Replicating models of institutional innovations for devolved, participatory watershed management


D. Catacutan; C. Duque; D. Garrity

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Conference Proceeding or Document


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Abstract: Watershed management is one the focal issues in the debate about sustainable development. Contemporary innovations in watershed management focus on involving community people in the protection and conservation of these resources, using a variety of participatory approaches. Use of participatory watershed management began in the Philippines after passage of the decentralizing, devolving Local Government Code (LGC) in 1991, which provides the legal framework for local governments to initiate institutional innovations. Although the number of LGUs proactively responding to environmental and resource degradation issues is increasing, the majority remain complacent about their devolved responsibilities in NRM. This led us to search for ways of understanding the methodological and policy hurdles impinging successful watershed management.

Our experience started with working to help the Local Government of Lantapan in developing their Natural Resource Management Plan, which received national recognition as a key institutional element in the Philippines’ National Watershed Strategy (DENR 1998). From this experience, we began to scale-out to municipalities around the Mt. Kitanglad Range, now reckoned with the Protected Area Management Plan. The municipalities developed their own institutional innovations to run the planning activities a plan implementation. This has resulted in greater LGU financial investment in the environment and NRM sector, helping to make this a major development program. The LGUs identified some of the factors that would sustain these developments at the institutional level: local financial investments, their local technical capability, matured political culture and proactive national mandate. However, explicit supports (such as policies) are needed to protect local NRM plans from becoming hostage of traditional politics or political differences.

Additional Bibliographic Information

Catacutan, D., C. Duque and D. Garrity. 2001. Replicating Models of Institutional Innovations for Devolved, Participatory Watershed Management. Paper presented to the R&D Review of Lantapan-based Activities. NOMCARRD-PCARRD and SANREM CRSP/SEA, Lantapan, Bukidnon. March 25.

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