Group photo of participants of the UBRDEC’s Annual Technical Seminar held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on August 17, 2022.

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – The Urban and Biodiversity Research Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) held its first UBRDEC Annual Technical Seminar (ATS) with the theme “Protecting Biodiversity thru Sustainable Forest and Ecotourism Management” last August 17, 2022 at the Palawan Provincial Capitol, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer, in her opening message highlighted the importance of the practical applications of ERDB’s research and development work on ENR.

“I do hope that you will genuinely find in the core of your respective offices the means on how our research results can be translated to improvement in strategies or as viable inputs in DENR’s existing programs, activities, and policies – all for the benefit of the Filipino people and our environment,” Dir. Ferrer said.

The event featured UBRDEC’s two newly completed studies: Carrying Capacity of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Natural Park (PPSRNP) presented by For. Jan Marrion M. Cadelino and the Market Chain Analysis of Almaciga in Palawan by Engr. Edmichael D.G. Figueroa.

Both studies had significant findings that are crucial in revisiting the current ENR policies in Palawan.

The research findings on the carrying capacity of the PPSRNP indicated a slight exceedance. UBRDEC recommended that the carrying capacity of the PPSRNP be reduced to ensure its ecological integrity.

Meanwhile, based on the market chain analysis of the almaciga resin, UBRDEC recommended that the standard pricing for resins under Class A to D range from P18-33/kilo. UBRDEC also recommended that the farmers should be capacitated together with the women in their community for the proper harvesting and marketing of resin.

More than twenty (20) institutions actively participated and expressed their interest and concern in the two studies presented.

Stakeholders present include the Office of the Congressman to the District of Palawan; Palawan Governor’s Office; Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB); DENR – Forest Management Bureau (FMB); DENR-4B; DENR – Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – 4B; Department of Tourism (DOT)-4B; Provincial Tourism Office; Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD); PAMB; PENRO Palawan; CENRO Puerto Princesa, Brooke’s Point, Coron, Quezon, Roxas, and Taytay; Indigenous People representatives from Cabayugan and Cayasan; Palawan State University (PSU); and West Philippine University (WPU).

The participating institutions plan to update their management policies, as some of their old policies had to be revisited to be more appropriate in the context of Palawan.

PENRO Puerto Princesa City expressed willingness to be trained by UBRDEC so that they can conduct their studies on carrying capacity assessment of ecotourism sites and market chain analysis of NTFPs.

In closing, UBRDEC Center Head, For. Gregorio Santos, Jr. reiterated the importance of helping stakeholders enhance their capacities to undertake ENR research.

“I am sure that in the future, there will be more studies for other sites (in Palawan) and we are willing to train your teams para kayo mismo ang mag-ca-carry-out ng mga ito,” For. Santos assured the participants.  David Ivan Malinao, Adreana Santos-Remo, UBRDEC