Environmental Conservation

THEMATIC ISSUE: Interdisciplinary Progress in Environmental Science & Management

Integrated management of coastal resources and human health yields added value: a comparative study in Palawan (Philippines)

LEONA D'AGNESa1 c1, HEATHER D'AGNESa1, J. BRAD SCHWARTZa1, MARIA LOURDES AMARILLOa1 and JOAN CASTROa1

a1 PATH Foundation Philippines Inc., 10/F Unit 1009 Tower 2, Cityland Condominium 10, 154 HV Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227, Philippines

SUMMARY

A quasi-experimental design was used to test the hypothesis that there will be a significant improvement in both coastal resource management (CRM) and human reproductive health (RH) outcomes by delivering these services in an integrated manner as opposed to delivering either in isolation. The CRM, RH and integrated CRM+RH interventions were tested in three island municipalities of Palawan. Pre-project (2001) and post-project (2007) measurements of dependent variables were gathered via biophysical and community household surveys. Regression analyses indicate the CRM+RH intervention generated higher impacts on human and ecosystem health outcomes compared to the independent CRM and RH interventions. Improvements in coral and mangrove conditions are attributed to the effects of protective management by collaborating peoples’ organizations. The same institutions managed RH activities that enabled contraceptive access and a significant decrease in the average number of children born to women in the study area. Other trends showing a significant reduction in income-poverty among young adults infer added value. To ensure long term sustainability of CRM gains and prevent over-use of coastal resources, integrated forms of management that engage communities in the simultaneous delivery of conservation and family planning services are needed.

(Received November 30 2009)

(Accepted May 18 2010)

(Online publication November 22 2010)

Correspondence

c1 Correspondence: Leona D'Agnes e-mail: ldagnes@gmail.com