Of Ecology, Coffee Entrepreneurs, and Biodiversity: PCAARRD Steps Up Scientific Response
WATERSHEDS provide water resources used for domestic, agricultural, and industrial
purposes. They also help sustain biodiversity in an ecosystem. When properly monitored, watersheds greatly help in species conservation and could serve as a guide in making efficient development plans.
To assess the status of watersheds in Central Luzon, researchers from the Central
Luzon State University (CLSU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystems Research and Development Service (DENR-ERDS) Region III collaborated and developed an Ecological Information System (EIS).
The EIS was developed to collect and store information on the key environmental variables and other hydrological processes of watersheds in Central Luzon, which include Carranglan River watershed in Nueva Ecija; Baler River watershed in Baler, Aurora; Dibut River watershed in San Luis, Aurora; and Abucay/Samal sub-watershed in Bataan.
Maps were used to visualize the data gathered by the team. These data were generated using a geographical information system (GIS) and are linked to the EIS database. Among those included in the EIS are flood hazard maps, soil erosion intensity maps, vulnerability to forest/grass fire map, development projects, and current biodiversity condition of the areas involved in the program.
The community surrounding the watersheds will benefit from the system as experts can now make wiser decisions using the data generated from the project sites. Local government units (LGUs) will also be able to rely on these information in terms of policy formulation.
The system was developed under the program, Community-based Watershed Monitoring System for Biodiversity Conservation. The said program is under the Integrated Research and Development Program on Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation of Selected Forest Ecosystems in Central Luzon and is funded by the Department of Science and Technology — Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).
PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director Edwin C. Villar. (Photo: PCAARRD)
This will be one of the technologies that will be featured by DOST-PCAARRD during the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) that will be held on July 17-21, 2019 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. To register and to know more about the event, go to their website at http://nstw.dost.gov.ph.
Inspiring Aspiring Coffee Entrepreneurs in Kalinga
TWO entrepreneurs shared their success stories in the coffee business during the second day of the Yookah Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) organized by the Cordillera Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development (CorCAARRD).
Held at the Kalinga State University in Tabuk City, Kalinga, the FIESTA was attended by farmers and aspiring farmers in the province.
Camilo Degay, owner of the Magallaya Mountain Specialty Coffee, started his business by buying and selling coffee from other coffee farmers. He also shared that he sold low class coffee before.
Camilo Degay, operator of Magallaya Mountain Specialty Coffee. (Photo: PCAARRD)
According to Degay, trainings and seminars conducted by various government agencies helped him improve his business. After being equipped with knowledge, he began selling high class coffee.
Degay is also a beneficiary of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). He mentioned that he was able to purchase his coffee processing equipment through the program.
In order to improve the packaging of his products, Degay received packaging assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Aside from providing the best quality of products, Degay said that it is also important to develop good relationship with clients in order to improve his business. Through his business, he was able to contribute in the economy of Kalinga as well as the livelihood of those he employs.
Virginia Sacki, owner of Cafe de Kalinga, also shared her success story during the program.
According to Sacki, she used to supply coffee to Nestle, one of the biggest company involved in health and wellness. She added that serving quality coffee is important in being a coffee supplier of Nestle.
With the hope of increasing her capital, she worked overseas as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in 2003 to 2009. She stated that she went back to the Philippines to pursue her coffee business.
Sacki is also a beneficiary of the SETUP program of DOST. She expressed her gratitude to DOST and other government agencies for their assistance in improving her business.
Planting fruits and vegetables, according to Sacki, would also help her acquire additional income aside from her coffee business.
To encourage the participants to engage in coffee business, Sacki claimed that there is money in agriculture.
Owner of Cafe de Kalinga Virginia Sacki. (Photo: PCAARRD)
CorCAARRD’s Yookah FIESTA is a two-day activity which aims to showcase R&D gains on native pig and robusta coffee.
FIESTA is a technology promotion, transfer, and commercialization platform initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). CorCAARRD is one of the 16 R&D Consortia of the Council.
Cebu’s KBAs: Assessed Using Permanent Biodiversity Monitoring System
DIFFERENT regions in the Philippines have sites that are called Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).
These KBAs, according to BirdLife International, are sites that are considered globally significant to conserve biodiversity.
In Central Visayas (Region VII), Cebu has various KBAs.
To ensure sustainability of these KBAs, Cebu Technological University (CTU) Argao started a three-year project titled, Flora and Fauna Assessment Using Permanent Biodiversity Monitoring System (PBMS) in Cebu Island KBAs in January 2018 and will conclude in December 2020.
The KBAs to be monitored are Mt. Kangbulagsing and Lanaya, Mt. Lantoy, and Mt. Kapayas.
3,268 individuals, 63 bird species, and 33 families
With the use of PBMS, diverse flora and fauna species will be assessed and monitored. The generated data will be stored in a database managed by CTU. This will help the local government of Cebu, as well as the public, to properly manage the protected areas and promote biodiversity conservation.
Led by Dr. Archiebald Baltazar B. Malaki, the goal of the project is to create a more effective and localized biodiversity monitoring and natural resource management system in the Island of Cebu, sustainably managed by the local stakeholders backed-up by collectively agreed management policies and guidelines.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through its Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program, granted CTU Argao with Php17 million budget to proceed with the said project.
The NICER program is under the Science for Change (S4C) program of DOST, specifically the Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness. It aims to capacitate Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) such as CTU by handling quality research to achieve regional development. The project is also closely monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the DOST (DOST-PCAARRD).
According to Dr. Malaki, the establishment of PBMS is necessary for “planning, project formulation, budget allocation, identification of research needs and directing management intervention programs for municipalities containing the KBAs in Cebu province.”
As of October 2018, a total of 3,268 individuals, 63 bird species, and 33 families were documented in all four sampling sites or KBAs.
The project will be one of the technologies that will be featured by DOST-PCAARRD during the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on July 17-21, 2019 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. (PCAARRD S&T Media Services)