Bird Assessment in Mt.Malarayat
Members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Jasmin Meren, John Edward Perez & Nancy Dimayacyac conducted bird assessment in Barangay Malitlit in Lipa City. Malitlit has the biggest area within the forest reserve of Mt. Malarayat.
Biodiversity assessment in Talisay & Sto. Nino has been previously conducted by the Zoology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines.
Both efforts were supported by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Inc.
Establishment of BMS Stations in Barangay Malitlit and Talisay Lipa City
Nagsagawa ng BMS marking ang mga DFOs ng Brgy. Malitlit at Talisay bilang gabay nila sa pagmomonitor ng mga buhay-ilang at mga pagbabago sa paligid ng Bundok Malarayat.
Fireline establishment was done in Palamigan 1st refo site in Brgy. Sto. Nino, Lipa City with help from the Deputized Forest Officers.
The fireline in Bayutin, 2nd refo site will be conducted a few days from now.
A firebreak, commonly known as fireline is a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that acts as barrier to slow or stop the progress of a forest fire. Palamigan & Bayutin in Brgy. Sto. Nino are within the Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve.
Business Planning Workshop
With support from Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, in partnership with DLSL-CBEAM, business orientation & initial conceptualization of business ideas was successfully conducted in Brgy. Malitlit, Lipa City. One of the brgy. near Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve.
Lipa Headwaters Council
Lipa Headwaters Council is currently conducting a 3-5yr strategic planning to contextualize programs and projects and synergize efforts of various stakeholders focused on management & conservation of Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve. The council is a multi-sectoral group composed of public and private stakeholders of Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve.
Biodiversity Monitoring System Training: GPS Reading Familiarization for the Biodiversity Geotagging
Payment for Environmental Services
Pusod Inc and Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) presentation of the Households to Pay for Improved Watershed Management of Mt Malarayat Forest Reserve, Lipa City, Batangas during the privilege Speech of Councilor Mark Luancing on the regular session of Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lipa City. The SP supports the Lipa Headwaters Council (LHWC) efforts for Mt Malarayat watershed. SP can support drafting and passing of ordinances that can provide funds for the conservation of Mt Malarayat. Suggestions from SP to LHWC include 1) explore the possibility of tapping the P10 Environmental Management Fund (EMF) to support the Malarayat activities and 2) submit priority activities and expenditures for Malarayat conservation for appropriation by the Lipa City Government.
Guinayangan Educational Trip on Payment for Environmental Services
Educational Trip of the Municipal Environmental Management Council (MEMC) of Guinayangan, Quezon study visits aims to provide MEM Council exposure to Lipa Headwaters Council with similar objective to guide them in strengthening their structure and systems towards an efficient policy making body.
Jollibee Tree Planting
Thank you very much Jollibee Group Foundation & Jollibee Food Corporation. RBU South Luzon branches from Jollibee Fiesta World Mall Lipa, Jollibee Robinsons, Jollibee Caedo Batangas City, Jollibee Lemery Diversion, Jollibee Lemery Illustre, Jollibee SM Batangas City & Lipa, Jollibee Waltermart Tanauan, Jollibee Tanauan 2, Jollibee Tanauan Crossing, Jollibee Lipa Uptown, Jollibee Bauan, , Jollibee Lipa Bayan, & Jollibee Lemery Highway initiated the tree planting activity with more than 600 seedlings of molave, hawili, dao and Kalumpit were planted within the grassland of Mt. Malarayat in Brgy. Malitlit, Lipa City. Seventy- three (73) more or less joined the said activity.
Meeting with Ms. Bernadette Sabili
Exploratory meeting with Ms. Bernadette Sabili MAS Foundation President for possible partnership for ecotourism in Mt. Malarayat.
Ilahas ng Malarayat
Expanding and Engaging Conservation Alliances for Continued Protection and Conservation of Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve
Pusod, Inc is currently focusing on the three key result areas for MMFR.
These are: Enhance Biodiversity Conservation and Engage Stakeholders
in Management of MMFR, Mitigating Risks in MMFR and Capacity
Building of the Lipa Headwaters Council. The initial engagement of Pusod
in MMFR only considered Barangays Sto Nino and Talisay. In this
proposal, the proponent decided to expand to Brgy. Malitlit, San Celestino
and San Benito. This is to leverage on the success stories of the two
previous barangays. Brgy. Malitlit however is the main focus due to its
inclusion in the MMFR. The two other barangays will act as support groups
to Brgy Malitlit. A review of previous efforts will also be done and to
improve the engagement in the 3 new sites.
The results of the studies conducted previously with funding from PTFCF need to be further disseminated to the stakeholders. The assumption is that the stakeholders will have appreciation on the current state of the MMFR and provide support to conservation.
The Local Government should be the primordial mover, thru the Lipa Headwaters Council. It is then important to continuously build the capacity of the LHWC. Another important player is the Committee Chair on Environment, a first termer City Councilor who placed 2nd and proved to be a popular choice for the constituency of Lipa.
Addressing Vulnerabilities of Malarayat Ecosystem and Dependent Communities to Climate Change Year II
Mt Malarayat Forest Reserve (MMFR), based on the Proclamation 842, covers approximately 1,210 hectares
of forestlands within the five upland communities in Lipa City. It is the remaining chunk of forest within
the Malaraya-Malepunyo mountain range. The proclamation was declared to protect the watershed and the
mountain range. Through the Department of Justice Resolution signed last November 2009, the jurisdiction
of Malarayat watershed given to the National Power Corporation (NPC) through Executive Order No. 224.
In response to the need to conserve the MMFR as a source of water to Lipenos and as a result of series of consultations with the stakeholders, the local Government of Lipa initiated the creation of the Lipa Headwaters Council in 2007. The LHWC shall take the lead in the conservation of Malarayat Watershed. Conservation initiatives composed of trainings, seminars, and other activities were launched.
The whole mountain range is shared by the provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon. The subwatershed of the pilot areas directly drains to Padre Garcia, Batangas. Out of five (5) upland communities in the city of Lipa, Brgys Sto Nino and Talisay communities were selected as pilot sites for the year 1 project. Brgys Sto Nino and Talisay has a total population of 2,425 and 4,143, respectively.
Mt Malarayat has rich biodiversity. There are approximately 122 plant species, 63 species of birds, 35 species of herpetofauna and 16 mammals, among which the famous alamid (Paradoxus philippinensis) and the threatened Luzon Bleeding Heart (Gallicolumba platenae) for birds also thrives within the forests of Brgy Sto Nino and Talisay.
Ironically, as it was reflected in the delineated MFR map that there are obviously no more public land within the forest reserve, all of which are titled or claimed. There are no more available areas for restoration in Brgy Sto Nino and Talisay. While it was determined that the grasslands in Brgy Malitlit is a potential reforestation area. This project focused on nurturing and maintaining the 5 hectares of grassland in Brgys. Sto Nino and Talisay, planted with indigenous forest trees. Assisted natural regeneration and replanting, protection and fireline establishment were carried out.
Family - based nurseries worked better for Brgy Sto Nino and Talisay during the first year of the project than the community - managed nurseries thus families interested to get involved in nursery activities were given the assistance and provided the needed planting stocks during the project period. A total of 10 families and households from the pilot barangays benefitted from the supplemental income derived from selling native tree seedlings.
The result of the delineation activity in the first year inferred that there are no more available public lands within the forest reserve thus, the project focused on nurturing the trees planted in the 5 hectares of open grassland through assisted natural regeneration and replanting, protection and firelines. While the project was not yet able to solicit the support of the 135 land owners, the project increased the awareness of the communities and other stakeholders on the importance of the watershed and its conservation. While there was difficulty in the protection of planted trees in Brgy Talisay due to the accessibility and its location, the project ensured that maintenance in both barangays were ensured through regular maintenance partnership with the community and partners from private sector.
Enforcement is among the promising focus of intervention in the future as local community patrol group has already undertaken series of capacity - building through the expanded - paralegal training in partnership with Tanggol Kalikasan. The support to the Mt Malarayat Watershed Protection Council MWPC) may contribute to increased local policy - formulation towards watershed protection that will back-up the enforcement interventions. Also with the support of NPC in the forest protection activities, it is hoped that pressure on the remaining forest vegetation is reduced.
It has been proven still that the political environment in Lipa City is not ripe for ecosystem service charges for water usage as there are still remaining objections on reassigning the use of the current P10 from its existing use as environmental fee for solid waste management to the funds for watershed conservation. In the study conducted by ERDB in collaboration with Pusod, showed that households in Lipa City are in favor the creation of a trust fund and contribute as much as P25 per household per month to ensure that there is a sustainable supply of water in the future.
Since the Metro Lipa Water District has not fully fulfilled its mandate for watershed protection under the law. Continuous promotion of watershed conservation to Lipa Headwaters Council members was undertaken to increase support to conservation interventions for Malarayat ecosystem. The LHWC will be facing more challenges ahead due to the political climate in Lipa City (May 2013 National Elections, October 2013 Local Elections). With these, programs must involve more private partners while continuously building the capacity of the LGU.
See related report on "Payment for Environmental Services on Mt. Malarayat Forest Reserve"