The Bago Watershed faces a lot of issues that gravely threatens its equilibrium, e.g. water pollution or degrading forest cover. The solution was a diverse combination of e.g. Assisted Natural Regeneration in Mount Kanlaon Natural Park or Waste Management and Pollution Control. All together they mobilized their resources and strengthened community involvement leading to an Integrated Ecosystem Management Approach (Ridge to Reef Environmental Management). The benefits are also very diverse, e.g. an increase in rice production, locals benefited or 179 Hectares of upland farms were converted into sustainable agro-forestry areas, increasing the City’s forest cover.
The local communities of Bago City have been dependent on traditional forms of livelihood which are mostly extractive and not sustainable. Increasing water usage and pollution, forest degradation and inappropriate land use have further threatened the equilibrium of the Bago City watershed. Through effective governance, capacity building programs and involvement of local stakeholders, the city has been able to revive the rich biodiversity of the Bago Watershed. Amongst others, results include 179 Hectares of upland farms were converted into sustainable agro-forestry areas, increasing the City’s forest cover and Bago City was included in the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area and was recently declared as the 7th Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance) in the Philippines.
Keywords: Community involvement, Awareness, Waste and pollution management, Environmental management, Water pollution. Ecotourism, Stakeholder involvement, Destination Management Policy or Strategy, Sustainability Indicators & Monitoring, Review and Evaluation, Natural resource protection, Landscape & Scenery, Water sourcing, Water quality monitoring & response, Sustainability standards, Sustainability information to visitors