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 Mangrove rehabilitation in the Philippines

Three management schemes were applied to mangrove forests in five municipalities in Lingayen Gulf. The schemes were successful in improving the mangrove forest conditions but encountered setbacks due to financial limitations and minimal community participation.

Researchers in the Philippines evaluated the mangrove rehabilitation strategies and management schemes in five municipalities in Lingayen Gulf (Bolinao, Anda, Bani, Alaminos and San Fernando). Mangrove planting appears to be the first and only option used in the area, ignoring other recommended management strategies, e.g. conservation, landscaping, and sustainable production. All planting sites were located in coastal fringes and are mostly monospeficic stands of the species Rhizophora mucronata. The planted mangroves were constrained by low seedling survival and stunted growth, probably caused by poor species-substrate matching, mono-species planting and pest infestations.

Three management schemes were noted: community-managed (Bolinao and Anda), local government unit (LGU)-managed (Alaminos and San Fernando), and co-managed between the LGU and the community (Bani). The community-managed mangrove areas have the benefits of voluntary efforts from community-based organizations in conducting daily management activities but were constrained with budgetary and logistical concerns. In contrast, both LGU-managed and co-managed areas received institutional and logistical supports from their respective municipal governments, but lacking community participation made mangrove management difficult.

Almost two decades of mangrove management indeed helped improved the mangrove forest condition, at least in terms of forest structure. These projects demonstrated some level of success but also encountered several setbacks.

Several lessons can be derived from these areas that can help improve the mangrove rehabilitation and management approaches in Lingayen Gulf. Among the recommendations are: (1) provide ordinance enacting the remaining natural secondary growth mangroves as marine protected areas, (2) promote planting in former mangrove areas by reverting abandoned, idled and unproductive aquaculture ponds to mangroves; (3) improve management schemes by formulating resource management plan, institutionalising annual budget allocation, enhancing community participation, and enhancing tenurial instrument; and (4) incorporate periodic project evaluation.

Title of paper: Evaluation of Rehabilitation Strategies and Management Schemes for the Improvement of Mangrove Management Programs in Lingayen Gulf

Authors: Severino G. Salmo III (* a), Dante D. Torio (a) and Janalezza Morvenna A. Esteban (b)

* The Marine Science Institute, College of Science
University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101 Quezon City

a - U.P. Marine Science Institute – Bolinao Marine Laboratory
Guiguiwanen, Luciente I 2406 Bolinao, Pangasinan

b – Candidate, Master of Arts in Development Policy
De La Salle University Manila 2401 Taft Avenue, 1004, Manila


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Keywords associated to this article: Mangrove, planting, rehabilitation, management, community participation, tenurial instrument
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