This article was originally published on Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES).
“Laguna de Bay and Southern Palawan are two vastly different ecosystems in the Philippines. Laguna de Bay (also known as Laguna Lake) is the country’s largest inland water body and provides water to the capital city of Manila and other surrounding cities, irrigates approximately 103,000 hectares of agricultural land, and supports the livelihood of an estimated 14,000 fishermen. Southern Palawan, an island in the southwest of the Philippines, is rich in forests, minerals, marine life and bio-diversity.
But both ecosystems have one thing in common: they are threatened by ongoing human activities that could undermine the many ecosystem services that communities rely on. Efforts in Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) aim to inform the sustainable management of both of these environments.
Laguna de Bay is under pressure from the effects of rapid urbanization, such as unplanned urban sprawl and deforestation compounded by a growing population. An upcoming Technical Report outlines the impact of these factors on water quality, erosion/sedimentation, flood mitigation, and fish production. The data from the report will help the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) – the government agency charged with the overall management of the lake – to better carry out its objectives.
“We will not have an economy without the ecology. It is always challenging to balance the demands of economic development with the protection and conservation of the environment. Ecosystem accounts helps provide a scientific basis for achieving that,” said LLDA Chief Neric Acosta…”