In Palawan, various activities were carried out and a number of methods were
used. The activities closely follow the project process as described in the
common project information
This section deals in brief with the activities and its methods and will
refer for detailed information to the concerned sections in the project reports.
In this stage of the first year, the site selection was finalized and the
baseline studies were carried out. These studies served as sources of
‘inside-information’ for the project team to build upon for the LPF action
research. Activities implemented during the baseline study are shortly described
Stakeholder analysis was conducted in order to know exactly who were the
stakeholders, their relationships and power relations to each other and their
networks. The methods used included Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and a series of
workshops at the community and government/non-government institutional levels.
proceedings of stakeholder identification and analysis; main report on
stakeholder identification and analysis.
Resource and resource use survey was conducted to ascertain the status of the
resources and how they were being used by the communities. The tools and methods
used were the multi landscape assessment (MLA), community mapping and secondary
data collection, pebble distribution, ground survey, field visit, FGD, Key
Informant (KI) and the household survey.
Analysis of institutions; A questionnaire was designed and distributed to the
representatives of the different government offices and non-government
organizations. This was followed up by interviews in FGD and KI. Further,
analysis of the roles, responsibilities, revenues( or rights) and relations (4R)
was carried out.
Report on analysis of
A Livelihood survey was carried out in order to gain information on the
origin, status and diversity of the incomes of the people in the site. The
methods used were a household survey (to assess the socio-economic conditions of
the communities) and secondary information by Community-Based Monitoring System
(CBMS), a survey tool borrowed from the Palawan Provincial Planning Development
Analysis of policies: Based on the literature reviews and interviews with 13
community members and 7 fisherman association members the project identified
policies, rules and regulations that affect the way the communities manage and
use their natural resources.
Study on formal and informal agreements where the LPF team identified 8
formal and informal contracts or agreements that the community members of the
three barangays have entered into.
Analysis of Contracts
Market study is carried out to determine what market intervention measures
could be facilitated among the community in the project site to improve their
market study by Ma. Eduarda Devanadera, Azucena Gamutia (phase 1) and Ma. Eden
S. Piadozo (phase 2)
Workshops were organized to formulate a vision, identify problems and
possible solutions to these problems by the communities and other stakeholders.
More than twenty issues were identified in the workshop which was designed to
prioritize problems. This list was reduced into four priority problems,
accomplished through consensus. In order to address these priority problems,
four Technical Working Groups (TWGs) were formed to address each problem, these
- Low productivity in the coastal area;
- Low productivity in the lowland area;
- Low productivity in the upland area; and
- Lack of livelihood and access to markets.
The members of the four TWGs came from the three different barangays. The
working groups met regularly for organizational meetings, all led by the group
facilitator. Each group conducted a reflection meeting to assess the problem
i.e. whether the problem can be part of a bigger problem or were there smaller
issues contributing to the problem. Based on this, the group designed an action
plan. They leveled off to know the right process and the right path to follow to
properly solve the problem. Working groups also presented their action plans to
their village councils and the policy or lawmaking body of the village.
proceedings of the workshop to identify major issues affecting the community,
formulate a vision and identify possible actions to address the problems and
The TWGs made several environmental project proposals and sought political
support from the barangay officials. The LPF team facilitated many activities of
Community members of the TWGs learned how to plan. A Framework for Livelihood
Project/Enterprise Development and Business Planning was developed. Participants
by group made their business plans: Upland and Livelihood and Marketing groups
did their plan for “buying and selling of cashew nuts”, lowland group did plan
for flower gardening while the coastal group did a plan for “Balatan” or sea
urchin culture. The upland group has already implemented projects for
landscaping, ornamental plants, cashew processing and vegetable gardening.
Aside from livelihoods, the TWGs also spearheaded site development activities
like river bank stabilization. They also discussed issues such as water and
forest resources. They aimed to establish a sustainable water system for the
description of the
activities and the methods used are described in lpf_03_2005:16-19
As the communities were considered a part of the bigger system, a steering
committee at the provincial level, Provincial Steering Committee (PrSC) was
formed to provide guidance and to ensure sustainability of the project at a
later stage. Through this steering committee, political commitment from various
offices, agencies and groups were solicited. The PrSC was organized to provide
direction and guidance in implementing the Levelling the Playing Field Projects’
activities. In general terms, the objectives of the PrSC, as envisioned were:
- To enlist the support of the various agencies and organizations in
Palawan that can provide material and moral support;
- To identify and link the LPF to other vital resources in the local
community and beyond; and
- To facilitate, support and provide direction to the communities in
solving problems related to resource sustainability in the three barangays.
The PrSC was very active in addressing community issues and problems. Their
role had been reviewed and firmed up. Through time, the committee had also
become a good venue to find solutions and answers to the issues and concerns
that were raised. The committee was indeed very useful in ensuring that project
targets were achieved and activities would be sustainable. The committee has
become a venue for negotiation among stakeholders and became more a place for
negotiation rather than a steering committee. LPF facilitated a resolution at
the village level to endorse the institutionalization of the PrSC by the Palawan
Council for Sustainable Development.
The minutes of the
Provincial Steering Committee and the progress of TWG in year 2 are shown in
details in Appendix 9. Minutes of Provincial Steering Committee Meeting and
Progress of TWG in Year 2.
MLA in Bataks’ settlements
In order to better understand the Bataks’ perception of the different
landscapes and their perspectives on natural forest management, the
Multidisciplinary Landscape Assessment (MLA) method was used. The MLA is a set
of methods to determine ‘what is most important to local communities in terms of
landscape, environmental services, resources, etc.’ The approach is rooted in
social (anthropology, ethnobotany, and socio-economics) as well as natural
sciences (ecology, botany, pedology, geography).
This approach helped to assess how the Bataks used and perceived the natural
resources of their forested area. The method brought information on the local
biodiversity (the different types of landscapes including forests), the richness
of wildlife (plants and animals) and the situation of the Bataks’ forests to the
The MLA was conducted in the Village of Kalakuasan, of the indigenous people
in Barangay Tanabag. Two LPF consultants, Dr. Manuel Boissière and Ms. Nining
Liswanti, worked closely with the LPF research assistant, and the researchers
from Philippine institutions UPLB University, Palawan University, and the City
Government. The team formed two groups:
- Village team: collected socio-economic and demographic data by using
methods such as households survey, Pebble Distribution Method and focus
- Field team: assessed the different types of landscape on 12 sample plots
and undertook an ethnobotany study of each plant specimens collected in the
The Palawan MLA report showed that the Batak society tried to sustain its
traditional or recently acquired knowledge concerning the use of forests
products, gardening techniques, hunting and semi-nomadic livelihoods; even as it
experienced big challenges such as a decreasing population; increasingly
threatened biodiversity mostly caused by outsiders; dependence on their
relationships with lowlanders; increasing dependence on trading for their
livelihoods; lack of control of the market.
The MLA method is fully described in four languages (Sheil et al, 2003 and
To the website and the
MLA document of M. Boissière and N. Liswanti. This report presents information
on land tenure, local management of forest resources, relations with the
‘outside’ world and how the Bataks think of their future and the role they will
play in it.
MAS and Companion Modelling in
One of the major challenges in renewable resource management was the
complexity of interactions between various social, ecological, political, and
economic components. This is complicated further by the complexity of human
behaviours and their decision-making processes, and the need to have a long-term
observation before the impacts of their behaviour and decision-making on common
resources can be well understood. These complexities could hinder individuals
and institutions in learning about their impacts on renewable resources. The LPF
Philippine team used Multi-Agent System (MAS) as the tool to facilitate
learning, communication, and negotiation among the stakeholders.
MAS for Palawan site was composed of:
- A space, called the environment;
- Objects that were situated in the environment;
- A special type of object, called agents that represented the active
entities in the system;
- Relations that linked these objects, and consequently the agents, and
the agents with their common environment;
- A set of operations that could be performed by the agents to interact,
transform or manipulate other objects in the environment; and
- Operators that represented the results when these operations were
(Ferber 1999 as cited by Bousquet and Le Page 2004).
Each agent had its own characteristics, goals, knowledge and certainty, but
limited perception of the system and was also able to communicate with other
agents. Figure 1 is a visual representation of these components of a MAS model.
In the case of a Natural Resources Management (NRM) system, humans or
stakeholders are usually represented as agents in a MAS model, although these
agents could also be animals that have a stake in the system. Moreover,
bio-physical processes, such as soil erosion and resource growth functions
occurring in the environment could, be integrated into the MAS model using the
principles of cellular automata (CA).
Multi-agent system (Ferber 1999 as cited by Bousquet
and Le Page 2004)
A MAS workshop involving all the different types of stakeholders was
conducted to discuss, plan and strategize on water resource management issues.
Using the results and lessons from the previous MAS workshops, the stakeholders
were expected to formulate management plans and agreements or contracts among
each other pertaining to water resource management.
The MAS model for Palawan was developed using the Companion Modelling (ComMod)
approach – a collaborative development of MAS models. ComMod put emphasis on the
quality of the process in building the model. Being an iterative approach, the
first cycle of ComMod for the Palawan site focused on the interrelationship of
the dynamics of natural resources, livelihood activities of the communities and
institutions or rules in place.
More information on
ComMod and its application in the Palawan site are found in Annex 8 of the
Philippine Country Report 2005
The companion modelling approach (Barreteau et al.
Regular coordination of the Palawan team and the LPF team took place. At the
Palawan site itself, coordination with the local government offices took place,
resulting in good participation and project implementation. Further, LPF team
members sat as members of Provincial Steering Committee.
The LPF project staff and three representatives from provincial-level government
agencies attended a MAS training in Bangkok: “Companion Modeling and Resilience
of Ecosystems in Southeast Asia: Principles and Tools”. The training introduced
MAS modeling and its different applications.
Computer Scientist Paolo Campo, Field Assistant Azucena Gamutia and staff of the
Palawan City Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) participated in a
facilitation training which was conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Together
with the other members of the LPF team from Indonesia and Malaysia, they were
trained in the principles of multi-stakeholder facilitation, different
facilitation skills such as how to listen, how to ask questions, how to record
discussions properly, as well as the basic guidelines a facilitator should
follow when conducting Multistakeholder activities. They also learned the
principles of designing multi-stakeholder activities, which was called process
design, to guide the facilitator in conducting a specific activity.
Facilitation training for TWG members
LPF Philippines organized and implemented training on facilitation skills to
enhance the capability of the community groups in facilitating discussions,
meetings, etc. This training was led by Ms. Anita Frio, a Los Baños-based
international consultant, who has extensive experience in conducting similar
training. A total number of 25 community members and 5 representatives from
government institutions attended the training.
Appendix 10. Facilitation Training Report.
TWGs also successfully received the support from City and Provincial
Department of Agriculture in getting three training sessions conducted for their
members. LPF project contributed to the implementation of those training
Through a series of MAS workshops, the stakeholders were introduced to the
concept of MAS modelling as well as a co-development of the MAS model for the
study site. These workshops provided an opportunity for collective learning
wherein the stakeholders learn and interact with each other, and discuss issues
pertaining to livelihood activities and natural resource management using the
MAS model as the platform for discussion. Also, through these workshops, the
stakeholders were provided with an opportunity to improve the process of model
development by evaluating the MAS workshops.