The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) has formulated a specialized action plan for the province of Palawan. This is called the Palawan Sustainable Development Strategy and Action Plan (PSDSAP). It is a blueprint for sustainable development which aims to create the necessary environmental, socio-cultural, economic, and institutional conditions toward the establishment of a green economy in the province.
A series of workshops has been planned out to introduce this action plan from the municipal level up to the provincial level. The first of this will be held on the 1st of July 2014 at the Palawan Sustainable Development Training Institute in Irawan, Puerto Princesa City. This two-day workshop will include the technical staff from eight municipalities from Northern Palawan (Araceli, Busuanga, Coron, El Nido, Roxas, San Vicente and Taytay), government agencies, NGOs and the media.
The PSDSAP will contain a menu of actions formulated in the context of poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation. The actions will coherently address the emerging and pervasive threats in the conservation of Palawan environment and the pursuit of economic development. Consistent to the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) framework embodied in Republic Act 7611, the organizing principle of PSDSAP is sustainable development (SD) and its main strategy will be the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN).
The SEP is the legally prescribed framework to guide government agencies in plans, programs, and projects (PPPs) affecting environment and natural resources (ENR) of Palawan. As such, this framework is to be incorporated in the Regional Development Plan and local Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs). All local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies (NGAs) are directed to coordinate and align their projects and budgets with the projects, programs, and policies of the SEP (Sec. 6, RA 7611).
The PSDSAP is conceived to be the operationalization of the SEP framework and ECAN strategy. Hence, the coordination and alignment of local plans with the SEP and the ‘ecanization’ of Palawan will be part of the set of actions identified in the Plan.
Users of the Plan
As a general guide to optimize the uses of lands and waters in Palawan, the PSDSAP is a menu of actions intended for use by public and private organizations within and outside Palawan. The PSDSAP covers ECAN-based actions in each strategic/core theme. It is conceived to be an operationalization of the SEP framework and ECAN strategy. It is therefore meant to complement other local plans by being a reference of sustainable actions.
The PSDSAP may be harmonized or horizontally integrated into the Provincial CLUP and other plans at the provincial level. It can also be vertically integrated into municipal CLUPs and other local sectoral plans for the alignment and synergy of local land/water use goals with the SEP.
Goal and Planning Approaches
The vision of the Plan is the provision of a good and dignified life for the Palaweño, through the establishment of a green economy supported by green jobs, sustainable energy, and within the carrying capacity of Palawan’s natural ecosystems.
The main strategies are to maximize the benefits derived from the environment and natural resources and to prevent or minimize the negative impacts from introduced activities. The action plan will contain sustainable and green actions in the next six years (2015-2020) to be updated and revised every three years.
The Plan’s societal vision, however, already sets the policy direction for the Palawan in the long term. Below is the draft consolidated logical framework of PSDSAP (as of May 2014) showing logic from the overall goal to the core outcomes of the Plan.
A strategic planning approach is adopted so that the action plan will concentrate on the critical and unmet needs, problems, and threats in the municipalities and local communities. The entire Plan is also guided by results-based management or logical framework. Each core theme will have a logical outcome, major outputs, and performance indicators and targets. This framework is adopted so that the implementers will be able to monitor the achievement of plan targets.
Ten Plan Core Themes
The PSDSAP will focus on ten (10) major thematic areas, which can be categorized into three infrastructures.
1. Biological diversity
2. Forest and watershed
3. Coastal and marine resources
4. Food security
6. Physical infrastructure
Socio-cultural and institutional infrastructure
7. Indigenous peoples
8. SD Training, Education, Research, and Monitoring
9. Social Development Services
10. Sustainable Financing and Partnership
The ecological infrastructure is the natural capital and resource base. It is the bedrock of socio-economic and environmental sectors and industries. In the case of Palawan, the strategic priority action will be to protect the integrity of the environment to safeguard the social, cultural, economic, and governance systems.
Seven Features of Palawan Green Economy
The identification of high impact, critical, sustainable, and green courses of action (policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities) in every plan core theme will be guided by the following principles of Palawan green economy. These features are identified in one of the internal workshops by PCSDS.
- Ecological viability – The physical and biological cycles that maintain the productivity of natural ecosystems must always be kept intact.
- Social acceptability – The people should be fully committed to support sustainable development activities.
- Integrated approach – The problems and issues obtaining in the environment must be viewed in a holistic manner.
- Good governance – Good governance means ethical decision making and the judicious use of power by the state, civil society, and private sector to determine the access, use and management of resources and the distribution of their benefits.
- Rights-based approach – Conservation and development must respect, protect, and fulfill socioeconomic and cultural rights of people, especially of the marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society.
- Risk resilience – There is a need to pursue proactive initiatives, processes, mechanisms, and pathways that decrease vulnerability to climate change impacts, geologic hazards, severe weather, and other geo-environmental risks.
- Economic soundness – A competitive and sound green economy pursues sustainable levels of consumption and production and efficiency in resource use and production.