TERRAGUA

1. BACKGROUND

The Capones Island Group, situated approximately 112 kilometers north of Manila, consists of Capones Island and the Camera Islands located west of Brgy. Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales. The Camera islands are within 2 km offshore while Capones is situated 5.2 km offshore. Both islands are known for their white beaches dotted with multihued crushed coral, clear blue waters, soaring rock cliffs and the historical Faro de Punta Capones (Capones Lighthouse) built in 1890. Directly adjacent to the Capones-Camera Islands Groups are two coastal communities, Brgy. San Miguel and Brgy. Pundaquit. These communities are largely dependent on fishing and tourism for their continued livelihood.

In the wake of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, Zambales was one of those hardest hit. Losses to life and property estimates reached as high as 10 billion pesos and; if one were to look much closer today, long term losses are estimated to be significantly higher. In the coastal areas, coral smothering due to large deposits of ashfall and other volcanic debris has reduced fish harvest by 213 kg. per centimeter of volcanic sediment deposited (Villegas, Lanuza, Dugan and Vera, 1999). This alarming decline in fisheries yield along the coasts of Zambales has subsequently triggered widespread illegal fishing activities, particularly sodium cyanide and dynamite fishing, in the area. Consequently, coral reef damage has increased.

In an effort to prevent further damage to these fishing grounds and to induce a regeneration of marine species, most especially coral; and to come up with livelihood opportunities for nearby fishing communities, Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation Inc. (EPAFI) has commenced a planning process to develop a marine protected area (MPA) and management system for a proposed Park situated in the areas of San Miguel through the Capones-Camera Island Group, south to Calaguagin Bay. Key issues will be addressed in feasibility studies and socio-economic surveys to be conducted by EPAFI.

These arrangements will be formulated in consultation with the local and wider communities and will be expressed in the ‘ Capones Islands Marine Park ' (CIMP) Management Plan. As part of this process, a zoning scheme for the park is being developed based on scientific criteria and social considerations derived from discussions with major stakeholders, the Provincial Government, local governmental units (LGU's) and government agencies.

In addition to the development of a marine park system for the Capones group of islands ( Capones Island and Camera Island ); consideration is being given to the proposed addition of the waters, coastal and watershed areas north of the islands to Brgy. San Miguel and south of the islands to Biniptican Point, at the edge of the Olongapo Naval Reservation, to the proposed marine conservation reserve system (see attached Map).

A recommended reserve category and zoning scheme for the proposed regions have been developed based on scientific criteria and preliminary discussions with key stakeholders.

2. INTRODUCTION

Zambales is a coastal province comprised of 14 municipalities (Botolan, Cabangan, Candelaria, Castillejos, Iba, Olongapo City , Palauig, San Antonio , San Felipe, San Marcelino, San Narciso, Sta. Cruz, Subic and Masinloc) and 247 barangays. Its capital is Iba.

Being a coastal province, 11 of the 14 municipalities of Zambales are coastal municipalities. 215 of the 247 barangays comprise these 11 municipalities. The Capones Island Group belongs to the municipality of San Antonio , a coastal municipality having 14 barangays and a population of 33,806.

The Capones-Camera Island Group is situated approximately 2 nautical miles off the coast of Brgy . Pundaquit, San Antonio and lies 12 nautical miles from Sampaloc Point, and the entrance to Subic Bay . Findings showed that the Capones Island Grande has a length of 1.5 miles and is situated 2 miles from the Capones Point. The Camera Islands is actually a single island characterized by two rocky outcroppings on each side connected by sand flat; approximately 800 meters in length.

On Capones Island can be found the Faro de Punta Capones (Capones Island Lighthouse), a lighthouse built by the Spanish Colonial Government in 1890. It is a significant lighthouse of the first order. Its light guides ships entering and leaving the port of Manila and Subic Bay . The lighthouse also warns navigators of the rocky shores surrounding the Island of Capones . As a warning beacon, together with the lights situated in the islets of Los Frailes, and Los Jabones, serves as a series of warnings due to the dangers of the surrounding seas as well as the islands close proximity to shore, thereby making the seas very treacherous to unseasoned navigators. As a navigation guide, this lighthouse serves the main artery for ships heading towards China , making it an important shipping route.

Today, the Capones Island Lighthouse is still in operation and is powered by solar cells and has a meteorburst radio transmission system that notifies the Coast Guard when any of the lights or lenses is not in working order. These significant improvements have restored the lighthouse proper to full operational capacity, while the buildings themselves remain in a highly denuded state.

Capones Island and the rest of the fishing grounds of nearby Brgy. San Miguel in San Antonio received the bulk of ashfall deposit causing the fishing grounds to be smothered by lahar. This deposition caused the mortality and emigration of fishes with resultant biomass decline. Octavillo, Hernandez and Alino (UP-MSI) reported a 69.3% relative fish biomass decline for Capones and San Antonio .

Over a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, Zambales coastal communities remain threatened by mudflows and siltation; with the entire coastline from San Antonio to Botolan considered as high risk areas, endangered by moderate to severe mudflows and siltation.

Although in part attributable to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo , coral reef destruction in the area has since been exacerbated by illegal fishing practices. With the continued decline in fish catches due to coral smothering, Capones experienced resurgence in the practice of illegal fishing as evidenced by the currently poor condition of fishing grounds in the area with only about 22% of the coral cover remaining. Also, fishing practices in the Zambales fishing areas have changed. Where non-motorized bancas and nets sufficed prior to the eruption, post eruption times showed a shifting to the use of motorized boats and more advanced fishing gears because nearshore catch is no longer sufficient. All these activities serve to increase the pressure on fisheries resources and; with fisheries yields already declining, conservation efforts along the coasts of Zambales are an immediate necessity.

The coastal areas of Zambales are in need of coastal resource regeneration and serious enforcement of laws against illegal fishing. Fishing communities also require alternative sources of livelihood to augment their decreasing incomes.

EPAFI is involved in various conservation programs throughout the Province of Zambales; with the most active to date being the Zambales Turtle Conservation Program working closely with the eleven coastal communities of Zambales, local government units, the Provincial Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to date a significant accomplishment of EPAFI has been to assist in the provincial declaration of the entire coastal area of Zambales as a critical habitat for marine turtles. Through the efforts of EPAFI and the Zambales Tutle Conservation Program, with turtle hatcheries in Iba, Botolan and San Antonio have successfully released over 10,000 turtle hatchlings to the sea in three years of operation. Our turtle conservatiuon programs have been an overwhelming success and have attracted attention from throughout the world, including widespread media coverage. In the coming year, EPAFI intends to continue with these efforts throughout the entire coastal regions of Zambales; while conducting province-wide seminars on turtle conservation. So far these efforts have had a profound impact on the local communities and we expect greater things in the future.

Secondly, the Zambales Mangrove Rehabilitation Program, an ambitious PHP 47 million project is aimed at planting 297.49 hectares throughout Zambales has been slated for funding and will commence in the near future with the first 5 hectares being planted in the southern portion of Silanguin Bay.

EPAFI begun conducting a general feasibility study in 2003 conjunction with DENR, local and provincial government. This consultative process on behalf of LGU of San Antonio is intended to develop a draft development and management plan for the proposed Capones Marine Park, and indicative management plans for the proposed adjacent marine conservation reserves. The consultative process involves liaison with the major stakeholders that have an interest in the management of these important areas. The outcome is/will be in the form of:

1. A proposed zoning scheme for Capones Island Marine Park (CIMP) including the Capones Islands , the surrounding waters and portions of the adjacent coastline deemed critical for the success of the Marine Park .

2. A proposed zoning scheme for the proposed southern extension of the Capones Marine Park to Silanguin Island including the Los Frailes Islands.

3. A proposed zoning scheme for the proposed terrestrial Management Area flanking the westerns slopes of the Luzon range from Mount Pundaquit, including Mount Silanguin , up to Biniptican Pt.

This document outlines the proposed zoning scheme of the Proposed Capones Island Marine Park MPA and the larger Terragua Terrestrial-Marine Conservation/ Remediation Area.

EPAFI/NAMRIA MAP WITH GOOGLE EARTH INSERT SHOWING REDONDO PENINSULA BOUNDARIES OF THE PROPOSED TERRAGUA TERRESTRIAL/MARINE CONSERVATION REMEDIATION AREA

3. GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CAPONES MARINE PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN

3.1 VISION STATEMENT

The entire municipal  waters of the municipality of San Antonio, Zambales, comprised of an area over 400 sq. kms. with a terrestrial area from Pundaquit Bay to Binictican Point totaling approximately 115 sq. kms. Is the largest municipal area of its type in all of Luzon and its biological diversity and richness of extensive coral reefs and sea grasses enable this ecosystem to support a wide variety of marine life.  The Capones Island group including Camera Island and their associated coral reef communities are of local, national and international significance.  As a major fringing coral reef ecosystem and containing many threatened species such as turtles and world-renowned whale shark aggregations, this area is one of the Philippine’s premier marine conservation icons.

EPAFI has developed a vision statement which it believes broadly reflects the natural values and the aspirations of the local and wider community with regard to the conservation, use management of the Capones Islands Marine Park/TERRAGUA Terrestrial/Marine Conservation Area.

Vision Statement
The marine flora and fauna, habitats, sediment, and water quality of the Capones Marine Park/TERRAGUA will be in the same or better condition than in the year 2003 and the Park's cultural and indigenous heritage values will be fully protected from adverse human impacts. The marine park will be considered to be an important ecological and social asset by the local, national and international community.

3.2 STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation Inc. proposes to create a management and zoning framework to effectively manage the municipal waters of the municipality of San Antonio, Zambales.

The specific objectives of the proposed marine conservation reserve system are:

  • to preserve representative and special ecosystems in the marine environment; and
  • to put a formal management framework in place to ensure the various uses of marine conservation reserves are managed in an equitable, integrated and sustainable manner.

Within the above policy context the proposed strategic objectives for the CIMP/TERRAGUA can be defined as:

Conservation

  • To maintain the marine biodiversity of the Park.
  • To maintain ecosystem structure and function of the Park

Science and Education

  • To promote education, nature appreciation and scientific research in the Park.

Public Participation

  • To promote and develop community involvement in management of the Park.

Recreational Uses

  • To facilitate and manage recreational activities in the Park within an equitable and ecologically sustainable framework.

Commercial Uses

  • To facilitate, manage and, where appropriate, assist in the management of commercial activities in the Park within an equitable and ecologically sustainable framework.

The strategic objectives of the Park can only be achieved in conjunction with other statutory and nonstatutory management measures both within and adjacent to the Park. These management measures include a suite of complimentary management practices including community co-operation, fisheries management, wildlife management, pollution control, environmental impact assessment and maritime transport and safety measures.

3.3 ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL VALUES

The conservation of marine biodiversity and the management of human use are the major objectives for the CIMP/TERRAGUA. These generic terms need to be defined operationally to be useful in a management context. This is achieved by identifying the key ecological and social values of the Park and setting management objectives in relation to these values.

Ecological values are the intrinsic physical, chemical, geological and biological characteristics of an area. The key ecological values are identified according to their biodiversity significance and their importance in maintaining the structure and function of the ecosystem. The identified 'ecological' (ecological values refer to indingenous marine flora anf fauna) values include

  • Species and communities that have special conservation status (e.g. hawksbill turtles);
  • key species endemic to the Park;
  • key structural components of the ecosystem (e.g. coral, macro-algae and mangrove communities);
  • exploited species and communities (e.g. whale sharks, manta rays and targeted fish populations); and
  • key physical-chemical components of the ecosystem (e.g. water and sediment quality and geomorphology).

Social values are the major cultural, aesthetic, recreational and economic uses of the area. Social values may be either ‘passive' (uses that are not threat to ecological values) (e.g. wilderness or seascape values) or ‘active' (uses considered as potential threats to ecological values) (e.g. fishing, tourism) uses. ‘Passive' social values are treated, for conservation planning purposes, as quasi-ecological values because these ‘uses' do not impact on the natural environment in the same way as the ‘active' social values do. By contrast the ‘active' social values are those activities that have potential to impact on the ecological values.

The ecological and social values are listed as part of Tables 1 and 2.

3.4 MANAGEMENT TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES

The conservation of marine biodiversity and sustainable management of human activities in the marine environment of the Philippines are achieved by identifying the management goals (i.e. targets and objectives) and then applying appropriate management strategies to achieve these goals.

Management targets for the ecological and the ‘passive' social values represent the desired ‘end points' or ‘outcomes' of management. The targets should be quantitative, time bound and expressed spatially. Ecological targets will be set as either the ‘natural state' or some acceptable departure from the ‘natural state'. The target provides a specific benchmark to assess the success or otherwise of management action within the life of the management plan.

Management targets for the ecological and the ‘passive' social values of the CIMP are outlined in Table 1.

Ecological values refer to indigenous marine flora and fauna.

Uses that are not a threat to ecological values.

Uses considered as potential threats to ecological values.

Table 1: Management targets for the ecological values of CIMP

ECOLOGICAL VALUES

MANAGEMENT TARGETS

Geomorphology

1. No change of seabed structural complexity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No change of coastal landform structure as a result of human activity in the Park.

Water and sediment quality

No change in water and sediment quality of all reserve waters from

‘background' levels, as per the environmental quality management framework referred to in the Philippines Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (DENR Ref:????), as a result of human activities in the Park.

Coral Communities

1. No loss of coral diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss 5 of living coral biomass as a result of human activity in the Park.

Invertebrate Communities (other than coral communities)

1. No loss of invertebrate diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of protected invertebrate species abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

3. No loss of invertebrate species abundance in sanctuary zones as a result of human activity in the Park.

4. Management targets for abundance of target invertebrate species to be determined in consultation with the Department of Fisheries and peak bodies.

Intertidal sand or mudflat communities

 

1. No loss of intertidal sand/mudflat community diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss 5 of intertidal sand/mudflat community abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Macroalgal and seagrass communities

1. No loss of macroalgae/ seagrass diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of macroalgae/ seagrass biomass as a result of human activity in the Park.

Mangrove communities

1. No loss of mangrove diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of mangrove biomass as a result of human activity in the Park.

Coastal communities

1. No loss of coastal community diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of coastal community biomass as a result of human activity in the Park apart from areas where development has been approved by an appropriate authority.

Seabirds

1. No loss of seabird diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of seabird abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Finfish

1. No loss of finfish diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of protected finfish species abundance as a result of human activities in the Park.

3. No loss of finfish species abundance in the sanctuary zones as a result of human activity within the Park.

4. Management targets for abundance of target finfish species to be determined in consultation with the Department of Fisheries and peak bodies.

Manta Rays

No loss of manta ray abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Whale sharks

No loss of whale shark abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Cetaceans

1. No loss of cetacean diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of cetacean abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Turtles

1. No loss of turtle diversity as a result of human activity in the Park.

2. No loss of turtle abundance as a result of human activity in the Park.

Dugong

No loss of dugong abundance as a result of human activity in the Park

‘PASSIVE' SOCIAL VALUES

MANAGEMENT TARGETS

Indigenous Heritage

Maintenance of indigenous heritage values, as identified by the Department of Indigenous Affairs

Seascapes

Maintenance of amenity values of designated seascapes in the Park

Wilderness

Maintenance of amenity values of designated wilderness in the Park

‘Background' conditions are determined from ‘undisturbed' reference sites.

From conservation planning perspectives most of the ‘active' social values are considered primarily as threatening processes and, secondarily, as legitimate human uses of CIMP. As such, the management objectives of the ‘active' social values identify the primary aims of management. Management objectives for the ‘active' social values are outlined in Table 2.

Table 2: Management objectives for the ‘active' social values of CIMP

‘ACTIVE' SOCIAL VALUES

MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES

Coastal Use

1. To ensure that coastal uses are managed in a manner that is consistent with maintenance of the Park's values.

2. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important for coastal use.

3. To ensure management of the coastal portion of the Park is integrated with the management of adjacent coastal lands.

Recreational fishing

1. To ensure that, in collaboration with the community and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), recreational fishing in the Park is managed in a manner consistent with maintenance of the Park's values.

2. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important to recreational fishing.

3. Cooperate with the community and the Department of Fisheries to maintain quality recreational fishing opportunities in the Park [contentious, may want to exclude this].

Water sports

1. To ensure water sports are managed in a manner that is consistent with maintenance of the Park's values.

2. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important to recreational users.

Marine Nature-based tourism

1. To ensure that marine nature-based tourism is managed in a manner that is consistent with maintenance of the Park's values.

2. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important to the tourism industry.

3. Cooperate with the industry to maintain a viable tourism industry in the Park.

Scientific research

1. To promote the use of the Park for marine ecological and social research.

2. To ensure ecological and social research is ethical and ecologically sustainable.

3. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important for scientific research.

Education

1. To promote the use of Park for marine education and nature appreciation.

2. To ensure that the education programs are ethical and ecologically sustainable.

3. To maintain the ecological values of the Park that are important for marine education and nature appreciation.

3.5 MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

The pristine nature and accessibility of CIMP/TERRAGUA are key attractions to the local and wider community. These features also result in the area being highly vulnerable to over-exploitation. A central long-term strategy to protect the ecological and social values of the CIMP/TERRAGUA is to continue to build a strong partnership between the community and the Government. Community stewardship of this area will be promoted through education and nature appreciation programs and via active public participation in the management of the marine reserves [I guess this will be one of the long term funded activities we will undertake]. The appropriate legal, scientific, financial and operational frameworks will continue to be implemented by Government to support this collaborative approach.

The vision, strategic objectives, management targets and management objectives, provide the focus for the development of specific management actions in the revised management plan and indicative management plans. These actions are achieved by applying the appropriate balance of seven generic management strategies. These are

  • Development and maintenance of an appropriate administrative framework i.e. legal (including statutory zones), financial, human and operational requirements);
  • Education and interpretation ;
  • Public participation ;
  • Direct management intervention (i.e. proactive (preventative) or reactive (Restorative));
  • Surveillance and enforcement;
  • Research; and
  • Monitoring.

The development of key elements of specific management strategies, including the statutory zones, is being undertaken in consultation with key stakeholders and the wider community. Specific strategies relating to education, public participation, research, etc will be formulated by the EPAFI in the development of the management plan/s. Public comment is being sought throughout the development of the management plan/s. This paper focuses on the zoning scheme for the CIMP with particular emphasis on the representativeness and adequacy of the sanctuary zones.

3.6 ZONING–BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS

BACKGROUND

A key element of the administrative framework needed to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable human use in marine conservation reserves is the implementation of a statutory zoning scheme. A zoning scheme, utilizing a suite of zoning categories, allows for the protection of the ecological values (e.g. by restricting certain activities) while providing a mechanism to manage human uses within the Park (e.g. by separating conflicting uses).

Of particular ecological importance is the establishment of sanctuary (or ‘no take') zones. Sanctuary zones, of appropriate size and location, are a key part of the management ‘tool-box', not only for the conservation of marine flora and fauna within the zones but also to conserve marine biodiversity and help prevent over-exploitation of fish stocks in areas of the Park where fishing is permitted (i.e. via the protection of spawning sites and through ‘reseeding' and spill-over effects).

Artisanal and Recreational fishing are major activities for locals and many visitors to the region and remains the major extractive activity in CIMP. As such, recreational fishing needs careful management if this activity is to be compatible with the conservation objectives of CIMP and the proposed reserve additions.

Zoning Guidelines

The Capones Island Marine Park (CIMP) and Terragua Terrestrial-Marine Conservation/Remediation Area Guidelines developed by EPAFI for the representative areas program describe adequacy as the size, configuration and replication of sanctuary zones proposed to protect the ecological viability of the CIMP and Terragua. The guidelines aim at producing a zoning scheme that supports connectivity between populations, species and habitats and safeguards the integrity of natural processes in a tropical coral reef environment.

Apart from the core area

Apart from the core areas of the CIMP, it is our initial assumption that certain areas of the coast between Cataguaguin Bay and Biniptican Pt. be included as Special-purpose Core Zones providing for limited ‘no-take' areas. These areas will have to be identified through the conduct of baseline studies, resource mapping and other scientific criteria. The use of ‘no take' marine reserves (or sanctuary zones) is gaining increasing scientific acceptance in helping reduce the increasing incidence of reef degradation from natural and anthropogenic disturbance.

PROPOSED ZONING SCHEME

The proposed zoning scheme is outlined in the attached map and summarized in Table 3. The purpose of a marine park emphasizes the primacy of ecological considerations over social issues in establishing a management framework. However, while the zoning scheme has primarily considered ecological requirements, due consideration has been given to the current and future uses of the marine Park.

Table 3: Areas and percentages of current zone types in Capones Marine Park

ZONE

Area (ha.)

Percentage of CIMP

Core Ecological Zone - Terrestrial

 

 

Core Ecological Zone - Marine

 

 

Habitat Protection Zone - Terrestrial

 

 

Habitat Protection Zone – Marine

 

 

Restoration – Terrestrial

 

 

Restoration – Marine

 

 

Sustainable Use Zone – Terrestrial

 

 

Sustainable Use Zone – Marine

 

 

Special Use Zone – Terrestrial

 

 

Special Use Zone – Marine

 

 

Multiple Use Zone – Terrestrial

 

 

Multiple Use Zone – Marine

 

 

Recreation Zone – Terrestrial

 

 

Recreation Zone – Marine

 

 

Buffer Zone – Terrestrial

 

 

Buffer Zone – Marine

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

Zoning plans will consider:

  • Deep water habitats seaward of the reef crest;
  • Sub-tidal Filter-feeding communities;
  • Sanctuary zones will meet minimum recommended dimensions in terms of size based on ecological and social guidelines

4. PROPOSED ZONING SCHEME FOR CAPONES MARINE PARK

To be continued...

6. MAP OF THE PROPOSED ZONING SCHEME FOR CAPONES
ISLAND MARINE PARK & TERRAGUA TERRESTRIAL-MARINE
CONSERVATION/REMEDIATION AREA.

EPAFI/NAMRIA MAP SHOWING BOUNDARIES OF THE
PROPOSED TERRAGUA TERRESTRIAL/MARINE CONSERVATION REMEDIATION AREA

 
Silanguin Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of Silanguin Bay taken in 2003

 
Nagsasa Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of Nagsasa Bay taken in 2003

 
Talisain Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of Talisain Bay taken in 2003

 
Calaguaguin Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of Calaguaguin Bay taken in 2003

 
Agnaem Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of Agnaem Bay taken in 2003

 
Pundaquit Bay Courtesy of Goggle Earth   Aerial photo of showing Pundaquit Bay on left with Agnaem Bay on right. Camera Island appears in foreground.

 

 
 
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