Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Ecosystems and People: The Philippines MA


The Phase 1 study site is Laguna Lake Basin, which represents a wide array of ecosystems undergoing rapid transitions. Phase 2 and 3 will take place in Palawan (Ulugan Bay), and at the national level.

Lead institutions

University of the Philippines – College of Forestry and Natural Resources

Contact information:

  • Dr. Rodel D. Lasco
    Environmental Forestry Programme
    University of the Philippines
    College of Forestry and Natural Resources
    College, Laguna 4031
    Phone: 63-49- 536-5314
    Fax: 63-49- 536-5314

Focal issues

The main objectives of the Philippines sub-global assessment are (a) to assess the ecosystems of Laguna Lake Basin and the services they provide using the MA framework and (b) to contribute to the global MA process.

Ecosystem services being assessed

Three scales and five ecosystem services will be included in the assessment of the Laguna Lake Basin: farm/village scale (fish and rice), basin/watershed scale (water) and global scale (carbon and biodiversity).

Key features of assessment

The Philippines represents the archipelagic character of the SE Asian region with more than 7,000 islands. It relies heavily on its natural resources primarily terrestrial ecosystems (largely tropical forests) and marine and freshwater ecosystems.

The Laguna Lake Basin was chosen as study site because it represents a wide array of ecosystems undergoing rapid transitions due to a multitude of factors. The Basin is one of the most important and dynamic land and water formations in the Philippines. It straddles Metro Manila and the fast developing region of CALABARZON. It is an important source of agricultural commodities and industrial raw materials. The Laguna Lake is considered to be the freshwater “fish bowl” of Metro Manila and is also important for irrigation, transportation and energy production.

Timeframe, budget

The Laguna Lake basin assessment is expected to have an output for the global assessment by December 2003 and the report completed by 2004. The full-scale national assessment will be completed by December 2005. For the Laguna Lake basin, the total budget was $90,542. Of this amount the MA has already committed $40,000 while the DENR has committed $3,000. In-kind contributions amount to $24,2000. An additional $100,000 is needed for the Palawan assessment and another $500,000 is required for the national assessment.