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BSWM-FAO Holds Second Land Use System Workshop

By Ginalyn S. Rivera
April 12, 2012

(Top) Participants of LADA and WOCAT-ASOCON pose during the Back-to-Back Workshop in Antipolo City; (Bottom-left) Actual field visit of LADA and WOCAT participants at City of San Roque, Del Monte, Bulacan; (Bottom-right) Survey and interview of local informants.
The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) together with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) moved forward within the timetable as the last capability building entitled “Second Land Use System Workshop” under the “National Capability Building for Land Degradation Assessment and Climate Change Adaptation Project”, TCP/PHI/3302 took place last March 26 to 30, 2012 in MERALCO Development Center, Antipolo City.

The said workshop aims to present the 2000 and 2009 Land Use System (LUS) Map of the Philippines Version 1.0 based on the Global Land Cover Map and come up with assessment units; compare the 2000 and 2009 for LUS area and intensity trend; conduct DPSIR analysis based on World Overview of Conservation Approaches (WOCAT) for Mapping Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management (WOCAT QM); and to come up with initial land degradation assessment and to collect best practices to combat soil erosion and land degradation in the Philippines.

The workshop started by a brief presentation of Mr. Dante Margate of BSWM on the Philippine Land Use System Maps (PLUS), a presentation of the initial 2000 and 2009 PLUS and was followed by “Evaluation Units for Land Degradation Assessment in the Philippines: The Forest, Grasslands, Shrubs, Agricultural and Open Water Mapping Units” delivered by Dr. Nathaniel Bantayan, the National Vegetation and Land Cover Specialist.

“Land Degradation Hot Spots in the Philippines: Area Coverage Trend by Region” was also discussed by Dr. Rodrigo Badayos, National Agronomist and Soil Scientist and was followed by Mr. Miguel Guioguio, National Socio-Economist who talked about “Land Degradation Hot Spots in the Philippines: Land Use Intensity Trend by Region”. Similarly, Dr. Rajendra P. Shrestha, International Consultant on Sustainable Land Management from Thailand delivered a lecture on “Monsoon Asia Land Overview: Land Use Change Determinants and Consequences on Land Quality, Water Resources and Food Security”.

Moreover, Prof. Junhou Wang from LADA China discussed the LADA Manual entitled “Introduction to Land Degradation Assessment and Methodologies and Steps to Land Degradation Assessment”. This guided the two (2) workshop groups in filling up the WOCAT QM Evaluation, wherein it refers to the following series of steps: Step 1 Data on Contributing Specialists; Step 2: Selection of LUS Mapping Unit, Area Trend, Land Use Intensity Trend; and Step 3: Land Degradation Assessment per LUS Mapping Unit.

Part of the workshop was the one day field tour at the Soil Conservation Guided Farms at San Roque, City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan on March 28 wherein actual survey occurred using the WOCAT QM. The two (2) groups were divided into two (2) subgroups, the Ecosystem Services Group and the Livelihood Assessment Survey Group. The formers’ objective was to assess the soil, vegetation and biodiversity and water resource degradation while the latter surveyed and interviewed on the vulnerability context, livelihood assets, institutional context and livelihood strategies of the local informants. The output of the activity will represent the local degradation assessment in Luzon.

Topics regarding “Collection, Selection and Management of Land Degradation Indicators” and the “Reporting Land Degradation Assessment in the Context of DPSIR” were shared by Prof. Guosheng Wang of LADA China.

The priority regions for subjecting LUS Units to WOCAT QM are Regions II, VII and XII. The Local Land Degradation Assessment Workshop in Visayas and Mindanao are set tentatively by mid of July and September this year, respectively.

This workshop was simultaneously done with the Asia Soil Conservation Network (ASOCON)-WOCAT that was being organized back-to-back with FAO LADA since the project uses
WOCAT methodology to undertake land degradation assessment.

LADA is a two (2)-year project funded by FAO-UN and executed by Department of Agriculture through BSWM project that aims to come up with a Philippine Land Use System (PLUS), a benchmark data in establishing and implementing a comprehensive methodology for the assessment and mapping of land degradation, and intends to promote and assist the government to mitigate land degradation, desertification, deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

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