HomeNewsGuimaras Conducts Consolidation and Validation Workshop Its State Coasts Baseline

Guimaras Prepares for its State of the Coasts Baseline

Guimaras Province, Philippines — A three-day consolidation and validation of data and information gathered for the State of the Coasts (SOC) indicators was conducted on 18-20 January 2010 as part of the ongoing activities of the Province to develop its SOC Baseline. The SOC Baseline aimed to set the baseline environmental and socioeconomic conditions of the island Province, upon which changes over time can be compared. It also aimed to document existing management interventions being undertaken in the area to address the environmental issues. This comprehensive assessment will also serve as basis for prioritizing issues that will be considered in the strategic planning for the ICM program.The workshop facilitated the validation and integration of data from the various national and provincial agencies, the five coastal municipalities (Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag), people's organizations, private sector and the academe. To provide a comprehensive assessment of the environmental and socioeconomic conditions of the area, the SOC Baseline for Guimaras hopes to capture as much information as may be available, including results of scientific and socioeconomic studies conducted by various groups (e.g., University of the Philippines in the Visayas and the Institute of Environmental Science and Management, University of the Philippines - Diliman).The consolidation of information builds the appreciation of the stakeholders that their implementation of various activities fulfills the various elements of the Framework for Sustainable Development of Coastal Areas (SDCA). The SOC was developed based on the Framework and incorporates indicators that will help evaluate the progress of local governments in terms of the governance elements (i.e., policy, strategies and plans, institutional arrangements, legislation, information and public awareness, capacity development and financing mechanisms) and the five sustainable development aspects (i.e., natural and man-man made hazards management, habitat protection and restoration management, food security and livelihood management, water use and supply management and pollution reduction and waste management).Further to the consolidation and validation of data and information for the SOC, critical data gaps and actions to address the gaps were identified. The next steps to be undertaken for the development of the SOC Baseline for Guimaras, including roles and responsibilities of the SOC task team were also defined.The development of the SOC baseline for Guimaras, which was initiated in December 2008, was one of the initial activities of the Province in its implementation of integrated coastal management. A task team that spearheads its implementation was established through an Executive Order issued by the Provincial Governor in January 2009. Guimaras Province formally became one of PEMSEA's parallel sites for ICM implementation in the Philippines in July 2008.