The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) is set to complete the mapping of the province’s Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) early next year to optimize the use of its land and waters.
Executive director Nelson Devanadera of the PCSD Staff said they have already completed the ECAN zoning of the municipalities of Taytay, El Nido, and Linapacan.
Devanadera appeared before the Provincial Board last week where he was requested to provide core zones data in the Question Hour.
He said they have five teams inspecting the protected areas under the ECAN, which is an “integrated map that delineates management zones in both land and sea based on a graded system of protection and development control in accordance with the degree of human disruption that the area can tolerate.”
Devanadera told members of the Provincial Board that some of the core zones that were inspected are partly affected by infrastructure projects that are part of the “Build! Build! Build!” program of the national government.
Migration also affected the timberlands and coastal areas of some towns like El Nido, he said.
“Naka-apekto rin ang pag-unlad ng turismo dahil maraming itinatayong gusali at mga resorts ngunit sinisiguro ko sa inyo na hindi papayagan ng PCSD ang pag-aabuso sa ating mga protected areas,” Devanadera said.
However, Board Member Albert Rama said Devanadera’s assurance “does not seem to matter since the PCSD appears to always ‘updating’ the core zones. “
“If we keep on updating there is no sense of protection. Until when and up to where tayo titigil sa pag-update? We are gradually giving up the areas we are protecting,” Rama said.
Board Member Roseller Pineda also said there should be a proactive approach as Palawan is expecting more investments to come, increase of population and tourist influx.
“I think it is the time only to update but to have a proactive approach. We have to conduct some reformulation and other strategies in the core zones of Palawan,” Pineda said.