This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Research Collaborations and Partnerships for the Protection of Cavite’s Water Resources
Cavite State University
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Since its creation and offering of the BS Environmental Science degree in the late 1990s, the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science (DFES) of CvSU has been actively conducting faculty and student researches on the different watersheds and water resources of the province of Cavite in collaboration with the other colleges in the University and with local and international linkage partners such as the Provincial Government of Cavite (PGC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO) Cavite, and in partnership with the Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). This concerted effort has led to the translation of research outputs into extension activities on environmental rehabilitation and ordinance on the protection of the recharge zone and water resources in the province and ultimately, securing water supply for the province’s growing population.
Background and Problem
Due to rapid industrialization and increasing population, there has been constant pressure and a threat to the sustainability of water resources in the province of Cavite. Early researchers have established the province’s impending water crisis driven by depleted groundwater resources and polluted surface waters. Despite the warnings about the uncertain water supply in the future and the efforts from the different sectors to counter the situation, the problem remains. This prompted the academe and the government to do collaborations and partnerships to address the issue and create sustainable solutions.
Solution and Impact
Given the water situation in the province, DFES recognized the need to provide baseline data on watersheds, water supply, and demand, carrying capacity, water pollution among others to support and strengthen the call to take action. It kept its doors open to the Provincial Government of Cavite and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO) Cavite for any technical assistance that was needed to create and implement the programs on the protection of Cavite’s environment, especially water resources. Later on, in the year 2015, these connections were formalized through a tripartite agreement including the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and Memoranda of Agreement on watershed researches with DENR-PENRO Cavite.
With the support of the administration of CvSU, more research was conducted and more data about Cavite’s water resources has been gathered. Recognizing the complexity of environmental issues, DFES implemented an interdisciplinary and holistic approach in its researches: collaborations with people from other disciplines inside and outside the university were made to come up with more comprehensive recommendations. Stakeholders were also involved in creating action plans and the research outputs were disseminated through seminars, conferences, training, technical assistance, environment-related events, and reports. As a result, awareness about water problems in the province increased. More people became interested to take part and collaborate. More research is about to be conducted. More importantly, a resolution was created by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, based on the studies conducted by DFES, declaring a 10-year moratorium on the conversion and reclassification of agricultural land in selected municipalities in Cavite. This means that recharge zones in the provinces will be protected and land will be used more properly, hence, the revival of water resources of the province and the security of its water supply.
The most important milestone of these efforts is the creation of the provincial resolution declaring a moratorium on the conversion of agricultural land in the selected municipalities in Cavite. Furthermore, these researches and efforts paved the way for the University to be recognized as PEMSEA’s learning center for integrated coastal management. This designation is now opening more doors for CvSU to conduct research on water and to provide capability enhancement to LGUs and other stakeholders in the coming years. This endeavor also creates more opportunities for linkages for the protection of Cavite’s environment.