Department of Environment and Natural Resources National Capital Region VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF THE LAS PINAS-PARANAQUE CRITICAL HABITAT AND ECOTOURISM AREA CENRO MANUEL S. SABATER
Why Assess Vulnerability at LPCHEA The vulnerability assessment of the LPCHEA aims to provide the basis in the formulation of its sustainable development and management plan. Identifying the hazards that take place or may happen in the area can guide stakeholders in identifying priority and strategic interventions to reduce environmental degradation or enhance the capacity of the area cope with the environmental hazards. Objective: Assess LPCHEA in terms of the following: Its vulnerability to anthropogenic activities Its vulnerability to water pollution Vulnerability of its avian fauna to bird strikes Its vulnerability to island instability
GIS-based Methodology 1 Establish the approach and identify the critical factors 2 Review and evaluate the required data inputs vis availability and reliability 3 Baseline construction 4 GIS – based processing of data and production of thematic maps 5. GIS modeling
Methodology • Major factors in this GIS-based vulnerability assessment: • Avian habitat requirements for food, roosting and breeding areas • Anthropogenic activities • The vulnerability of the avian habitat is a function of the degree to which the habitat is exposed to destructive factors and its stability. • Exposure in this case is determined by the amount of anthropogenic activities that adversely affect the habitat in terms of breeding, roosting and feeding for avian fauna.
Methodology Thus, the analysis proceeds on the relationships between anthropogenic activities and the avian habitat functions. The crosstabulated values refer to the levels of vulnerability: low, moderate, high and very high. The analysis assumes that the factors have equal weights. With increasing frequency, the weights also increases, and thus vulnerability is worsened. The analysis also assumes that even if there is no identified significant activity, the entire area is anthropogenically active. As such, the minimum level of vulnerability is low.
Results and Discussion Feeding Grounds
Results and Discussion Breeding Grounds
Results and Discussion Roosting Grounds
Results and Discussion Critical Core Areas
Results and Discussion • Anthropogenic Activities • a) Poaching or mangrove • cutting and poaching • b) Sand and Gravel • Quarrying • c) Fishing ad shellfish • gathering • d) Infrastructure (fishpond, • roads, building) • e) Solid waste disposal/accumulation • Contributing factors: • High poverty incidence in coastal barangays adjacent to LPCHEA • Significant number of • the coastal population engage • in fishing
Results and Discussion LPCHEA Vulnerability Map Critical Core Areas versus Anthropogenic Activities Logic: Avian habitat critical core areas used for breeding, feeding and roosting with anthropogenic activities result to high level of vulnerability. Anthropogenic activities outside the critical core areas result to lower vulnerability LOW – no pronounced anthropogenic activities and outside the avian habitat areas MODERATE- with at least one anthropogenic activity and at least one avian habitat function HIGH- with at least one anthropogenic activity and at least two avian habitat functions VERY HIGH- with two or more anthropogenic activities and two or more avian habitat functions
What we need? • 1. Zoning • To restrict access to high tide roost and breeding areas in Freedom Island and core feeding areas. • To designate livelihood zonation plan based on the needs of eligible communities • To provide a proper seawater buffer zone of at least 100 meters along the beach front of Freedom Island and to restore the original water flow to the lagoon by removing landfill materials connecting Freedom Island to Long Island and replacing such access with a bridge • 2. Enhanced Security • To prevent increased human disturbances in the main breeding and roosting areas in Freedom Island • To monitor and correct human disturbances at the key feeding areas in the sections of the mudflats along the central and northern section of the south lagoon and the key feeding areas along the mangrove section of the north lagoon • Situation of security at the time of the study. IS IT ADEQUATE? • The main breeding and roosting areas on Freedom Island are under increased human disturbance: • The number of patrolling guards has decreased and the northern watch tower has been removed. • Since November 2006, the number of security guards has been reduced from 20 to just 4 with parallel reduction in the number of guard posts and patrols. • Security personnel needs to be trained, made to understand and compelled to act appropriately like disallowing access to the salt marsh and water ponds or the breeding area of herons in Freedom Island
What we need? 3. Intensive Information, Education/Training Campaign To create awareness and develop positive values on the significance of LPCHEA for conservation and ecotourism To manage solid waste in repository areas within LPCHEA, their sources and pathways To open up income generating opportunities tapping the local population on ecotourism, waste management, and other compatible economic activities To inculcate values among security personnel and make them understand the importance of disallowing access to the salt marsh, water ponds or the breeding area of herons in Freedom Island and stop creeping communities especially at Freedom island Training Technical assistance
Vulnerability to Water Pollution • GARBAGE • LPCHEA sits between two polluted mouths- the Paranaque River and Las Pinas River which catch the runoff and discharges of two adjacent and highly urbanized cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas • 2. LPCHEA is found near a navigational route of ships plying Manila Bay • 3. LPCHEA is adjacent to 8 coastal barangays which dispose part of its garbage directly into the sea. • Note: Based on a 2008 survey, about 21% of the coastal barangays or 227,848 residents directly throw their garbage into the sea. At an average rate of 0.5 kgs/day/person, that translates into 114,000kilos of garbage thrown indiscriminately into LPCHEA everyday! • Water-borne garbage abound in LPCHEA and its vicinities most of which are deposited on its beaches.
Results and Discussion Based on a six month monitoring of water quality in 4 sampling sites within LPCHEA (July-December 2008), the following were discovered:
Vulnerability to Water Pollution Implications BODis the amount of oxygen taken up by microorganisms that decompose organic waste matter in water. A high BOD indicates the presence of high concentration of biodegradable matter which suggests a high level of pollution Copper is found in the earth's crust and thus, most of the world's surface water and ground water used for drinking purposes contains small amounts of copper. It is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods (vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains, fruits, shellfish, avocado, beef (organs such as liver)). Copper toxicity is rare in the general population. Wilson's disease is a genetic disorder in which the body cannot rid itself of copper, resulting in deposition in organs and serious consequences such as liver failure and neurologic damage. Obstruction of bile flow, Indian childhood cirrhosis, and idiopathic copper toxicosis are other rare causes of potentially dangerous excess copper levels. Chromiumindicates the presence of industries which use chrome plating, aluminum anodizing, dye, ink and paint manufacturing, tanning, engraving and photography in the drainage area of Las Pinas and Paranaque Rivers. Chromium has wide range of adverse effects in marine organisms like reduced fecundity, survival growth inhibition and abnormal movement patterns in benthic invertebrates. It is cancer-causing, mutation-causing and causing fetus/embryo malformation Nickelindicates the presence of industries which use nickel plating such as jewelry and stainless steel production, in coloring ceramics, making some batteries, and as catalyst that increase the rate of chemical reactions. Nickel can be released in industrial wastewater. In water and wastewater, nickel can exist either dissolved in water or attached to material suspended in water. Nickel has been associated with algal growth reduction, in stress hormone production, enzyme production modification, alteration of immune, cardiac and respiratory functions.
What we need? 1. Conduct study on the presence of heavy metals in avian fauna 2. Inventory the industries in drainage area of LPCHEA which generate heavy metals for inspection/monitoring and regulatory enforcement 3. Removal of reported sunken barges in the area which may be a source of heavy metals 4. Study implementation of beach ecolabeling as warning system against recreational and sports swimming, especially in areas with high BOD
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Bird Strikes How possible? LPCHEA lies along the East Asian – Australian Flyway
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Bird Strikes How possible? The NAIA is 2 -3 miles away from LPCHEA Take off and landing is 2-3 miles between airport and LPCHEA
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Bird Strikes Results and Discussion Field observations, interviews, research and review of records indicate that aircraft flight altitude and navigation paths are safe both for the wildbirds and the airplanes within LPCHEA and its vicinities. There is not even one incident of aircraft-bird strike on record at LPCHEA. Records exist elsewhere like in Palawan where the incident took place at the airport tarmac itself. The presence of the protected habitat where the wildbirds can stay seems to be the best way to prevent potential birdstrikes by aircraft flying above LPCHEA and its vicinities Noted are good experiences of co-existence of major airports and nearby waterbird sanctuaries in other countries.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability Originally planned but disregarded. Factors are geomorphology or the nature and origin of landforms of the LPCHEA landmass and mudflats, fault line, liquefaction, vegetation and soil. The geological study was not undertaken. Soil erosion which can delineate boundaries on the different degrees of soil stability in LPCHEA was not undertaken due to lack of time but data on soil erosion factors have been gathered, i.e. rainfall, vegetation/land cover, slope, land use practices, soil texture. Significance of sol erosion study: Beach erosion has been observed in the southern part of Long Island. Soil instability in susceptible areas have to be addressed with appropriate soil erosion control solutions.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability However, in the review of data which may be useful for an assessment of the vulnerability of LPCHEA to island instability, this 1982 aerial photograph was discovered! Paranaque River Freedom Island Third island, now gone Long Island Las Pinas River
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability • An examination of available records and anecdotal evidence shows that: • Land reclamation in the area started in 1989, according to PRA sources, or 7 years after the photograph was taken; • The Environmental Compliance Certificate for the 750 hectare Manila Bay Reclamation Project was issued on September 16,1996 or 14 years later than the 1982 aerial photograph. • Conclusion: • Freedom Island in the northern part of LPCHEA and Long Island in its south are coastal island barriers which may have formed in probably hundreds of years. • PRA connected the two islands with reclaimed land and built the land bridge which connected the two islands with the mainland. • These conclusions appear to be supported by a vegetation study in the area. In Freedom Island, for example, indigenous mangrove species dominate portions which comprise the original island. Exotic species like ipilipil dominate the reclaimed portion at the southern part of this island.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability Implication: As coastal island barriers, Freedom Island and Long Island are significant parts of an ecosystem. They are offshore deposits of sand or sediments that parallel the coastline separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon. The formation of barrier islands is complex and not understood completely. Theoretically, waves and currents continued to bring in sediments that build up, forming the barrier islands. In addition, rivers-washed sediments from the mainland that settled behind the islands helped build them up. Below is a typical cross section of an island barrier ecosystem showing various habitats for avifauna.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability What we need • Conduct a study on the ecosystem dynamics of the LPCHEA landmass as coastal island barriers noting its structure and functions • This study should identify all roosting areas of waterbirds during low tides and high tides, their feeding and breeding grounds as well as the necessary seawater buffer around the islands for appropriate protection measures. • The seawater buffer around the islands will ensure fluctuating seawater flow in the coastal lagoons. When mixed with mainland river freshwater discharges, the seawater becomes brackish, an ideal condition for mangrove growth. • The mangroves in turn induce marine life production. Macroinvertebrates such as mud/clam worms, ark clam and moon shell, among other marine life in LPCHEA, are being used as food of the waterbirds.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability What we need 2. Undertake a new Environmental Impact Study with the 850 hectare real estate development of the PRA that consolidates LPCHEA
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability What we need WHY a new Environmental Impact Study? a) The existing revised master development plan for its 850 consolidation project appears to be incompatible with the objectives of Proclamation 1412 which protects LPCHEA for conservation and ecotourism purposes Examples: - It will impede seawater circulation around Freedom Island - The proposed channels extending Paranaque River will cut the portion of Freedom Island which are used by waterbirds as high tide roosting area and breeding areas. - The beachfront development along Freedom Island will increase access to the island which in fact will no longer make it a coastal island habitat. It will also give mammalian predators easier access to sea birds, if avifauna areas survive. - Anthropogenic disturbances will become uncontrollable without a water buffer zone between the island and the proposed development area. While beachfront development is possible along Long Island, it is not compatible with Proclamation 1410 along Freedom Island. - The creation of a storm flood surge area within the present lagoon of LPCHEA can be adverse to its avifauna habitat functions - Construction may drive away the water birds with excessive noise generation while exacerbating siltation at the mudlfats/lagoon.
Vulnerability of Avian Fauna to Island Instability What we need WHY a new Environmental Impact Study? b) Legal compliance to PD 1586 DAO 2003-30 limits validity of issued ECCs within 5 years! Thus the ECC issued for the PRA project on September 16, 1996 has lapsed in year 2001. the baseline characteristics of the project site has significantly changed to the extent that the impact assessment as embodied in the Environmental Management Plan is no longer appropriate. The 850 hectares project area is an expansion from the original area of 750 hectares Mismatch of the geographic coordinates of the approved project site issued the ECC relative to those of LPCHEA and its vicinities. c) Provide a planning tool that can help in the modification of current PRA plans accordingly with a revised plan taking into consideration the need to maintain LPCHEA as a coastal habitat with its diversity and populations of water birds intact. The EIS will be able to undertake the studies proposed in this VA.