of the conservation sector in
human well-being have yet to be concretely established.

Similarly, as reflection of how the corridor units are operationalizing science-in knowledge
management, the role of CI as CBC and of the SMBC unit as facilitator in the corridor has
yet to be felt beyond Region 2. The unit in Palawan also has yet to implement fully its
operational plan to execute the corridor strategy. Connecting the marine and terrestrial
programs to achieve Palawan-wide planning, coordination, sharing and complementation is
recently being persistently pursued by CI-P units.

In this regard, CI needs to deliberately reflect on its experiences in order to generate and
document lessons that would help enhance its work. Period evaluation would also come in
handy in order to have a collective view of progress towards the consolidated biodiversity
corridor.

The dimensions of this function are varied and often subtle in character. It appears that the
function encompasses brokering, monitoring, evaluation, supervision, capacity building,
motivating, coordination, among others. It would do well for CI to clearly articulate its roles
vis--vis its partners in order to deliberately address the partners needs in program/project
implementation and in order for CI to deliberately assess progress in its facilitation role




73

List of References
Cagayan Valley Regional Framework Plan (2001-2030)

Conserving Earths Living Heritage: A Proposed Framework for Designing Biodiversity Conservation
Strategies in page 29.October 6, 2006
Counterpart International brochure, 2006.
Executive Order No. 11, Series of 2003. The Province of Cagayan.
Final Report on Provincial Stakeholders Orientation/Consultation. PCED Hostel, UP Diliman, Quezon
City, July 25, 2001
Fourth SMBC Conference Proceeding
FY00 Annual Progress Report on USAID Biodiversity Corridor Planning and Implementation
Program, January 15,2001
http://www.bayanihan.org/html/article.php/20021212072032207, September 26, 2006
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/news/in_focus/2004/Pride_Campaigns/Pride_Philippines_dirain.xml,
October 12, 2006.
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/recent_grants/grantsbyregion.xml?region=The+Philippines&year=2004.
September 27, 2006.
http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/recent_grants/grantsbyregion.xml?region=The+Philippines&year=2005.
October 11, 2006
http://www.nrdb.co.uk
http://www.palawan.com/articles.php?article_id=40 (accessed September 6, 2006)
http://www.pcsd.ph/about_pcsd/council/functions.htm (accessed September 6, 2006)
http://www.pcsd.ph/resolutions/sep/res00-164.htm, October 2, 2006
Local Coordinating Units Memorandum of Understanding
Mar Viernes report, 5
th
SMBC Stakeholders Conference, September 13-15, 2006, Tanay, Rizal
Mariano Roy M. Duya, Peablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape Project Updates. Powerpoint
presentation presented during the 2005 SMBC Annual Meeting.
Proceedings of the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor 2
nd
Annual Stakeholders Conference, Baguio
City, October 8-10, 2003
Proceedings of the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Program Stakeholders Annual Meeting, Baguio City,
September 26-27, 2002
RGIN Memorandum of Agreement
Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor Design and Implementation Framework. 2004

74

Surublien: Strategies for Conserving Palawans Biodiversity, 2004
Victoria Bautista and Lilibeth J. Juan. Palawan: The First to Implement the CBMS, unpublished
manuscript.