Signing of memorandum of understanding between Mayor Jurly Manalo of Lobo, Batangas (left) and ERDB Director Dr. Henry A. Adornado (right)

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) and the municipality of Lobo, Batangas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 9, 2021, forging a partnership to strengthen the protection and conservation of the municipality’s natural resources.

Dr. Henry A. Adornado, ERDB Director, emphasized the importance of the protection and conservation of natural resources in Lobo, Batangas.

“We are very thankful to the mayor for the warm acceptance of this project which is the valuation of ecosystem goods and services where we are piloting these protocols and procedures in the watershed of Lobo.

We are now focusing on the carbon, water, and tourism aspects because many of us do not recognize the unseen services and benefits that we are getting from this watershed.”

ERDB selected the Lobo watershed as the study site for the pilot testing of the valuation manuals on water, carbon, and tourism because of the presence of an intact interconnected ecosystem from ridge to reef.

Hon. Mayor Jurly Manalo of Lobo, Batangas thanked the Bureau for the partnership since it will greatly benefit the municipality.

“Kaya’t sa pangyayari pong ito, na magkaroon ng partner na katulad ninyo (ERDB) ay isang malaking bagay sa bayan ng Lobo.

Kaya nga po ito ay aming pinahahagalagan sapagkat kami ang makikinabang dito. At sa pakikipagtulungan natin sa gobyerno, ang makikinabang ay ang buong bayan ng Lobo.

Kaya’t huwag po kayong magsasawang tumulong sa mga bayan na tulad ng aming bayan na isang third class municipality.”

In 2015, the Department of Tourism declared the municipality of Lobo as an agro-ecotourism destination.

In a study conducted by USAID along with non-government organizations and local government units, the municipality was revealed to have the best-protected areas in the entire region of Batangas in 2013, 2015, and 2018.

ERDB aims to gather baseline information on the existing condition of the natural resources that are affected by tourism and urban development through the research project Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services of Lobo Watershed, Lobo, Batangas.

ERDB agreed to collaborate in providing technical assistance through the rapid resource assessment and provision of technical reports on the status of the natural resources of the municipality.

ERDB is the research and development arm of the DENR. Its R & D and extension activities are focused on the five major ecosystems of the Philippines which include forests, upland farms, grassland and degraded areas, coastal zone, freshwater, and urban areas. Allysa Marie C. Federio, TTD