IN A bid to advance river basin conservation with a new adaption technique, the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental has launched the First Provincial Local Conservation Areas Management Summit at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City on Monday, June 27.

The summit, which is part of the 30th Provincial Environment Month celebration, highlighted the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EBA) technique as a high-tech yet cheaper solution to the aquatic environment problems.

The event was attended by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, Provincial Environment Management Office head Julie Ann Bedrio, Site Coordinator for Visayan Sea Dr. Andrea Leonor Barcelona, city and municipal environmental officers, academe representatives, and private organizations.

The EBA technique requires integrated management and multi-level participation among different sectors like the local government units (LGUs), private sector partnerships and the local stakeholders.

Part of the project implementation includes the conservation of the Ilog-Hilabangan River, a 2,000-square-kilometer ide basin, which is among the priority protected areas of the provincial government.

The four major outputs in the project included coordinated implementation that will provide reliable and quality water supply and disaster risk management; creation of financial instruments to support ecosystem-based measures; valuation instrument that is included in government policies; and an inclusive and accessible knowledge and information relevant to ecosystem services.

The summit also tackled the existing interventions already in place, the effects of the aquatic ecosystem health among the locals, the best practices of the LGUs, and the calls for strengthened regulation of marine biodiversity.

Some of the major problems of the province's water bodies were also discussed, such as illegal practices like “kaingin” system, hunting of wildlife and illegal fishing in upland areas, and solid waste management and pollution in urban areas.

The EBA project is partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, through its International Climate Initiative. (PR)