Journal Publications

Agricultural Biodiversity and Coastal Food Systems: A Socio-ecological and Trans-ecosystem Case Study in Aurora Province, Philippines

This paper presents a ridge-to-reef case study on Philippine biodiversity conservation that focused on reducing agricultural chemicals as a contribution to development goals of optimized food security, improving water quality, and mitigating maternal malnutrition. Building upon an earlier study that engaged participants and jurisdictions, farmers were oriented on biodiversity considerations and engaged in ecologically-based rodent management that was extended across the province of Aurora through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. Subsequently, a Participatory Action Research and Learning (PARL) cycle was conducted among 14 farmer participants to support biodiversity friendly agriculture. Developed with local farmers, a biodiversity assessment demonstrated that organic approaches in rice farms increased arthropod biodiversity and reduced the number of key insect pests. The organizational results from this biodiversity study further indicated that local government participation can promote positive change by helping overcome the disconnect between communities and sustainability research. The approach to biodiversity friendly agriculture reached a milestone through the collaborative development of an agricultural protected area supported by drafting a municipal ordinance to encourage the continued expansion of biodiversity-friendly agriculture and reductions in the chemical load of a key Aurora watershed. This paper discusses the biodiversity analysis and organizational results within the context of trans-ecosystem knowledge management and the goal of improving chronic maternal malnutrition that has been identified in coastal settlements of Aurora

Actualization of environmental justice for Indigenous Peoples: How the Philippine-Egongot Tribe stands up for Sustainability and Food Security

Indigenous peoples worldwide are fighting for respect, acceptance and recognition of their land and sea rights, including the Philippine Egongot tribe. Asserting ownership on their legal Ancestral domains requires controlling resource access by outsiders and sustainable management of old-growth forests and coastal areas for tribal food security.

Maternal Indigenous and Artisanal Coastal Nutrition, the SDG Imperative: A Suggested Renaissance of Ethics for Research and Tertiary Education in the Anthropocene Era

Maternal nutrition is at the core of any principle-centered projection of Sustainable Development Goals. Without the developmental health of newborns – there is no quality future. Specifically, there are situations all around the globe where Indigenous and Artisanal coastal people suffer from maternal malnutrition inadvertently limiting future potentials in many locations that will be most challenged by climate change. Results from research with Artisanal Fisherfolk in the Philippines and analysis of harvest by the Canadian Inuit people are discussed in terms of the ethics of setting national as well as global education and research priorities.

Sustainable development of Philippine coastal resources: Subsidiarity in ethnoecology through inclusive participatory education

 The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands, with a population of over 100 million people dependent upon marine resources which are characterised by a decline in both biodiversity and abundance. The resultant large sector of fisherfolk is generally impoverished with limited education, which makes coastal adult education and lifelong learning a national priority. This article considers the Filipino fisherfolk community as a culture to identify potential input strategies regarding education development for marine science concepts. In a study piloting cultural consensus theory applications with a well-established fisherfolk organisation, the authors focus on the lack of dialogue engaging Philippine fisherfolk with standards of international marine science, bioregional resource partitioning and reflexive in-country education development. Cross-cultural strategies considered in this paper include exploring paraprofessional approaches to adult education, accommodating several dialects/languages and drawing on international science concepts. While earlier adult education initiatives aimed at fisherfolk may have had limited success in part due to a lack of cultural context, this pilot study is innovative in that it applies an existing Filipino form of social artistry to fisherfolk identity, expression and communication. Siningbayan [Sining = art, bayan = nation or town], or art whose canvas is society evolved through the Philippine history of organic networking and participation. Results confirm that a structured ethnoecological research design combined with Siningbayan appear effective for identifying education and curriculum specifics both for the fisherfolk sector of Filipino society and for professional marine science; their common goal being improved resource management. The authors place particular emphasis on subsidiarity, considering how best to transfer information to individual fisherfolk and their communities, as well as exploring their scaled-up role in leadership, organisational and professional development. 

The Canadian Arctic Marine Ecological Footprint and Free Prior Informed Consent: Making the Case for Indigenous Public Participation through Inclusive Education

Public participation of the Inuit concerning climate change adaptation in the Canadian Arctic is essential, given the extensive knowledge they possess about their traditional territories, especially as it relates to resources management.  Unfortunately, much of this knowledge is not incorporated into the tertiary educational system and hence not part of the knowledge set of the people most likely to engage in public policy discussions and  decisions. This article adopts a transdisciplinary approach, using an analysis of historic fish and marine mammal catch with the marine ecological footprint calculated for the year 2000. This scientific data, supported by the principle of free and prior informed consent as defined in United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as the Tsilhqot’in case in Canada, demonstrates the need for inclusive education. We conclude that indigenous participation in climate change adaptation policies would benefit immensely from the offering of university programmes that incorporate, in a meaningful way, Inuit traditional knowledge and indigenous rights.

Integrating marine biodiversity through Philippine local development plans

The purpose of this paper is to highlight how data from marine protected area (MPA) surveys can be used to facilitate the development of systematic approaches to monitoring biodiversity within local government development plans and across marine bioregions. The study focused on coastal Barangays of the Municipality of San Luis, Aurora Philippines. A Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment (PCRA) was conducted to gather information on corals and reef fishery resources. Resultant Simpsons biodiversity indices were calculated and compared to other MPA sites. Linkages to enhanced marine curriculum in a San Luis high school were evaluated by utilizing cultural consensus theory (CCT) on previously reported local student perception surveys as a further effort on defining pathways for localized transformation. San Luis MPA biodiversity indices ranged from 0.56-0.8 on a scale of 0-1. This initial analysis demonstrates how local monitoring can be connected to resource assessment through biodiversity considerations and in developing local plans for site improvement linked to local economies. Results are used to demonstrate the potential for further development of an integrated approach to biodiversity monitoring across and between bioregions as a step forward in strengthening science for MPAs and biodiversity conservation for the Philippines. The study could be used to pilot study strengthening of coastal resource management (CRM) at Municipal and Barangay levels and as well through application of CCT to the topics. The results will be used to reinforce the formulation of San Luis local development plans to better consider marine resource assessment. his paper provides a new perspective on the use of quantitative measures of biodiversity to assist with local development plans. Projecting integrated biodiversity monitoring across and between bioregions is considered as a potential tool for facilitating climate change mitigation. 

A Yin-Yang approach to education policy regarding health and the environment: early-careerists’ image of the future and priority programmes

Since the inception of sustainable development (SD), there has been a somewhat ignored contradiction between paradigms that are ecosystem-based and paradigms that are human-based or purely economic. We suggest that this contradiction can be unified through a balance of the two. The Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy is applied as a tool or approach to seeking balance between these ecocentric and anthropocentric paradigms. Priority education policy design for the merging of ecology and health are projected through an Ecohealth lens in response to increasing SD challenges and the intention of the international Ecohealth organization to contribute to SD goals. Meeting SD goals along the nexus of health and environment is further considered through early-careerist cultural assessments and projections. The groups considered for their professional image of the future are: members of the Ecohealth Association Student Section and Chinese early-careerists participating in a related conference. In response to SD goals, a problem-based learning design is suggested as an education policy priority. Rather than approaching SD as a boolean concept, for example, by either focusing on ecosystem sustainability or economic development, we suggest education policy for programmes and curriculums that will help emerging professionals balance these paradigms, so as to best address national and global challenges.

Lake Winnipeg Basin: Advocacy, challenges and progress for sustainable phosphorus and eutrophication control

Intensification of agricultural production worldwide has altered cycles of phosphorus (P) and water. In particular, loading of P on land in fertilizer applications is a global water quality concern. The Lake Winnipeg Basin (LWB) is a major agricultural area displaying extreme eutrophication. We examined the eutrophication problem in the context of the reemerging global concern about future accessibility of phosphate rock for fertilizer production and sustainable phosphorus management. An exploratory action research participatory design was applied to study options for proactivity within the LWB. The multiple methods, including stakeholder interviews and surveys, demonstrate emerging synergies between the goals of reversing eutrophication and promoting food security. Furthermore, shifting the prevalent pollutant-driven eutrophication management paradigm in the basin toward a systemic, holistic and ecocentric approach, integrating global resource challenges, requires a mutual learning process among stakeholders in the basin to act on and adapt to ecosystem vulnerabilities. It is suggested to continue aspects of this research in a transdisciplinary format, i.e., science with society, in response to globally-expanding needs and concerns, with a possible focus on enhanced engagement of indigenous peoples and elders.

Collaborative Philippine-Canadian Action Cycles for Strategic International Coastal Ecohealth​

Canadian-Philippine linkages on multi-year coastal Action Research and learning cycles are detailed within established participatory development strategies. Philippine sustainable development is further considered as a function of inter-jurisdictional considerations, and reflexive role shifts for academe. An organizational process is outlined to enhance partnerships and communication between the public and Philippine authorities. Public participation evaluation is suggested through a community-based consideration of goal attainment, social process and ecological assessment. Positive change is demonstrated for a
related Action Research cycle in one of six marine bioregions. Action Research is further considered as a career strategy for sustainable development and global equity goals.

The Northern Philippine Sea: A Bioregional Development Communication Strategy

The Philippine marine management challenge requires a scaled up ecosystem approach to the biodiversity-based bioregional level used in marine spatial planning. The related communication challenge is being addressed by a currently informal consortium that includes non-government organizations, local government units, as well as state colleges and universities. The evolving communication strategy described here is focused upon considerations that include local government mandates, status of marine development, province by-province assessment of coastal economies, cultural relevance, academic programming, and the need for national inputs on counterpart funding. The current work provides a possible model for Philippine application in all marine bioregions. The concept of the bioregional approach was systematically advocated across one bioregion, the Northern Philippine Sea. The Philippine strategy of development communication was used as a template to promote the development of a bioregional approach by establishing an initial level of participation involving the provincial governments as well as the state universities and colleges.

Strategic and challenge driven municipal action for remote Philippine coastal San Luis communities

Coastal Philippine regions have challenges associated with all ocean-front communities and the impact of sea-rise from climate change. Many are also dependent upon marine fisheries that are in decline. These communities have also been found to devalue the potential of women in leadership roles. San Luis was selected for this action research in part because of having women in key municipal roles. Other specific local challenges include aspects of communication, transportation and the presence of insurgents in the area. A women’s leadership approach to food and water security addressed these challenges within a broader coastal resource management strategy.