1st Philippine symposium on freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems

The University of Santo Tomas, together with the California Academy of Sciences, Pusod, Inc., University of the Philippines-Institute of Biology, Ateneo de Manila University, the Association of Systematic Biologists of the Philippines (ASBP) and the Biodiversity Management Bureau, in cooperation with International Society of Limnology (SIL) will be organizing the 1st Philippine Symposium on Freshwater Biodiversity and Ecosystems from June 7 to 10, 2016 at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, OP Building, University of Santo Tomas, Manila. The symposium will bring together the best minds in the fields of limnology, freshwater ecology, biodiversity and conservation biology to provide a venue for the presentation of recent, relevant and updated results on studies focusing on the ecology and biodiversity of freshwaters in the Philippines and the rest of tropical Asia.

To register, participate and other details, kindly visit the official website,http://psfbe2016.org/ Abstract submission may also be done through the website. For inquiries and concerns, you may contact the secretariat committee members, Ms. Hazel Guerrero (guerrero.hazel@gmail.com) or Ms. Mary Michelle Guinto (missmarymichelle@gmail.com)

#WonderWomen care for the environment. That's what Atty. Ipat Luna, executive trustee of environment group Pusod, Inc., best exemplifies as she works on a protected area financing project in Batangas, Quezon and Bicol with the California Academy of Sciences and the United States Agency for International Development. She's been engaging in environmental law and policy practice for 20 years now and has built local consensus on policies pertaining to the preservation of natural resources and habitats.

Know more of her advocacy in this video, the second of a five-part #WonderWomen series honoring the best women of today.

Globe Bridging Communities is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility by promoting quality education, active citizenship to protect the environment, social entrepreneurship and responsive governance through the innovative and Communications Technology, resulting in enabled, empowered and enriched lives for its employees and partner communities.

Pusod, Inc. is grateful to the Local Government of Mataasnakahoy for the continued support for the vision of Taal Lake Conservation Center.

Family Boatbuilding Independence Day Weekend at PUSOD TLCC.
Spend Independence Day helping two non-profit organizations rekindle sailing in the East coast of Taal Lake!

Pusod Inc's vision is a world where people and communities are energized by their cultural and ecological wealth; live with reverence for earth and all life; and naturally prosper in diverse, self-sustaining local economies in which all beings thrive. PHBYC is a group of boat building and sailing and boating enthusiasts in the Philippines, and hosts www.pinoyboats.org/ forum for lively discussions on anything about boats.

Click the links to download the IDFBW Event Registration & Waiver Form.

News and Events

Solar Lamps

It used to take a 45-minute boat ride for people living in Barangay (village) Calawit, Balete town in Batangas to be able to charge their cellular phones in mainland Taal, as well as buy batteries for flashlights and kerosene for lamps to light up their homes. With their recent acquisition of solar lamps, all the villagers needed to do was to let the sun do all the work to make life easy for them. The solar lamps were distributed to 80 boatmen, tour guides and horsemen of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano Protected Landscape on Aug. 7 as part of a project of Globe Telecom Inc., Pusod Inc. and Stiftung Solarenergie-Solar Energy Foundation Philippines. Yolly Crisanto, Corporate Communications head of Globe Telecom Inc., said Calawit was one of the villages identified by Globe Telecom as not part of the main electrical transmission grid so they rely on fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum to provide light in the evening. It is one of the 13 villages of Balete town and the only barangay from Balete on Taal Volcano Island. It has a population of 1,500, mostly fishermen, tour guides, boatmen and horse guides.

Exposure time
Arnel Landicho, a boatman and village chief of Calawit, said he would expose his solar lamp to sunlight for half a day for it to be fully charged. Should the solar lamps encounter problems, the recipients have to bring their units to Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC), which will, in turn, hand these over to Stiftung Solarenergie in Makati City for repair or replacement. Right now, some of the lamps have not been working well so they have to bring the units back to TLCC, Landicho said. He said tourists going to Taal Volcano visit only during the day so he would use his solar lamp at his home at night. “There are no more guests at night, but if there will be we use the solar lamps to bring them there but guests have to secure a permit from the authorities first.”

Disaster and Risk Management

Improved and fully enforced rules on the habitation and visitation of Volcano Island towards increasing disaster response capacity and reducing the threat of casualty especially among vulnerable populations, enhanced capabilities of each citizen to respond to threats and occurrence of disaster and options for post-disaster start-up livelihoods.

High Priority Actions

  • Full census, knowledge management and restriction on in-migration
  • Volcano Monitoring and climate change preparedness
  • Disaster response drills and microinsurance options
  • Geohazard Mapping
Workshop-Orientation on Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction
Brgy. Calawit, Balete, BatangasOctober 1, 2011

A total of 23 participants attended the DRR training in Brgy. Calauit, Balete, Batangas. The participants enjoyed the hands-on learning exercises as well as the interactive workshops.

Brgy. Alas-as, San Nicolas October 8, 2011

Barangay Officials and members from the fisherfolk sector were among those who attended the DRR Training in San Nicolas.

Talisay, Batangas October 22, 2011

The sessions were designed to combine conceptual DRR inputs and actual hands-on exercises on Disaster Risk Assessments.

Balete National High School Oct. 25, 2011

They were given an orientation by Pusod Inc. regarding the disaster management for Taal Volcano Protected Landscape.

Brgy. Calauit, Balete Nov. 5, 2011

A total of 28 participants successfully finished the orientation workshop on DRR. We offered a refresher course to them to equip the participants with knowledge & skills on disaster management.

Disaster and Risk Management

By Marlon Alexander S. Luistro, Balikas Reporter

TALISAY and MATAAS NA KAHOY, BATANGAS - Looking down from the wind-swept resorts and hotels of Tagaytay City, vacationers see Taal Lake as pristine and as inviting as before. Indeed, from a distance, the 24,356 - hectare body of water that is part of one of the country &apos s most popular tourist attractions remains a sight to behold, with gentle breezes often rippling its surface.
Usually overshadowed by Laguna de Bay next door, Taal Lake is tapped for aquaculture, fishing, navigation, and tourism purposes; it is even the water resource of the posh Tagaytay Highlands resort.

Read on : http://www.pcij.org/stories/2008/taal-lake.html
Other stories, visit www.balikas.net


Taal Lake hosts endemic species across many families as it was intermittently part of the ocean during its long and interesting geological history. The Hydrophis semperi, a freshwater seasnake, and the Sardinella tawilis, a freshwater sardine and the basis of commercial fisheries in the lake, are only two of the vertebrates that are endemic to the lake. Remaining unnamed are probably a wide variety of invertebrates that have adapted to freshwater just as the snake and the sardine. Furthermore, many of these may actually be threatened with extinction.

Taal Lake was created by numerous phreatic explosions that formed a very large caldera lake throughout the centuries. Lying submerged beneath its waters are the remnants of four pre-Hispanic towns that were evacuated to higher ground after the water level rose. It is now around 3-10 meters above sea level.

Taal Volcano Protected Landscape consists of around 65,000 hectares of the Taal Lake Basin, with 24,000 inside it comprising the lake area. The entire basin was proclaimed a protected area in 1997 pursuant to a 1992 law called the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS). 16 towns are included and 187 villages, and to ensure stakeholder ownership, all of these villages and towns have a legal right to be represented in the Protected Area Management Board which should meet at least yearly.


Main threats include unregulated fishcage culture, overfishing, sewage discharge and erosion from real estate development and unregulated mass tourism. Fishcages have reached an alarming 10,000 units and still increasing, even as consultants from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic resources identified that the numbers are 30-45% above the carrying capacity of the lake for cages. Up to 40% of the feed used for the cages go uneaten and drift to the bottom to pollute the lake.

Commercial fishing called Basnig and Suro were the reason for the establishment of a lakewide fisherfolk organization. While these have decreaesed in the last few years, some are still trying to evade enforcers, especially Suro operators from Talisay town.

These issues are addressed in Unified Rules and Regulations on Fisheries for the lake, approved by the Protected Area Management Board and awaiting signature by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. Once in effect, enforcement can be undertaken.

Pusod's Role

Pusod was instrumental in several studies that led to the drafting of the rules and in the strengthening of the people's organization, Kilusan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Lawa ng Taal. It is also represented in the Protected Area Management Board's Executive Committee, and its representative Enrique Nuñez, is head of the Disaster Management Subcommittee. Management planning slated to commence in September will be a process steered by Pusod, with expected funding support from IUCN-NL's Ecosystems Grants Program. The project will include capacitation of the PAMB and the people's organization and biodiversity monitoring. Pusod has also done research on the invasive species Guapote tigre, which has been found in small populations on the Laurel side of the lake. The management plan will address the remaining issues that threaten the lake basin. Pusod was also instrumental in making Taal Lake an Associate Lake in the Living Lakes Network.