Environmental Impact of Coastal Community Activities on the Mangrove Ecology of SANPASADA

Code:    04-033
Date:    06/01/2004 - 05/31/2005

The project was a research study jointly undertaken by the academe (University of the Philippines in Mindanao, University of Mindanao, University of Immaculate Concepcion, and University of Southeastern Philippines-Davao City) and the local government units of SANPASADA (Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, Panabo City, Island Garden City of Samal, and Davao City).

The research aimed to assess the impact of coastal community activities on the status of mangroves in the SANPASADA area in aid of policy and program intervention. In doing so, the study highlighted the inter-relationships between population and development variables as these affect a particular environmental issue.

Results of the study show that more than half of the households of SANPASADA communities living in mangrove areas depend on fishing for livelihood.  But fishing is done farther out from shore reflecting the diminished quality of mangroves as breeding grounds of fish.  Conversion of mangrove areas into fishponds and roads, and use of mangrove trees for house construction and charcoal making deforested the mangroves.  Majority of residents settled in mangrove areas because these remained as open access areas despite the existence of laws, which are hardly enforced.

Recommended are: (1) a comprehensive mangrove management plan for SANPASADA to enable each Local Government Unit (LGU) to be a co-manager of their common resources; (2) provision of alternative land-based livelihood programs to reduce stress on coastal resources; (3) environmental education of the local population; (4) more productive collaboration and open communication among LGUs and key stakeholders in mangrove areas; and (5) integration of cost-benefit analysis in the programs of local government to better manage population vis-a-vis economic development.