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Rosemary Morales Fernholz 3824 Cottonwood Drive, Durham, NC 27705 Tel/Fax: 919-402-8992

INNOVATIONS FOR THE LONG TERM: INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY-BASED WATER MONITORING (CBWM) IN LANTAPAN, THE PHILIPPINES Rosemary Morales Fernholz INTRODUCTION This research addresses the issue of sustainability of innovations in agriculture and natural resource management, and the institutional support needed to support this. The focus of the research is a community-based water-monitoring project started in a municipality in the watershed of Mt. Kitanglad in southern Philippines in 1994. The objective of my research study was to analyze the institutional factors that impact on the sustainability of the project over the long term. In other words, what institutional factors have contributed to make the project work, and what factors will keep the momentum going (or constrain it) over the long term. My research on this topic was funded through a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP) Southeast Asia under its Environmental Research Grant Program, two travel grants from Auburn University (AU) and field research support from Heifer Project International (HPI). The research was done through document reviews and interviews with key leaders of the different groups involved in the project in the Philippines: the Tigbantay Wahig, SANREM field officers (past and present), HPI, Central Mindanao University (CMU), the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Research and Development (PCARRD), the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the San Herminigildo Agro-Industrial School (SHAIS), the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), and local government. In February 2002, I had the additional opportunity of attending a water monitoring training seminar in Lantapan and in November 2002, I attended a meeting called by the Mayor of Lantapan to discuss issues related to water quality in the municipality with presentations made by the Tigbantay Wahig leaders. I also made two trips to Auburn University for further research and discussions during the past year. I am very grateful for the cooperation and support I have gotten for this research. 2

I. COMMUNITY BASED WATER MONITORING (CBWM) IN LANTAPAN CBWM was introduced as a project under a SANREM Southeast Asia program of research that had the goal of producing information about resource use, or techniques or technologies promoting sustainable resource use (Coxhead and Buenavista 2001:18). The SANREM program chose southern Philippines and identified the Municipality of Lantapan as the first location for the program in Southeast Asia. A main reason was the focus on an important watershed in the country, the Manupali River watershed below the Mt. Kitanglad Range, which has several sub-watersheds draining to the Manupali River. On the northern side is the Mt. Kitanglad Range Nature Park. In the lower part of the municipality, the river flows into a dam that diverts the water into a system of irrigation canals. The river ultimately drains into a major waterway in the Mindanao Island, the Pulangi River, and contributes to electricity generation in the island. The set of rivers in Lantapan carry a history of the changes, mainly agricultural changes in the upper reaches of the watershed areas from and through where the water flows. The impact of changes in water quality and quantity affect a multitude of communities and needs ranging from direct consumption to irrigation and electricity generation. The community based water monitoring project introduced was entitled Water Resource Management and Education in the Watersheds of Bukidnon, Philippines and its stated objectives were to foster the development of community-based water monitoring groups, and to collect credible water quality and quantity data that lead to environmental and policy improvements (Deutsch et al 2001:139). The project scope included two main and interrelated features: the monitoring of a critical resource, water, for quality and quantity, and the participation and empowerment of citizens in a development project, for the improved and sustainable management of their natural resource base. The institutional design for the project, therefore, had to consider the attainment of both objectives. II. MONITORING A CRITICAL RESOURCE: WATER

The concept of monitoring the environment is not new. Different national and international bodies monitor forests and various aspects of air quality. The impact of objective, scientific data is very powerful. The remote sensing technology used in the 1970s and 1980s to measure the forest conditions in different parts of the world sparked environmental movements and forced governments to take actions toward forest protection and renewal. Remote sensing technology, however, is both costly and highly specialized work. Hence the work can only be done in long intervals and through grants or subsidies. The work done in the Philippines in 1988 to take an inventory of Philippine forest resources required massive international and Philippine government funding. What is different in this project is the development of user-friendly monitoring technology that is scientifically proven, the training and empowerment of local peoples to undertake the monitoring, the establishment of a system for quality assurance, data management and communication, and a focus on outreach and impact. Because of the nature of the project, therefore, there is a need for an institutional support system to ensure that the water monitoring is effectively and consistently done by a team of local peoples. This is shown in the following discussion of the technical aspects of the project. 1. Choice of indicators, tests and sites. The project builds on technology used in Alabama and developed by Auburn University based experts. One important component is the use of portable and reliable kits for testing water quality. These basic kits are made in the U.S. and were first customized by the Alabama water watch program for use by the citizen groups. The project has encouraged relevant research on this and has developed additional tests in the Philippines to address local concerns. The choice of indicators to use, tests and sites depends on many local factors such as condition of the watershed, community needs and perceptions, as well as technical and financial constraints. Decision-making on these issues is dynamic as different challenges or options come at different times. For example, options regarding water indicators were 4

discussed in the early training workshops with volunteers (Deutsch and Orprecio 2000). To respond to local needs and conditions, a decision was made to add procedures for measuring total suspended solids and coliform bacteria in addition to measuring the six basic physico-chemical parameters. Despite concerns of local people about pesticides in the water, project proponents had to delay analyses of pesticide content in the water monitoring process due to logistical and financial constraints and until appropriate testing or choice of biotic indicators for this could be developed. 2. Training and skills building for water monitoring. The project requires a continuing program of training and certifying monitors. The program developed by Auburn University for use in Alabama with a format of lecture/demonstrations, manuals and field work is the basis for the training given in Lantapan, although it has been modified for local use and language. A challenge in rural Philippines is to find affordable and available infrastructure that can be used by a community to train volunteers for both lecture hall, and for board and lodging, and funding that would bring together resource persons and participants, and provide for research to develop locally relevant training materials. 3. Implementation: water monitoring and data management. According to project design and for over a period of 8 years, volunteers from the community do regular monitoring of the major rivers. To do this, they need technical supervision and logistical support, which, under developing country conditions, is a critical ingredient of the project that enables groups to reach sites chosen for monitoring, to bring samples to laboratories, and to follow up testing activities. Quality assurance also needs to be done to ensure usefulness and credibility of the results. Data from monitors, laboratory analysis and weather stations needs to be computerized, verified, transmitted, analyzed and interpreted. This means that a system needs to be in place and appropriate computer hardware and software is available. The technology for 5

data management in this project is improving rapidly as computer technology develops and the magnitude of the data entries grows. Initially, data from the community organization, the laboratory and the weather stations were transmitted by the HPI office to Auburn University. At present time, some analysis of the data is done at HPI. A computerized system developed in the past year at Auburn University links water monitoring data, provides safeguards to data quality and facilitates interpretation, analysis and feedback (Deutsch et al. 2003) and is starting inputs into a Global Water Watch. Important aspect in the technical process are quality assurance and an effective data feedback loop. Feedback of information that is accurate, consistent and reliable is needed in forms that can be used by the different stakeholders and on a timely basis. 4. Support facilities or follow-up activities. Some tests require laboratory analysis. Others need appropriately designed incubators so that the bacteria results can be read. Refrigeration is needed for certain supplies. Data from weather stations in the area also needs to be collected and reported. Imported equipment and supplies need to be ordered and processed through customs in the capital. These are important technical aspects of the project that need to be in place for the project to work. Supporting the whole technical process, therefore, needs to be a system that makes available the equipment and facilities such as test kits and supplies where and when needed. In Lantapan, all these support facilities are needed for the project to function. Different project arrangements have been made to secure the different kinds of expertise, infrastructure and supplies needed. The water monitoring project can therefore be viewed as a dynamic process. The basic technology package exists with a high level of scientific validity. This package, however needs modifications to make it current, suitable and useful given different biophysical, cultural, human and social conditions and needs. It also needs a supporting institutional framework that can ensure all the components ranging from equipment needs to technical expertise can be accessed or provided where and when needed. Some of the requirements and needs/implications are shown in the next table: 6

TECHNICAL ASPECTS AND IMPLICATIONS ACTIVITY NEEDS TRAINING/SKILLS BUILDING training program materials and supplies infrastructure/logistics expertise/research MONITORING design for testing/supervision/quality equipment and supplies infrastructure/logistics laboratory (if needed) weather station expertise/research DATA AND COMMUNICATION Design/quality assurance/hard and software expertise/research

III. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT The SANREM program and CBWM project are designed for active citizen involvement. This is clearly stated in program documents: In this view research begins with farmer-led identification of a research agenda and concludes with the results of research, carried out both on-site and elsewhere and in collaboration with farmers, being returned to the community in the form of usable innovations in technologies, practices and policies (Coxhead and Buenavista 2001:5). Participation is then seen as a process, where farmers are decision makers from the start, partners in the processes, and ultimate beneficiaries and users of the fruits of the research. Participation invokes multiple entities or stakeholders acting in some sort of harmony to achieve goals. Empowerment stresses the need for some level of legitimacy or entitlement of the farmbased participants to make decisions at different levels of the project and to propel the action to issues even broader than the project proponents would choose. A. Access to Information Access to information is considered a very important step in developing an enlightened, concerned and active citizenry. This was recognized in the Rio Declaration signed by leaders of many countries after the Earth Summit in 1992. Information has the power to

guide individual decision-making and lead to public pressure on government performance favoring environmental sustainability. Yet citizens lack full access to information they need as shown in a research study of nine developing countries with governments that have started to introduce legislation and develop infrastructure to enable this access. Hence, there is still a long way to go before the citizens will have full access to the information they need (Petkova et al. 2002). In this CBWM project, citizens are given skills to collect data about a vital natural resource and some essential environmental education. Hence, they are not only given access to the data, they are involved in the process of data gathering. When the feedback loop on data management is effectively complete, the community has useful information about the quality and quantity of their water resources and the capacity to see links to causes and to evaluate options leading to solutions. B. Citizen Participation and Networks Participation of local peoples is a key feature of this water-monitoring project and it is approached at two levels: the level of community and the level of institutions. The main focus is the local community. Hence the motivation of people is of paramount concern. 1. Local Community The local community is the population of the project area, Lantapan. This population of roughly 40,000 people in 2002 is a mix of ethnic groups, 15% of whom are indigenous (the Talaandig). The economic base of the community is basically agricultural; however, the farms are small, the majority of farms are smaller than 5 hectares, and hence farm households in general are poor. These are the people and community who would become volunteer water monitors in the rivers of their area. During the first two years of the SANREM program, some initial activities were undertaken to contact local leaders, institutions and people and familiarize them with the 8

objectives and strategies of the program. Hence several early volunteer monitors were people who were in some way affiliated with these institutions. The proponents of the project tried to include people from different segments of society in the initial workshops and to respect cultural beliefs and practices (Deutsch et al. 2001:188). Volunteer monitors who persevered for a few months were encouraged to form a coordinating group or water watch, which became known as the Tigbantay Wahig (or Water Watchers in the local dialect). The Tigbantay Wahig (TW) has functioned as a water watch group for some 8 years providing the municipality and region with important information on the status of the water and watershed. What are notable are the commitment of the group and the dedication of their leaders over a long period. It is important to understand the nature of water monitoring in relation to community participation at this point. Unlike irrigation projects which bring water to individual farms for their private benefit, water monitoring projects do not necessarily have direct private benefits to the monitoring group. What a project results in is information about water quality or quantity. If there are benefits to the group, for example information about the quality of a lake is important to a lake watch group, or about bacterial contamination to the water system of a community is important to that community, then it relatively easy for a water watch group to form around the issue or for a municipality to take action to safeguard their water reservoir. However, if one small community in a watershed forms to monitor major rivers, it will definitely not capture all the benefits that will accrue from their effort. Much of their work is service to their own and to a much larger sub provincial area. There are therefore different factors to consider in motivating and sustaining volunteer effort. Orprecio (2003) lists four factors that have worked in Lantapan to sustain the interest of the group for the long term: (1) capacity building and continuing education; (2) relevance to peoples daily lives; (3) community recognition; and (4) livelihood support to enable people to participate. Additional factors mentioned by TW members interviewed in Lantapan are: (5) pride in community service and a sense of mission; (6) the logistical support given by partner organizations, Heifer Project International (HPI) And Auburn University (AU) to enable the monitoring process; and (7) the accumulated goodwill built up in the project with friendship and respect for and from the project proponents. Several 9

persons emphasized their commitment to improve their environment for their sake and for future generations. 2. Institutional Linkages or Networks With encouragement from SANREM, the project design included both major and minor partners in the project. This institutional arrangement was necessary to ensure that all the different components of the project could be provided and addressed. As shown in the earlier section, technical feasibility of the project relied on scientific expertise, the availability of test kits and supplies, access to and updating of technologies, logistics for training, actual monitoring and quality assurance, and access to laboratory, computers, storage, refrigeration and weather data. The project identified the partners and their responsibilities. Initially, the main partners were Auburn University and Heifer Project International, the former to provide the technology and expertise in water monitoring, the latter to provide the organizational and backup technical support to the project. In time, the local community organization, Tigbantay Wahig was formed and assumed more responsibilities in monitoring and outreach. Other partners were 3 academic institutions: Central Mindanao University that would provide the expertise and facilities for laboratory analysis, and with the San Herminigildo Agro-Industrial School, would assist in the organization of workshops. The University of the Philippines Los Banos would provide a linkage for both biological and social science research. The National Power Corporation was identified as a partner because of its interest in the Manupali River watershed. Local government was identified as a stakeholder and source of support for project activities. The project also has relied on the network of institutions developed with SANREM. PCARRD and PIDS, for example, have provided research support and access to policy makers. SANREM research programs have independently funded research work useful for the project such as modeling of the watershed and relevant social science research on institutions, policies and political impacts. The existence of a network of powerful local 10

and international actors and institutions supporting the project has given more importance and credibility to the water monitoring findings and a sense of urgency to the results. The long-term nature of this development oriented project means that the institutions that are partners in the project have to commit to long-term involvement and negotiate some harmony in their missions. When there is a meeting of visions, as projected in the SANREM philosophy, then the collaboration is strong and long term. Often, synergies happen releasing creativity and innovation in the project. For example in this project, the representatives of the two main organizations working with the community, W. Deutsch and J. Orprecio, have become enduring champions of the project and complement each others work. The HPI philosophy and approach that emphasizes awareness, commitment and capacity building in the community, the development initiatives or projects, and a strategy to improve the policy climate in support of the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources (HPI Annual Report 2001:41) becomes a guiding philosophy. This has provided the community organization with a sense of team and spirit, and they have responded with their own mission statement and commitment. The result has been a high level of trust and sharing, and a push for quality in the water monitoring effort. For each institution to stay as active member of the network, however, there needs to be some net benefits perceived. Academic institutions such as CMU, for example, realize the advantages for faculty and students to do research on issues related to water quality. A CMU research partner indicates that as of the end of the 2002 school year, a total of 30 undergraduate and 6 graduate student theses had been written on topics related to water condition and river ecosystems; the school had the expertise, a manual and a kit to train students in nearby lakes, rivers and streams; the project had provided the school with case studies and information used in annual seminars of the Biology Teachers Association of the Philippines and one 2002 presentation to the Council of Deans of Arts and Sciences in the Philippines; and the technology was used for school outreach programs in 2 nearby barangays (Cequina interview 2002). The school has needed, however, for the institutional linkage to be formalized through a memorandum of agreement, and project funding to


support the development of the expertise and use of laboratory and other activities at the university. 3. Strategy An important ingredient in the project was a strategy to focus on capacity building in Lantapan with the Tigbantay Wahig. Over the 8 year period, both SANREM and the CBWM project have invested in capacity building in Lantapan and on networking activities on a local and national level. It was only after several years of water monitoring activity that expansion activities started in the Philippines with groups in the provinces of Sarangani and Bohol, and possible expansion of additional groups in Bukidnon and abroad. The focus initially on one group, the Tigbantay Wahig, has meant a chance for the project to build a learning climate with much attention from the project proponents, to build credibility, and to focus project resources. It has also allowed the main partner agencies, particularly HPI, time to evaluate and reshape their own agency policies and/or program strategies in light of the project experience and with a view to provide effective long term capacity building and development-oriented support. The project strategy and processes have consistently aimed at capacity building. Watermonitoring is done by the Tigbantay Wahig members. Their organization, with the help of HPI, is registered and legally recognized. The members are now trainers for monitors in other areas. With the help of HPI, they are developing different fund raising strategies to sustain the water-monitoring effort and including all or part of money raised from the following activities into the organization pot: they are charging for their services as trainers and they are undertaking livelihood projects with assistance from or through HPI. The legal organization and identity as a peoples organization has been important in allowing them to participate officially as an organization in local government and giving them access to funding and resources for their other projects. HPI has developed a training program in organizational skills building and is working with the community as it goes from basic organizing to skills in conflict resolution, negotiation, and outreach.


A goal of the project was to effect improvements in environment and policy. This has required that the strategy include a mentoring process mainly provided by HPI for TW officers and members. SANREM and HPI linkages with policy making agencies and political leaders at the local and national levels made a number of opportunities available for water monitoring information and results to be presented, discussed and used. In line with the project philosophy to build local capacity, the presenters are more and more the Tigbantay Wahig officers and members rather than the project investigators. TW leaders, with the help of HPI officers have made presentations to the mayor and the municipal council in Lantapan. As a result, the mayor created a multisectoral Lantapan Watershed Management Council in 2001. And an agribusiness corporation has pledged support to rehabilitate rivers in their vicinity. In 2000, the Tigbantay Wahig president made a presentation on water issues to a Philippine Congressional Committee in the national capital. In 2002, the mayor of Lantapan pledged to support the water watch organization further and in ways still to be explored. The project is also reaching policy makers in other ways. Research on issues related to water policy is being coordinated at UPLB with the help of SANREM partners in PCARRD and PIDS. The process is ongoing with conferences held in the national capital to address issues relevant to water policy and using information and experience from the CBWM project. Although this is a project in one municipality of one province in the country, it has had a big impact in discussions on water policy in recent months. TW members also make presentations in schools, creating pockets of support among educators and families and raising environmental awareness in the community. Tigbantay Wahig officers and members are now involved in local village (barangay) politics and have successfully won elected positions or appointments, increasing the bonds with the bigger community and locality, and exposure to government and non government agencies in the area. In recent years, the TW president has been named member of the Lantapan Natural Resource Management Council and the Tigbantay Wahig has become member of the Lantapan Watershed Management Council. The water watch organization is pursuing its various strategies to contribute to sustainability. 13

IV. INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE LONG TERM A. A CBWM Institutional Model The discussion in the previous section of this paper shows that a CBWM project can work successfully if its institutional design is carefully thought out so that the technology works, the community organization is effective, and outreach and expansion occur. The following model shows that there are many elements that have to match, however, to make the project work and that this is a dynamic not a static process. At the center of the model is a triangle indicating the local community and its leadership. Below and beside the triangle are the main support institutions: the main partner institutions and other institutions that provide support services. The project is depicted as a wheel that draws in resources from within the community and locality in the form of local knowledge and the water monitoring effort, and management under a local organization or water watch. It is the water watch organization that is at the center and whose capability in management and political skills will enable it to sustain the water monitoring and development effort. The supporting institutions and the main partner institutions provide expertise, technology, training, and other facilities and supplies. The result of the project is data on the quality and quantity of water from the water bodies monitored. Some immediate information is channeled to the monitors and their community in the form of local wisdom or informal learnings as shown in the one-directional arrows. The data is also sent to the main partners, in this project, HPI and AU and as shown in the one-directional arrow, who process and interpret the data and feed the information back to the community, to local leaders and/or national policy makers in different and useful forms. What the model shows is that these different components must be part of the project design. There are difficulties that arise, for example, if equipment and supplies are not available as needed. The main partner institution, HPI in the Philippines, then has to work with the community to develop a system and options for securing the needed items and ensuring that needs can be predicted and provided for. To secure weather data which is 14

needed, provisions have to be made. In this project, although the weather information is necessary, it is not considered part of the project. Therefore problems arise when a government agency in charge of weather monitoring like PAGASA indicates that they do not have a budget to maintain a nearby weather station.

The arrows in the diagram that have double direction indicate relationships that are needed among the institutions and that need to be sustained. In this case, there is a need to invest time and effort to develop among the relevant institutional representatives, a sense of team; and among the institutional partners, working arrangements or contracts, spelling out benefits and responsibilities.


A serious question that has to be addressed is that of financial sustainability of the CBWM project. Much of the funding for the development of the earlier project in Alabama has come from U.S. government environmental agencies. Therefore, the Alabama water watch program is able to maintain a highly qualified staff that can provide various kinds of assistance ranging from technical seminars to publication of reports and educational materials. Local water watch groups in the US also tend to have a higher level of financial resources to provide for their own logistics in water monitoring, although some still seek government or non-government sourced funding for special projects. In the case of the Lantapan project, funding support has come from SANREM, HPI, Auburn University and the Philippine government. HPI has committed to fund further the organizational activities for this project and some expansion projects over the long term. With decentralization in the Philippines, provincial and municipal governments can provide limited funding support. And enterprising local officials also have access to external funding sources. Information from this project has been useful for government and multi-sectoral planning and project proposal purposes; it should also be useful to justify funding for its own continued operation. At the community level, as indicated earlier, the Tigbantay Wahig has been encouraged by HPI to develop mechanisms to build an organizational fund. More macro planning needs to be undertaken, however, to ensure that all the necessary support systems for this and future projects can be funded. One approach is to forge partnerships with local governments like in the case of the new projects in Sarangani and Bohol, and creatively to seek local and international funding. In this project experience, a partnership with a development oriented organization(s) such as HPI (and with AU support) has provided long term project assistance and helped develop partnership arrangements with the multiple agencies that are needed. An agency like HPI can also provide some of the financial and non- financial incentives that motivate and sustain community participation such as logistical support, education and capacity building, recognition, and livelihood opportunities. B. The Socio Political Context


The socio-political context of the project is a very important issue. In a developing country, this is more so because institutions tend to be weak and political realities are volatile. SANREM Southeast Asia program took this factor into consideration in its choice of Lantapan as project site because the Philippines in the 1990s showed promise of democratic space and political openness. The project has benefited from this and, with the help of HPI and its network of institutional collaborators, as well as the SANREM Southeast Asian network in the Philippines, it has successfully brought up issues to local policy makers. Information from the project has also reached congressional committees and policy-making conferences. There are still many issues to be addressed in the Philippines relative to watershed protection and effective water policy and at different levels of government. Direct and indirect policies, and population pressure that increases the areas cultivated and used for other purposes put incredible stress on the natural environment. There are both institutional issues to determine the optimal strategy for coordinating natural resource and water issues in the country at different levels, and funding issues to ensure that support services will be available to back up the mandates and the institutions. Government programs to decentralize and devolve natural resource management functions are only part of a solution. In Lantapan, local government has a Natural Resource Management Plan and has created a Natural Resources Management Council. More recently, the mayor has created a Lantapan Watershed Management Council. The laws, ordinances and policies need to be rationalized and the findings of this project will be available to help where and when useful. It is good that the project has access to forums at the different levels and the flexibility to develop institutional linkages as and when needed. Government support is needed for various community-based water-monitoring activities and supporting services and functions. This support is important in light of the expansion of water monitoring groups in the country. One matter that has to be addressed, however, is the degree of independence or dependence that the project should have from political processes. Another matter is the options and implications of various forms of support.


Community based water monitoring, however, should not be wholly dependent on government funding and it is always important to make contingency plans. At times, in a project, the data will be collected and have minimal impact on policy because of hostile administrations. Yet, it is important to continue so that solutions can be found when possible, and so that when opportunities return, the findings can be utilized and the project processes serve as models. Also, during periods when a country faces financial hardship, budgetary constraints or other political pressure, a project needs to have some level of financial independence that will allow it to function. Further research needs to be done on this issue to explore what will be possible under different scenarios. V. FINAL OBSERVATIONS This research has explored the institutional mechanisms needed to sustain a CBWM project in Lantapan. This paper has indicated that the whole cycle and time frame of the development process must be considered, partnerships and supporting networks developed, and capacity building in the community needs to be undertaken. As this project has shown, however, the results are lasting and benefit both the community and the environment, as well as make lasting contribution to environmental education and policy. There are three final observations that should be considered as they strengthen the institutional framework. A. Partnerships Based on Mutual Respect and Common Purpose Endure This CBWM project is based on mutual respect and a sense of mission. This is stressed in the mission statements of the organizations participating in the project and in the personal philosophies demonstrated and enunciated by the main project organizers. The community water watch, the Tigbantay Wahig, take pride in their project and it is regarded as such by other entities such as local government. Different partners have invested time and effort over almost a decade to assist in transforming a project into development efforts in and for the locality. Choice of partners (organizations and persons) and development of rapport is a critical aspect to ensure credible project outputs and team spirit over the long period. 18

B. Resources Are Needed for Sustainable Natural Resource Management All the partner agencies and the community volunteers in a CBWM project contribute resources and effort. Perhaps the community contribution is the most valuable. An HPI Newsletter describing the project participants points out because they are only volunteers, they dont get any type of remuneration or compensation for the service they do to the community as members of Tigbantay Wahig. They even shell out their own monthly expense commuting to and from the four water monitoring sites, which, it so happened are distantly located from one another, reflecting further their commitment to their community work (July-Sept. 2001). More creative funding strategies need to be developed so that the critically important work of CBWM can be continued and expanded. In the meantime, there is a need to work out funding arrangements with government and non government sources to ensure continuity of the project with all the necessary support facilities. C. The Political Economy of Natural Resource Management Must be Considered A very important aspect is the political reality of natural resource policy and management in the Philippine setting. Books and articles on this topic show the intricate web of political and economic power that has kept control of natural resources in the hands of a few or allowed a select group to pollute or destroy. Community based water monitoring is a project and a strategy that has the potential to challenge this reality. CBWM can invoke responses to environmental crises by presenting credible information on water quality and quantity. It can provide a community organization with a capacity to discuss the issues and a network of institutions that can provide moral, political and material support.


Note: Rosemary Morales Fernholz is a visiting faculty member at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University and an independent social science and policy researcher. Policy, Duke University and an independent social science and policy researcher. References: Arocena-Francisco. n.d. Watershed-based Water Management Strategy: The Missing Link to Sustainable Water Services. Manuscript photocopy. Coxhead, I. and G. Buenavista G. eds. 2001. Seeking Sustainability: Challenges of Agricultural Development and Environmental Management in a Philippine Watershed. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology: Los Banos, Laguna. Deutsch, W.G. and J. L. Orprecio. 2000. Formation, Potential and Challenges of a Citizen Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Group in Mindanao, Philippines. In Cultivating Community Capital for Sustainable Natural Resource Management. Experiences from the SANREM CRSP. K. Cason ed. Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program. ----------------------------------------, A.L. Busby, J.P. Bago-Labis, and E.Y. Cequina. 2001. Community-based Water Quality Monitoring: From Data Collection to Sustainable Management of Water Resources. In Seeking Sustainability: Challenges of Agricultural Development and Environmental Management in a Philippine Watershed. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology: Los Banos, Laguna. ----------------------------------------, J.P. Bago-Labis. 2001. Community-based Water Quality Monitoring: The Tigbantay Wahig Experience. In Seeking Sustainability: Challenges of Agricultural Development and Environmental Management in a Philippine Watershed. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology: Los Banos, Laguna. Heifer International Philippine Program. 2001 Annual Report. Philippines. Heifer Project International. Passing on the Gift. Newsletter Volumes 1-7. Philippines. Orprecio, J.L. 2003. Motivations of Water Groups in Developing Countries. Unpublished manuscript. Publication forthcoming. Ostrom, E. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York: Cambridge University Press. Petkova, Elena, Crescencia Maurer, Norbert Henninger and Fran Irwin. 2002. Closing the Gap: Information, Participation and Justice in Decision-making for the Environment. Washington D.C.: World Resources Institute. 20