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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)

Pathways for indigenous knowledge engagement on marine biodiversity conservation 

PI: Marivic G. Pajaro with co-PI Paul Watts, Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Inc.
U.S. Partner:  Douglas Medin, Northwestern University
Project Dates: June 1, 2012 - July 15, 2015

Project Overview 

The Philippines is a global priority for the conservation of marine biodiversity. The country is also highly dependent on marine resources, with more than one million people directly dependent upon the fisheries sector. This project is based on the belief that local people using indigenous knowledge are capable of solving many environmental challenges, particularly if supported by their jurisdictions. In the Philippines, moving from an exclusive top-down approach to include a bottom-up approach for coastal resource management has become widely accepted as governments decentralize. Even so, local people remain marginalized on issues surrounding natural resource conservation and management. Larger geographical-scale concepts such as biodiversity may be somewhat beyond local knowledge systems and require targeted learning strategies. This project will address the related need for a cross-cultural understanding of environment and biodiversity in fisherfolk cultures. It builds upon fisherfolk social knowledge systems, historic and contemporary cultural profiles, and consideration of economic and political institutions and practices for linked communities.
Phillipines Partnership Photo 1 

Phillipines Partnership Photo 2

Workshops with local fisherfolk are an ongoing activity.
The Aurora Province orientation meeting was held with representatives
from each of the eight Municipal Health Offices.

The current knowledge base indicates that Philippine fisherfolk communities develop through a process of allocating and distributing rights over specific resources and places. The researchers heading this project will work with PAMANA, a national alliance of community-based coastal resource managers. The goals will be to develop a protocol for expanding the ecohealth lens to encompass biodiversity conservation within a wide range of fisherfolk communities and to assist them through best practice transfer to be more engaged in their own future sustainability. The project is also intended to facilitate the development of community-based science curriculum for the first Philippine bioregional or biodiversity-based Bachelor of Marine Science program at an academic institution in Aurora Province, northeast Philippines.

Summary of Recent Activities

The project continues to focus upon initial application of the Cultural Consensus Theory (CCT) data for Action Research/Best Practice Transfer (BPT) activities. The statistical section of the CCT research was prepared and submitted to the journal Social Science Diliman during the first quarter of 2015. The narrative for the paper will be completed and submitted in the coming months. 

During this time, the research team worked closely in six targeted BPT areas. The data results from the Fisherfolk Mums and Children: Protein Nutrition: Identifying Needs project that partners with the University of Philippines Health Sciences and the Aurora Province Health Department will be analyzed by team members M. Raquino and R. Tercero for their MSc theses. In the second, The Youth Action Plan Engagement for Coastal Stewardship: Focus on Solid Waste Management and Reforestation, the students initiated solid waste management programs in their high schools, participated in several leadership development workshops, and helped plan and deliver a community-based Earth Day celebration. The concluding event for this project will be a visit to a Marine Protected Area for snorkeling and further leadership training. In the third project, Kalmadaba Fisherfolk for Biodiversity: Intertidal Invertebrate Protected Area, where the team partnered with the Kamladaba Fisherfolk Alliance and the Municipality of Baler, the project progressed to the stage of developing local ordinance and MOA considerations to continue this development after the current project concludes. The Aurora Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network: Collaboration and the Provincial Replication of Coastal Resource Management: Focus on Isabela Province projects saw the team expand and combine activities focused on International Biodiversity Day in May which aims to partner with four other Northern Philippine Sea provinces to formalize the Aurora MPA network. The team also initiated consideration of bioregional offshore MPAs with a focus on the socio-economic resource rich Benham Rise. Lastly, the team worked closely with the Aurora Department of Education to identify a core group for curriculum development as part of their efforts to initiate a curriculum for coastal stewardship among elementary and high school students.

Best Practice Transfer Intro PowerPoint

Kalmadaba Fisherfolk Project PowerPoint

Youth Ambassadors Project PowerPoint

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