The Philippines is renowned as one of the countries with the highest level of biodiversity in the world. It is a habitat for more than 1, 200 terrestrial species (50% are endemic) and it has a floral biodiversity of 10,000-14,000 species (more than half are endemic). These terrestrial species which are biologically important has been a factor for identifying and declaring terrestrial areas for protection and conservation in the country.
Under the current eNIPAS implementation, 172 out of the 244 protected areas in the Philippines are terrestrial which covers 4.68 M hectares or about 15.61% of the 30M total land area of the country. The remaining 72 protected areas are classified as Marine.
Protected Area Management Tools:
The following tools were developed and currently being used to guide protected area managers in assessing and monitoring protected areas in the country. Although they differ in the frequency of conduct, methods, sampling/monitoring areas and the purpose, these tools are complimentary to each other.
- Protected Area Suitability Assessment (PASA) – A tool for rapid assessment of biodiversity to determine the suitability of an area for establishment as protected area under specific categories of the National Integrated Protected Area System.
- The Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring System (BAMS). The BAMS is a tool for scientific assessment of the current status of terrestrial biodiversity,habitat quality and certain ecosystem services. It is used to establish a baseline for a long-term monitoring and management, and determine trends in ecosystem and species abundance and diversity.
- Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS – A tool designed to improve information available for decision-makers in protected areas through the regular collection of data on natural resources and their utilization. The BMS aims to identify trends in biodiversity and resources uses to guide the actions of the Protected Area Management Board, The Local Government Units, and the local communities in natural resource management in protected areas.
- Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (Lawin) – A forest and biodiversity protection system that integrates forest, biodiversity and threats monitoring, implementation of interventions to address threats and monitoring of the response of the forest ecosystem to these management interventions. Lawin systematizes patrolling and also enhances the Field Diary methods of the BMS
List of Terrestrial Protected Areas