LETTER TO STAKEHOLDERS
Letter to Stakeholders -- LLDA
It’s been more than a year since the first series of stakeholder consultations were held to discuss the exciting opportunities that lay ahead with the use of Natural Capital Accounting and the launch of the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Global Partnership Program in the Philippines.
We have made much progress since then and we are pleased to inform you about the major project milestones in the areas of training and capacity building, data collection and inter-agency information sharing.
Ecosystem Accounting Training and Capacity Building
Though the LLDA has had previous experience in modelling water flows and sediment loads in the Laguna Lake Region, Ecosystem Accounting is a relatively new concept for us as a Team.
Thus, after the initial stakeholder consultations, much of 2014 was devoted to the capacity building of the Technical Working Group (TWG) members through a series of trainings initiated by the World Bank and led by local and international experts from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and the University of the Philippines.
These trainings allowed us to re-visit concepts and clarify questions regarding the processes involved in ecosystem valuation and environmental accounting. Most importantly, it allowed us to create a basic analytical framework that can be used as a guide in developing the accounts and orient ourselves on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA) principles, the central framework adopted as the international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting.
One of the data gaps identified are the differences in survey methodologies, tools and parameters among related data collection agencies like the Bureau of Fishers and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). To address this, we held a workshop on the Standardization of Survey Methodologies for Fishery Production and Operation last June.
As a follow up intiative, after the September 2014 World Bank Mission, it was agreed that a survey on fish production be conducted by LLDA. In 2016, this survey will be turned over to the Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
For the Phil-WAVES Project, the LLDA TWG will develop accounts that will cover ecosystem condition, production and assets. Additionally, water and land accounts will be developed to study the key services provided by the lake such as flood retention and fishery production.
In detail, the accounts to be produced by the LLDA TWG include:
The ecosystem condition data will include water quality, water discharges, water abstraction (for irrigation, drinking water production and hydropower), pollution load, bathymetry and geohazards.
Ecosystem production accounts indicating flow of ecosystem services will be developed to include water supply, flood regulation, sediment retention, soil erosion avoided, and fishery production. Data on fishery production and ecosystem services pressure such as population, roads, infrastructures, and settlements will also be included in the compilation.
A Land Account indicating land cover and changes has been partly developed. A water account will be developed in early 2015.Internal data from LLDA such as water quality and industry locations were integrated into the land cover maps.
In addition to the data collection and analysis done by LLDA, Professor Agustin Arcenas of the University of the Philippines will also lead the development of a study to inform the process of determining water pricing. We plan to compile this rich collection of data compiled in matrices and integrate it into maps whenever possible to help us formulate decisions on key policy issues such as water pricing for drinking water supply and power supply as well as the priority use for the lake.
We will determine if additional terrestrial services such as crop production, timber production, recreation will be included in the next phase.
Other milestones and moving forward
The LLDA is committed to continuously engaging with all our stakeholders across the different sectors. We have been working closely with our inter-agency partners to build on each other’s knowledge through information sharing and continue to engage with special interest groups/stakeholders.
- The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has been providing additional technical supervision to guide us in our data collection and analysis and ensure that all government agencies involved in Phil-WAVES (LLDA, DENR, among others) use the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) Principles.
- The LLDA has also been working closely with the NAMRIA to ensure that the land cover units of accounts are consistent with NAMRIA classification. The LLDA TWG was already able to produce land cover maps per sub-basin and per municipality using land cover data from NAMRIA.
- The draft of the Indigenous Peoples Plan which outlines the continuous engagement of the IP community was already reviewed by the World Bank and is currently being reviewed by the LLDA. Certificates of Non-Overlap (CNO) were issued by the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), verifying that there is no overlapping of the PhilWAVES Case Study area with any Ancestral Domain/ Land of Indigenous Cultural Communities/ Indigenous Peoples. The first CNO was issued on March 4, 2014 for the areas where there are no IPs, such as, the whole province of Laguna; Malvar, Sto. Tomas and Tanauan in Batangas; Carmona, GMA, Silang and Tagaytay City in Cavite; Lucban in Quezon; Angono, Baras, binangonan, Cainta, Cardona, Jala-jala and Pililla in Rizal; and Metro Manila. The second CNO was issued on August 29, 2014 for the towns of Tanay, Morong, Teresa, Taytay, San Mateo, Rodriguez and Antipolo City, all in the Province of Rizal.
Currently, we are working on the Technical Reports for the priority accounts and preparation of Sediment Loading for each of the 24 sub-basins. Overall, we are confident to report that institutionalization of NCA is underway.The Phil-WAVES TWGs and all key agencies, including PSA and NAMRIA, are closely coordinating the development we have made in each of our accounts through regular harmonization meetings. The Teams are also in the process of discussing the various ways we can make the Phil-WAVES data available and accessible to all our stakeholders.
The LLDA and the Phil-WAVES Team will continue to update you about project milestones and upcoming events and look forward to meeting with all of you again when we hold another set of stakeholder consultations in 2015.
J.R. NEREUS O. ACOSTA, Ph. D
Secretary/ Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection
General Manager, LLDA