SHARED TASK Davao, Bukidnon agrees to protect Davao river basin

The 6th Watershed Stakeholders Summit on Thursday at the Grand MenSeng Hotel signed an agreement of cooperation between the Province of Bukidnon and City of Davao in protecting and managing the Davao River Basin.

The summit carries the theme of “Scaling-Up Participatory Watershed Protection and Sustainable Management by Promoting Community-Led Initiatives”.

Atty. Mark Peñalver, Policy Advocacy Specialist of the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) said that headwaters of the Davao River originate in Bukidnon, so that protection or management efforts done there directly affect the Davao river basin.

“Hence, shared responsibility is necessary,” he said.

Peñalver said that the collaboration between the Province of Bukidnon and City of Davao in protecting and managing the Davao River Basin, as one of the 17 major river basins in the country is one of the community-led initiatives to address various watershed issues and concerns.

Another highlight of the event is the promotion and commendation of community-led initiatives in protecting and managing Davao City watersheds and Bantay Bukid and BantayDagat accomplishment reports.

Peñalver said members of the Davao River Basin Management Alliance, including the Local Government Unit of Davao City and the Provincial Government Unit of Bukidnon signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signifying the partnership and oath of commitment of both government units in protecting the Davao River Basin – from its head waters in Bukidnon down to the coastal communities of Davao City.

Around 200 participants witness the signing of (MoC), representing various sectors like people’s organizations, non-government organizations, national and local government agencies, indigenous people, academe, and other stakeholders  participated in the  event.

The outputs that presented in the 2018 Watershed Stakeholders Summit would include the characterization study of the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed as well as the overview of Davao River Basin Management Plan.

“The Panigan-Tamugan Watershed is a sub-watershed of the Davao River Basin. It is considered as one of the most important watersheds in the city because of its future role of providing additional local water source,” said Peñalver.

The inputs and results reflected in the Characterization Study of Panigan-Tamugan Watershed will be used in crafting the Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP). When drafted and implemented, the IWMP will be the basis in ensuring the protection and sustainable management of the said watershed, he added.

The Davao City Watershed Stakeholders Summit an annual gathering spearheaded by the Watershed Management Council in partnership with various local government agencies, environmental networks, non-government organizations and civil society organizations since 2013.