[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study designed to evaluate the socio-economic conditions, the status of the fisheries and agriculture and the adaptive capacities of households and communities in the Kuroshio sphere of influence was carried out in 2007 from a random sample of 1,035 household’s respondents in San Miguel Island, Philippines. Participatory resource assessment (PRA) methods and multi-stakeholders processes (MSP) tools were used in data collection from a cross-section of all sectors in the community. Key findings showed that the island economy depends largely on agriculture (44%) and fisheries (28%). Forty-six percent (46%) of the population are actively earning while about 68% of wives are unemployed, some 17% are earning an average of Php. 6,200 per annum from mat making. The per capita income distribution corresponds to 79% poverty incidence with 66% of the surveyed population falling below the food threshold. Using the international standard of a dollar a day per capita, 86% of the population earns less than a dollar a day. The mean household size is 5.7 with a relatively higher dependency ratio of 60% and the majority of the population have only reached an elementary level of education. In the fisheries sector, 84% are fulltime, 57% own boats that are either motorized (43%) or nonmotorized (57%) and the remaining 43% are renter-borrowers. Fishing is affected by southwest (November to March) and northeast monsoons (June to October) and is generally good from April to May. Fishing is characterized by low catch per unit effort. A similar observation was reported by the NSCB (2005), Soliman et al. (1995 and 1999), and Soliman et al. (1999). As a counter-measure, a Marine Fishery Reserve (MFR) was established in 1997 with reports of successes and failures, lessons learned and controversy as well. The agricultural sector is characterized by traditional farming methods in small land holdings (1.38 ha) with an average annual income of PhP 19,800, planting primarily root crops and crops with short farming cycles as it lessens the risk of potential damage caused by climatic variability. As regards adaptive capacity, it should be noted that 20-22 typhoons enter the Philippines jurisdiction annually, mostly from the Pacific where the Kuroshio Current originates. As such, the people have developed adaptive measures particularly those related to life preservation and avoidance of the loss of life and property. It should be stressed therefore that the influence of the Kuroshio Current should never be underestimated. The fact is, gains from years of struggle to reduce problems associated with poverty can be wiped-out be single extreme events. Adaptive capacity and coping mechanisms are also influenced by complications arising from poverty, poor governance, environmental degradation and uncontrolled population growth. Although both the high income and low-income groups are at risk, the latter will suffer most. Therefore, the government should consider long-term solutions that offer capacity-building and social preparations, income generating opportunities, capital and other support services which are ecologically sustainable and will permit an acceptable level of well-being for all the people particularly those in the vulnerable sectors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Survey results demonstrate the interconnected effect of natural and socio-economic conditions on the coastal and upland ecosystem changes. When nature works negatively, it can severely affect the ecosystem and the socio-economic well-being of the people who depend on it. For instance, typhoons can wipe out gains from years of trying to reduce poverty, causing loss of life and damage to property and the environment. The effect of nature on the island's ecosystem is noticeable in the landscape and farming system. The occurrence of climate-related disasters threaten the capacity of the environ-ment to provide food and livelihoods. In coastal areas, siltation and sedimentation severely affect critical habitats to varying degrees with major implications for agricultural productivity, fish catches and human settlement. On the other hand, the effects of socio-economic changes on the ecosystem can be traced back to the 1800s when the agro-ecological changes started from a position of abundance in agriculture and con-tinued until production diminished and new areas were explored. Farming started with the "kaingin system" of plantation-based farming. Today, farming is characterized by permanent, diversified and specialized cropping patterns dominated by agro-forestry, root crops, corn and rice. In summary, nature, together with socio-economic pressures, has shaped and transformed the island's ecosystem into what it is today. Reducing poverty and increasing people resilience are urgent require-ments. It is therefore recommended that Local Government Unit (LGU)'s invest in manpower, resources and facilities for climate change adaptation, natural resource management and disaster risk reduction and management in their policy and development agendas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A Marine protected area (MPA) in Atulayan Bay has been established to sustainably use the resources to benefit the stakeholders. This paper presents the socioeconomic conditions and governance in Atulayan Bay MPA. The socioeconomic conditions of Atulayan Bay fishing households are characterized by predominantly old fishers, low educational attainment, bigger numbers of children, and poor living conditions. Household income which mainly comes from fishing is below poverty level. There is not much difference in the socioeconomic conditions of the fishing community near the MPA. It appeared that the MPA did not improve the material welfare of the fisherfolk. Its positive effect is probably cancelled out by the unusually large fishers’ household size and the inadequate social services in the Bay area. In a fishing village near the MPA however, some evidence suggests that the MPA positively improves sustenance. The failure of the MPA to directly improve the material welfare of fishers was attributed to weak governance in the past. In Atulayan Bay, yields of three to three and a half kg per day force a large population that survives at subsistence level to enter the open access fisheries. While the new wave of participatory resource governance has been able to mainstream participation of fishers, it is argued that an MPA-centered fisheries management will be more sustainable if it could promote the material welfare of the fishers. Recommendations to increase fishers’ income within the context of limiting fishing effort to generate wealth from fisheries, collection of resource use rent, free access to higher education for fishers’ children and educating women were discussed as possible strategies to increase fishers’ income and address the problem of sustainability in MPA-oriented resource management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan located along the flow of the Kuroshio current, recent population growth, rapid development of industries and changes in lifestyle are causing the deterioration of the marine environment. In addition, due to global warming, the sea surface temperature is increasing and seaweed beds and coral reef in the temperate zone are gradually being replaced by various kinds of seaweed and fishes from the tropical and sub-tropical areas. To provide academic insight into marine resource management through sustainable use of fishery resources, we are conducting a joint investigation of the present situation surrounding seaweed-based ecosystem in those countries. This paper shows a part of a case study in the Philippines from the following standpoints: 1) the enactment of the Fisheries Code and related regulations on marine resource use; and 2) the present situation of coastal resource management in the selected Marine Protected Areas.