Rehabilitation of Arayat Watershed
for the Protection of Candaba Wetlands
The Candaba Wetlands and Mount Arayat are considered ecologically important areas. Both ecosystems are habitats of endemic and endangered flora and fauna. Mt. Arayat tributaries drain into the Pampanga River which bisects the whole Candaba swamp area. Sediments from soil erosion on the mountain find its way into the Candaba swamp contributing to its eutrophication. The average depth of the swamp is only 1-2 meters deep, thus making it very vulnerable to sedimentation. The degradation of the Arayat uplands would also mean the deterioration of the habitat of waterfowls and migratory birds of the swamplands. Addressing the conservation issues of the uplands would also help address the degradation of the swamplands. As such the two different ecosystems cannot be separated from each other.
Rehabilitation and conservation of resources of the Arayat-Candaba watershed is of great importance, not only to the flora and fauna, but also to the local people. Conserving the upland and swampland resources could eventually conserve its biodiversity.
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Training on Social Enterpreneurship
The development of a social enterprise for the upland farmers was a recommendation from Phase I of the Treepreneur Project to further provide an additional source of livelihood so that the farmers will refrain from activities that are damaging to the forest ecosystem such as charcoal making. A training-workshop was conducted on 17 September 2012 and was attended by about forty participants who are most women-members of the Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association. The workshop identified trekking as an activity that will both add income to the farmers and at the same time take care of Mount Arayat National Park. Trekking can be developed into an enterprise with income from tour-guiding and collateral revenues from other tourism-related products such local food, showcasing their reforestation sites, visits to the vegetable farms, selling of souvenirs, and other cultural activities.
Implementors and Partners –