The Mag-uugmad Foundation, Incorporated (MFI) and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 7 organized the Conservation Management Planning Workshop for the Southwestern Cebu Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) on January 11-12, 2018 at the Cebu Business Hotel, Cebu City. The said KBA covers the upland and forest areas of Alegria, Badian and Malabuyoc, including Matutinao Watershed.

The workshop was participated in by the technical staff of DENR-7 Conservation and Development Division, CENRO Argao, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Region 7, and Provincial Government of Cebu as well as representatives from the Local Government Units of the covered municipalities, Civil Society Organizations, People’s Organizations, and private sectors operating within the area.

Mr. Reynaldo L. Lanuza, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) presented the findings of the Vulnerability Assessment of Matutinao Watershed conducted in 2014. Matutinao Watershed is one of the important watersheds in Cebu for it supplies majority of the domestic and agricultural waters in the municipalities of Alegria and Badian. Likewise, it is also used as ecotourism site because of the famous Kawasan Falls and unique biodiversity of the area.. Further, it is also utilized for power generation for distribution in the nearby municipalities of Alegria and Badian with hydro-electric power plant of CEBECO in Matutinao, Badian, Cebu.

Reynaldo L. Lanuza, lead person of the Vulnerability Assessment Project presented and discussed the findings as well as the proposed recommendations. According to him, the prevailing natural and man-made hazards within the Matutinao Watershed are soil erosion, landslide, and flooding. He also revealed that there were no recent occurrences of forest fires, although noted in the prior years. He added that the vulnerability of the watershed of the identified hazards varied spatially due to factors affecting the exposure, biological sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the communities living within the watershed.

The information generated by the researchers of the former ERDS-7 and now BCWERC served as the baseline information on the state of the environment of the area and provided relevant inputs to the participants in determining appropriate conservation measures. Reynaldo L. Lanuza, BCWERC