|Project Title:||Watershed evaluation for sustainable use of sloping agricultural land in the southern Philippines|
|Project leader:||Australian commissioned organisation / commissioned IARC
Dr Anthony Ringrose-Voase, Research Team Leader - Quantitative Land Evaluation
CSIRO Land and Water
|Administrative Contact:||Australian commissioned organisation / commissioned IARC
Mr Justin Harsdorf, Business Manager, Sustainable Agriculture Flagship
|Collaborating scientist:||Australian collaborating organisation / collaborating IARC
Dr Jun Mercado, Manager Research/ Claveria
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
|Timeframe:||May 2011- October 2015 (4.5 years)|
|Partners:||CSIRO Land and Water
Bureau of Soils and Water Management
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Landcare Foundation of the Philippines
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Local Government Units
Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology
Bohol Island State University
Poverty in the Philippines is greatest in upland watersheds where agriculture provides the economic base. Sloping lands (≥18%) comprise an estimated 45 percent of the total land area in the Philippines and directly support approximately 30 percent of the population. Agricultural development on sloping lands is intensifying in response to increasing population and the need to diversify food and income streams. However, sloping lands are vulnerable to erosion and degradation of watershed function, which reduces the capacity to provide vital economic benefits and ecological services. To reduce poverty there is a clear need to increase total factor agricultural productivity from sloping lands as well as to protect the watersheds where these changes are occurring. If it is to succeed, intensification and diversification of agriculture in sloping lands has to proceed through careful matching of land use to land suitability.
Aims, Objectives and Outputs
The aim of this project is to enable improved planning of agricultural development in upland watersheds in the southern Philippines such that agricultural production can be increased and watersheds can be protected - precursors to reducing rural poverty and improving livelihoods. This aim will be achieved through the following objectives:
- Develop and apply efficient methods to characterise the Cabulig (Misamis Oriental), Inabanga (Bohol) and Billabong watersheds (NSW) to include biophysical and socio-economic information, with particular emphasis on mapping land and soil attributes using digital technology. Outputs: Spatial library of important watershed attributes and efficient methods of watershed characterisation that can be used in other watersheds
- Develop improved approaches to analysing the suitability of sloping land for agricultural intensification within a watershed context. Outputs: Assessment of land suitability for a variety of land uses and land management practices and methods of assessment that embrace landscape position and that can be used in other watersheds.
- Inform and enhance local land use planning processes at both the watershed and community scales in Cabulig and Inabanga watersheds. Outputs: Land use plans for each Philippine watershed informed by the spatial information gathered combined with local experience and technical expertise. Technical and institutional recommendations on how best to manage sloping agricultural lands in the Philippines
- Design and implement on-going monitoring programs in the Philippine watersheds that allows critical assessment of the adoption and impacts of land use planning. Outputs: Establishment of monitoring/demonstration sites in each watershed as well as broader scale monitoring of adoption of alternative land uses and watershed function, that can be used to adapt planning in response to actual impacts.
- Scientific: Technologies for more cost effective survey of soil and land resources in upland watersheds and for better assessment of the suitability of locations for agriculture or their vulnerability to degrade watershed function.
- Capacity: Improved ability of Philippine agencies to: characterise watersheds, assess the suitability of land for agricultural intensification, and conduct land use planning designed to meet multiple social and economic objectives. This will enable the benefits of a wide range of previous R&D projects to be fully realised.
- Economic: Improved agricultural productivity in suitable areas, achieved by identification of land limitations and adoption of appropriate management systems, and better protection of vulnerable areas to avoid the costs associated with the impacts of land degradation on water quality and on damage to infrastructure due to increased prevalence of flooding.
- Social: Better provision of information to empower local land use planning and enable long term improvements in agricultural productivity of sloping lands and watershed condition - both key requirements for reducing rural poverty and improving livelihoods.
- Environmental: Better information to inform watershed planning that integrates the needs of both watershed function and community livelihoods, leading to reduced rates of soil and water degradation through better matching land use with land capability.
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