The participants and ERDB team led by Dr. Jose Alan A. Castillo (4th from the left, upper row) gathered during the 1st day of the training in CENRO Eastern Pangasinan.

Los Banos, Laguna – The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) conducted three legs of training on Bamboo Resources Inventory, Distribution, and Site-Suitability Mapping in Pangasinan during the last quarter of 2022.

A total of 33 foresters and geographic information system (GIS) specialists from CENRO Alaminos, Urdaneta, and Dagupan undertook the training on November 21 to 25, December 5 to 9, and December 12 to 15, respectively.

Dr. Jose Alan A. Castillo, Scientist I and Senior Science Research Specialist, and other staff from the Coastal Zone and Freshwater Ecosystems Research Division (CZFERD) and the Technology Transfer Division (TTD) facilitated the capacity-building activity. It is a continuing activity of the project titled Enhancing the Adoption and Transfer of the Phenology-Based Bamboo Mapping Technology and GIS-based Suitability Mapping of Potential Areas Suitable for Commercial Bamboo in Selected Areas in the Philippines funded by the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

“When we get questions about the number and location of bamboo in our area, we have no data to provide.“, said Camilo Cariño, Forester III of CENRO Eastern Pangasinan.

“One of the training objectives is to familiarize DENR field offices with bamboo inventory and mapping technologies. This is ideal for preparing our foresters for the Forest Management Bureau’s plan to inventory the country’s bamboo resources,” stated Dr. Castillo. “Our field staff may also use this tool to inventory natural resources other than bamboo. We must know what resources we have to manage them better.”, he added.

Dr. Castillo and Forester John Rommel Manahan discussed three modules to introduce the participants to the technology. The first covered an overview of the bamboo resource inventory, planning, actual data collection, and analysis.

Participants collect data in clumps of Kawayang Kiling in Binalonan, Pangasinan.

Dr. Castillo then presented an overview of bamboo mapping and an introduction to remote sensing and satellite imagery using the Google Earth Engine. This cloud-based platform enables researchers and other users to see and analyze satellite photographs of the world.

In the last module, Forester Manahan focused on the discussion of site-suitability mapping using QGIS. This cross-platform tool is free and open-source, allowing users to browse, modify, print, and analyze geographical data. In between courses, participants witnessed actual demonstrations from the speakers and conducted hands-on activities to understand the technology.

“We are lucky to have ERDB so they could help us know the process of inventory, distribution, and site suitability mapping,” added Forester Cariño. “The training is very timely as the program application is relatively new. It is a privilege to be one of the first CENROs to receive this kind of training,” a participant commended. Jonah Nuisa Garcia, TTD

More photos from the training:

CENRO Urdaneta

CENRO Dagupan