EIDR program on water governance engages stakeholders in multi-sectoral discussions in Luzon and the Visayas

A water resource management plan was successfully outlined at the Training Workshop on Water Management held last 10-22 March 2015 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños.

The 12-day workshop involved twenty participants from the local government units of six municipalities in Laguna, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Laguna Lake Development Authority, and LIMAS Marina.

But the initiative that resulted in the draft management plan is only among the major offshoots of the program Towards Good Water Governance for Development: A Multi-Case Analysis, which previously led to three similar multi-sector discussions.

In September 2014, a Stakeholders Forum was already held in UP Baguio and was attended by more than 300 participants from local governments, national agencies, academic institutions and non-government organizations. Residents of Baguio City, La Trinidad and Sablan were also among those present.

This was followed by a roundtable in October 2014 which brought together representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government Region VI, National Economic Development Authority Regions VI, Liga ng Barangay, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Metro Iloilo Water District, Manila Waters, Eco Forum, and Green Forum Panay. Convened by a team from the UP Visayas, the discussion centered on exploring alternatives to the privatization of waterworks in Metro Iloilo.

One month after, Dr. Agnes Rola organized the Science Legislative Forum at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on behalf of the Emerging Interdisciplinary and Research Program (EIDR) and the National Academy of Science and Technology.  Titled Water Scarcity Amidst Plenty: Transboundary Issues, the forum was participated in by various stakeholders including three members of Congress, the director of the National Water Resources Boar and a representative from the Local Water Utilities Authority. The project team presented their recommended revisions to the Water Code of the Philippines.

The inter-campus program, which officially began in 2012, was realized with support from the EIDR of UP.

It consists of three projects: the first characterizes water governance in the Philippines;  the second is an actor-based assessment of water governance at the watershed level; and the third aims to develop an adaptive collaborative water governance mechanism in the study watersheds from the second project.

Results generated by the research have also been published in ISI- and Scopus-listed publications International Journal of Ecology and Conservation, and Water Policy.  (See abstracts here)

UP, through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, funds innovative, interdisciplinary and inter-campus research programs and projects that generate new knowledge of natural phenomena and have useful applications. More information on the EIDR can be obtained here