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Rodelio B.

Carating
Senior Science Research Specialist
Bureau of Soils and Water Management

Outline of Presentation
• Introduction
• Nature of land degradation in the Philippines
• Primary causes of land degradation
• Assessment of land degradation
- the BSWM estimate using GIS method
• What are being done
- improving the assessment using the FAO-LADA
approach
- the Philippine National Action Plan
Introduction
• Land degradation is defined as a long-term decline in
ecosystem function and productivity.
• The study Global Assessment of Land Degradation
and Improvement showed that there are 33,064,628
Filipinos affected by land degradation. The total
degraded land is estimated at 132,275 sq. kilometers.
There are 100 hectares to a sq kilometer. That’s
roughly 13 M hectares of degraded lands based on
global estimates

Introduction
• It is estimated that soil erosion carries away a volume of
soil 1 meter deep over 200,000 hectares a year.
• On-site soil fertility losses in the Philippines due to
unsustainable land management, as per 1989 World Bank
estimates, is to be around US$ 100 M, equal to one
percent of Philippine GDP per year.
• The quality and management of land resources in the
Philippines has become of serious concern because of
exponentially increasing population and the need to
expand agricultural production to marginal areas while
ironically converting prime agricultural lands to non-
agricultural uses.
Introduction: Population Figures
• The annual growth trend of the Philippine population
stood at 2% in the first half of the 20th century, surged
in the 1950s, and reached a maximum of 3% in the
1960s. Growth rate gradually declined in the next
two decades at just above the 2% level since then.
• The 2000 Census placed the Philippine population at
about 76.5 M. The National Census Office projects
Philippine population to reach 105.5 M by 2020.
• The population growth rate is still high by regional
standards and this extends the limited resources to
accommodate such population increases.

Introduction: Our land resources


• The total land area of the Philippines is about 30 M
hectares.
• A total of 15.8 M hectares are classified as forest
lands and 14.2 M hectares are classified as alienable
and disposable lands.
• Of this 14.2 M hectares, about 13 M hectares are
devoted to agriculture of which 6.1 M hectares are
highly suitable for cultivation.
• Food grains – 4.01 M hectares, food crops – 8.33 M
hectares, non-food crops – 2.2 M hectares.
Introduction: Our land resources
• Food grains (4.01 M hectares) : the average area for
corn is 3.34 M hectares while for rice is 3.31 M
hectares. The rice figure is effective average area.
Rice is grown on approximately 2.3 M hectares of
which 850,000 hectares are irrigated and planted at
least 2x and sometimes 3x a year.
• For food crops, coconut – 4.25 M hectares,
sugarcane is 673,000 hectares, industrial crops with
591,000 hectares, fruits with 148,000 hectares,
vegetables and rootcrops with 270,000 hectares,
pasture with 404,000 hectares, and cutflowers with
133 hectares.

UNCCD
• Desertification is defined as the degradation of land
primarily caused by human activities such as
overexploitation and inappropriate land use, as well as
due to climatic variations. The Convention is anchored on
the premise that rehabilitating degraded lands, combating
drought, and preventing further degradation would mean
an increase in agricultural productivity, and thus reduce
poverty and food insecurity.
• The Philippines ratified UNCCD on 10 Feb 2000 and final
accession to the Convention came in full force on 10 May
2000. BSWM is the Philippine Focal Point.
Nature of land degradation in the
Philippines
• Accelerated water erosion. Deforestation and
unsustainable land management in the uplands make
topsoil vulnerable to go with water runoff after a
rainfall event. Once the rich top soil is gone, this
creates a cycle of poverty, resource exploitation, and
under development.
• Nutrient mining and soil fertility decline. There is
declining trend in productivity despite fertilizer
applications under modern intensive farming
methods.

Area distribution of Erosion Classes by Island Groupings. (In Million Hectares)

Erosion Class
Island Total
None (e0) Slight (e1) Moderate (e2) Severe (e3) Unclassified*
Grouping
Area % Area % Area % Area % Area % Area %

Luzon 4.1 57.7 4.1 46.6 4.1 48.2 1.7 32.7 0.2 50.0 14.2 47

Visayas 1.2 16.9 1.7 19.3 1.5 17.0 1.1 21.2 0.1 25.0 5.6 19

Mindanao 1.8 24.5 3.0 34.1 2.9 34.1 2.4 46.1 0.1 25.0 10.2 34

Philippines 7.1 23.7 8.8 29.4 8.5 28.3 5.2 17.3 0.4 1.3 30.0 100

Source: Bureau of Soils and Water Management, 1993


*Unclassified erosion refers to quarry, river wash, and open pit mines
The yearly trend and ratio of N, P, and K utilization (in metric tons per year) is as follows:
Year N P K Ratio (N/P)
1980 224,866 53,784 55,782 4.18
1981 209,875 51,163 60,620 4.10
1982 232,840 56,139 57,435 4.10
1983 244,179 54,784 64,496 4.46
1984 180,569 45,372 38,617 3.99
1985 205,364 42,822 35,060 4.80
1986 298,323 42,771 46,267 6.97
1987 371,925 63,340 48,661 5.87
1988 372,118 77,471 54,934 4.80
1989 375,940 84,101 77,260 4.47
1990 394,767 46,188 68,512 8.55
1991 292,483 30,397 54,197 9.62
1992 331,537 36,025 61,628 9.20
1993 395,183 42,473 93,331 9.30
1994 396,751 46,920 38,944 8.46
1995 389,295 56,817 59,098 6.85
1996 462,776 65,055 90,346 7.11
1997 541,112 65,253 93,331 8.29
1998 408,778 53,299 81,740 7.67

• By 2005, there has been a major shift in government policies


owing to accelerated increases in the prices of farm inputs
beyond the reach of ordinary farmers and a host of other
issues like land degradation and climate change.
• Executive Order 481 was issued by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to promote and develop organic agriculture
as a farming scheme and to regulate the organic certification
procedures.
• This is a significant milestone in our agricultural production
policy as we refocus on our natural resources than on our
external resources.
• The national government recognizes that farming methods
that neglect the ecology of the soil, crops, and nature damage
the farming environment and inimical to our national interest.
Primary causes of land degradation
• Intensive logging. Forest cover in the Philippines
decreased from 34% in the 1970s to 22% in 1987. The
1987 forest resource inventory showed a forest cover of
6.6 M hectares leaving 10.8 M hectares of possible
degraded forest lands. Estimates and distribution of
degraded lands are highly variable. Most of the area is
mountainous and faces severe erosion problems with
vegetation removal.
• The underlying causes of deforestation are rooted in a
complex web of social, economic, and institutional
problems both within and outside the forestry sector.

Primary causes of land


degradation
• Unsustainable agricultural practices in the
sloping uplands. This is due to intensification of
agricultural land use without compensating
investments in soil conservation and fertility.
• A major causal factor is upland migration.

Soil loss for various land uses and slopes (tons/hectare/year)


Slope Category
Land Use 18-30 >30
Rice 50 100
Corn with fallow 50 150
Other agriculture 25 50
Forest 1 1
Assessment of Land Degradation:
National level (BSWM)
• A major output of the third JICA-BSWM technical
cooperation (2001-2005) is the development of
Agricultural Resources Information System (ARIS)
which integrates the earlier completed Soil
Information System (SIS) and the Land Resources
Information System (LARIS).
• The ARIS framework consists of data, query, and
model subsystems.

• Under the query system


and using ArcGIS 9.3, a
check on the
“moderately and
severely eroded areas”
in the Philippines is
presented.
• The pink colored
mapping units are
moderately eroded while
the red colored mapping
units are severely
eroded
 



 
  
 





 






 


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Region Area (Ha)
ARMM 104,721.14
CAR 597,028.67
CARAGA 311,791.88
REGION I (ILOCOS REGION) 363,363.78
REGION II (CAGAYAN VALLEY) 538,458.07
REGION III (CENTRAL LUZON) 221,223.40
REGION IV-A (CALABARZON) 238,153.84
REGION IV-B (MIMAROPA) 350,052.45
REGION IX (ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA) 167,433.48
REGION V (BICOL REGION) 160,569.55
REGION VI (WESTERN VISAYAS) 383,826.29
REGION VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS) 446,037.73
REGION VIII (EASTERN VISAYAS) 362,123.02
REGION X (NORTHERN MINDANAO) 409,467.04
REGION XI (DAVAO REGION) 417,666.44
REGION XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) 295,130.22

Total 5,367,046.98
  

Region Area (Ha)


ARMM 15,345.32
CAR 242,293.98
CARAGA 91,157.75
REGION I (ILOCOS REGION) 55,764.90
REGION II (CAGAYAN VALLEY) 135,040.74
REGION III (CENTRAL LUZON) 131,069.68
REGION IV-A (CALABARZON) 168,144.11
REGION IV-B (MIMAROPA) 110,973.88
REGION IX (ZAMBOANGA
PENINSULA) 64,757.00
REGION V (BICOL REGION) 47,100.69
REGION VI (WESTERN VISAYAS) 78,077.63
REGION VII (CENTRAL VISAYAS) 17,794.68
REGION VIII (EASTERN VISAYAS) 145,725.34
REGION X (NORTHERN
MINDANAO) 107,578.30
REGION XI (DAVAO REGION) 91,351.26
REGION XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) 91,996.71

Total 1,594,171.97

Assessment of land degradation:


project level
• The national level data represents several decades of
BSWM efforts to assess the state of land degradation in
the country. It took more than 30 years to complete its
soil resources assessment of the country.
• To update its data, it does not need to resort to direct
field survey methodology again. There are now GIS and
remote sensing technologies that BSWM uses.
• Currently, updated land degradation assessments are
done at project levels, e.g.: SAFDZ-CLUP integration,
various watershed projects such as those collaborative
with JICA and ACIAR.
Sample land degradation assessment at local
level: Inabanga, Bohol Watershed (completed
BSWM-ACIAR project)

• GIS-Based Land and Water Resources Evaluation


• Digital map outputs – administrative map,
watershed, soils, soil series, soil depth, land use,
dominant land cover, slope, erosion, forestry
suitability, crop suitability (oil palm, grassland,, land
degradation hot spot
• Studies on satellite imageries - Bohol island digital
map elevation model, Normalized Difference
Vegetation Index (NDVI)


   
         

ELEVATION (masl)

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516.0
344.0
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Improving the assessment using
the FAO-LADA approach
• Originally developed for drylands, the methodology is
also applicable to other areas such as monsoon
areas.
• At local level, point data characterize land
degradation in terms of observed soil and vegetation
chactertistics and semi-quantitative assessment of
water resources.
• At national and global level, Land Use System map is
the basis.
• Participatory element is important; community focus
group discussion is part of the methodology.
• We are yet to participate in the FAO-LADA approach
to land degradation assessment.
Land degradation assessment
(FAO-LADA): To be done yet
• We need to set up an inter-agency task force to work
together to come up with Philippine Land System Map;
we need expert group and secondary data; we need to
come up with sub-legend within the global LUS map.
• We need to prepare a project proposal for series of FAO-
LADA workshops on land degradation assessment. GEF5
is being considered as funding source.
• As per LADA experience, it will take about 2.5 years to
complete the initial version. A regular updating of the map
is important.

The Philippine National Action Plan


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Strategic Objectives
¬ Objective 1: To improve the living conditions of affected
areas

¬ Objective 2: To improve the condition of affected


ecosystems

¬ Objective 3: To generate global benefits through effective


implementation of the Convention

¬ Objective 4: To mobilize resources to support the


implementation of the Convention

Core Indicators for Objectives


Strategic Objective 1: To improve the living
conditions of affected areas
  



 








 

 

 

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Objective 2: To improve the condition of affected
ecosystems

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Objective 3: To generate global benefits through effective


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Objective 4: To mobilize resources to support the
implementation of the Convention

       


   
  

  
    
   
     


 

    


      
  
      

 

 

Questionnaire on impact indicators


¬ The need for strategies on how best to measure progress on
Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 for presentation to COP 9

¬ The CST Bureau with the participating STC prepared a


Questionnaire on Impact Indicators (for Core Indicators S-1to
S-7) in use in each affected country on Nov 5-6, 2008;

¬ The CST Bureau further decided to involve directly the


affected countries through the STC in providing information
on the Impact Indicators which are in use in their country
¬ Various NGAs and stakeholders were consulted to
accomplish the questionnaire on January 20, 2009

¬ Accomplished questionnaire was submitted on January


30, 2009 to CST

¬ The CST Bureau agreed to recommend a minimum set of


impact indicators to be proposed on CST 9 and for
reporting process in March 2009

¬ Submitted on April 24, 2009 duly accomplished follow-up


questionnaire…. methodologies for data collection and
processing and capacities needed to utilize the minimum
set of impact indicators.

Framework (Enhanced UNCCD Implementation)


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Summary and conclusion
• Compared to arid and semi-arid areas, the state of land
degradation in the Philippines is not as bad; nevertheless
a cause for alarm considering its extent and impact on
food security.
• The Philippine National Action Plan to combat
desertification and land degradation is being revised to
conform to UNCCD format and should be ready in time for
the UNCCD-COP9, to be held in Buenos Aires, October
this year.
• We need to mobilize the Filipino scientific community for
an integrated program for methods, standards, data
collection, research network, assessment and monitoring
of land degradation. We may have to include some socio-
economic instruments.