Group conducts aquatic ecology study in Cotabato-A A +A
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A GROUP of local and international experts recently concluded a baseline study on aquatic ecology for the area covered by the proposed Tampakan Copper-Gold project in South Cotabato.
The collected data will be submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for validation, said independent firm Aecom senior representative Naniel Aragones through press statement.
Aragones, who is also affiliated with Australian company Hydrobiology, is an aquatic biologist who has been studying the freshwater and marine ecosystems in the Philippines for almost 25 years.
The study was done through the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) process mandated by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Aragones said.
"This baseline study is mandated by law. A project proponent such as the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) and its proposed project must be scrutinized under an ESIA process by an independent third party such as AECOM," Aragones said.
Aragones said that the baseline study on aquatic ecology is essential for the formulation of a management plan that will ensure mitigation measures for the impact of the proposed project on the environment.
The study involved an assessment of the flora and fauna found in the rivers and water systems near and within the project area, he said.
"We studied fresh water and marine water ecology, including fish, shrimps, crabs, aquatic insects, and riparian vegetation, or plants and trees found along river banks," Aragones said.
ESIA is a process that involves the prediction and assessment of the environmental and social impacts of a proposed project during construction, commissioning, operation, and closure.
It also involves the development of appropriate management plans to avoid or mitigate the negative effects and to enhance the positive effects of a project. (Jade C. Zaldivar)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 16, 2010.