Printer-friendly version

On August 26 to 28, 2019, the Puerto Princesa City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) held its i-Tree inventory of tourism establishments to determine the ecosystem services that their areas provide. Ecosystem services are the benefits humans gain from the natural environment. By doing an eco-inventory assessment, city stakeholders can be more strategic and effective in resource management. Ms. Claire Bea, U.S. Foreign Service Officer, witnessed the process of conducting the i-Tree inventory. Atty. Carlo Gomez, CENRO and i-Tree advocate, stressed the importance of i-Tree in saving urban forests and mitigating the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions. Among the city’s initiatives as a result of i-Tree mapping since 2018 was the earth balling of 500 endemic Balayong or Palawan Cherry Trees from various parts of the city and re-planting them in the Balayong Park for the city government’s protection. The CENRO mobilized community members through CommuniAct, a stewardship program for planting and monitoring growth of trees. As part of next steps, the CENRO plans to develop a rating system for the environmental standing of tourism establishments based on their ecosystem services and issue a policy to encourage resort and hotel owners to dedicate space for planting trees. While the city sustains these initiatives, USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project supports the efforts of stakeholders through value-adding technical training, research, and monitoring. This is part of USAID/SURGE’s continuing assistance to the city government in strengthening competencies in resilience, disaster risk reduction, and inclusive urban development.