2nd State of the Mangroves Summit: Southern Luzon

Participants of the 2nd Mangrove Summit coming from the academe, government and NGOs
Participants of the 2nd Mangrove Summit coming from the academe, government and NGOs

The 2nd State of the Mangroves Summit was held at the Faber Hall of Ateneo de Manila University on October 1-2, 2015. This event was part of a series of Mangrove Summits that focus on the state of mangroves, and mangrove management all around the Philippines. The 2-day summit was hosted by Ms. Abigail Favis, a faculty of Ateneo’s Environmental Science Department and Campus Sustainability Program Manager of Ateneo’s Institute of Sustainability. A total of 48 participants attended the summit. The participants came from the academe, national and local government agencies, and environmental NGOs.

The summit was opened by welcoming remarks from Ateneo de Manila University’s Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, Dr. Evangeline Bautista, and Country Executive Director of Conservation International—Philippines, Mr. Ricky Nuñez. It was then followed by an introduction and overview of the Mangrove Summit by Project Leader Dr. Severino Salmo, III. Next, Dr. Miguel Fortes, a retired faculty of the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute, presented the state of mangrove research and management in the Philippines.

Project Leader Dr. Salmo presents a token of appreciation to retired UPMSI faculty Dr. Fortes
Project Leader Dr. Salmo presents a token of appreciation to retired UPMSI faculty Dr. Fortes

On the first day, delegates from Southern Luzon–namely Batangas, Cavite, Marinduque, Mindoro Oriental, Palawan, and Romblon presented their respective areas’ mangrove forest and mangrove management status. They were then given the opportunity to collaborate and identify similar root problems in their respective mangrove forests, the causes of these problems and effects that these bring about.

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A “Problem Tree” created by delegates from Marinduque and Romblon during the workshop on the first day

On the second day, distinguished resource speakers from the Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI), the University of the Philippines Department of Geodetic Engineering & Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (UP DGE & TCAGP), and Conservation International – Philippines shared scientific techniques and technical knowledge on mangrove management. The list of topics presented was:

  • Status of Mangroves and Mangrove Management in the Philippines
  • Mangrove Mapping in Southern Luzon
  • Resiliency and Vulnerability of the Coastal Zone Against Sea Level Rise
  • Incorporating Mangroves in Integrated Coastal Management
  • Blue Carbon Initiative in the Philippines
ERDB Supervisor Scientific Research Specialist and OIC-Chief Coastal Zone and Freshwater Ecosystems Research Division Ms. Carmelita Villamor answers questions raised by Ms. Anabelle Cayabyab, PG-ENRO of Cavite.
ERDB Supervisor Scientific Research Specialist and OIC-Chief of the Coastal Zone and Freshwater Ecosystems Research Division Ms. Carmelita Villamor answers questions raised by Ms. Anabelle Cayabyab, PG-ENRO of Cavite.

From these presentations, the Southern Luzon delegates were able to formulate possible action plans to solve the root problems identified from the first day.

Delegates from Palawan and Mindoro Oriental, along with Conservation International representative and students from UP and Ateneo brainstorm on an action plan to solve problems identified during the 1st day of the summit
Delegates from Palawan and Mindoro Oriental, along with Conservation International representative and students from UP and Ateneo brainstorm on an action plan to solve problems identified during the 1st day of the summit
Delegates from Cavite and Batangas, along with students from UP and Ateneo collaborate on an action plan to solve problems identified during the 1st day of the summit
Delegates from Cavite and Batangas, along with students from UP and Ateneo collaborate on an action plan to solve problems identified during the 1st day of the summit
Mary Rose Lopez, Research Assistant from UPMSI presents the action plan of her group (consisting of members from Marinduque, Romblon, and UP DGE & TCAGP)
Mary Rose Lopez, Research Assistant from UPMSI presents the action plan of her group (consisting of members from Marinduque, Romblon, and UP DGE & TCAGP)

The summit was indeed a success. It provided an excellent venue for the delegates of Southern Luzon to discuss and learn about one another’s mangrove management strategies. The presentations from the scientific community also enhanced the delegates’ awareness on the ecological significance of mangrove forests, and the technologies available for mangrove management.

The organizers would like to thank the delegates, resource speakers and guests for making this event a success. They would also like to thank the event’s sponsors: Conservation International—Philippines, and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), for making the event possible.

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As a post-summit undertaking, the summit’s proceedings will be published and made available to the public through this website, by the first quarter of 2016.

The accomplishment of this event encouraged the participants and organizers to look forward to the Mangrove Summit for Eastern Luzon, targeted to happen on the first quarter of 2016; and eventually, a National Mangrove Summit for the whole Philippines.

Visit our gallery to view more photos of the 2nd Mangrove Summit.

Ecology | Vulnerability | Conservation | Management|Philippines

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