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Community-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines : Developing Health Indicators Towards… Rosen, Emily Jun 30, 2016

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COMMUNITY-based decision-making for WATERSHED REGIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES:Developing environmental health indicators towards a Monitoring FrameworkEmily RosenJune 2016Community-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines:Developing Health Indicators Towards a Monitoring Framework Emily RosenBachelor of Arts (Honours)A PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTS in PLANNING (MAP)The School of Community and Regional Planning Faculty of Applied ScienceTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJune 2016Emily RosenacknowledgmentsI would like to extend my gratitude to the Province of Iloilo, Philippines, for warmly and hospitably welcoming me into your community over the past several years. The hard work and dedication of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources office has been incredibly inspirational. This report would not be possible without the close collaboration between the countless organizations, academics, individuals, and residents of the region. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. I would also like to thank the Canadian Urban Institute for offering me the opportunity to work with you and your international partners. I am grateful to have been a part of both your CIDA and IDRC funded projects in Iloilo since 2013. The experience has been invaluable, and has has been a key ingredient to sparking my interest and passion for community and regional planning. This project and its fieldwork would not have been possible without two generous financial contributions. I am honoured to be the recipient of the Brahm Wiesman Memorial Scholarship at the School of Community and Regional Planning. I am also grateful for the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project #890-2011-0100.Thank you to Dr. Francisco Magno, professor at De La Salle University in the Philippines. Your kind offer to accept the role as a second reader on this report is extremely appreciated. Finally, my greatest appreciation goes out to my supervisor Dr. Leonora Angeles. Nora has been my pillar at SCARP, and I am humbled to have had her continuous leadership, guidance, and support.  Thank you so much for inviting me to join your project in the Philippines; it has been an incredible experience working with you for the past two years. DISCLAIMERThe designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of The University of British Columbia, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the Provincial Government of Iloilo, or the Canadian Urban Institute. The analysis, conclusions, and recommendations of this publication solely reflect the views of the author.This publication is available under limited copyright protection. Any part of this document may be used and reproduced, provided proper acknowledgment is made, and as long as it is not used for commercial purposes.Unless otherwise stated, all of the photographs in this document are credited to the author, Emily Rosen.      1acronymsAWRB Angat Watershed and River BasinCIDA  Canadian International Development AgencyCUI  Canadian Urban InstituteDENR Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesFBC  Fraser Basin CouncilGIS  Geographic Information SystemIDRC International Development and Research CentreIWMC Iloilo Watershed Management CouncilLGC  Local Government CodeLGU  Local Government UnitMOU  Memorandum of UnderstandingNIA   National Irrigation AdministrationPENRO Provincial Environment and Natural Resources OfficeSCARP School of Community and Regional PlanningSSHRC Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council SOWR State of the Watershed ReportTAW  Tigum-Aganan WatershedTAWMB Tigum-Aganan Watershed ManageUPV  The University of the Philippines Visayas 2Table of Contents      Executive Summary              1.0  Introduction  1.1  Context                                  1.2  Rationale                                                         1.3   Statement of Research Problem                            1.4  Project Objectives                           1.5  Methodology                                                      1.6  Structure of the Report2.0 Comparative Analysis             2.1  Managing and Monitoring           Watersheds           2.2  Ecosystem-Based Planning &                   Watershed Management                   in Canada           2.3  Ecosystem-Based Planning &                   Watershed Management                   in the Philippines           2.4  Comparing Approaches: Lessons                  for Community-Based Watershed                  Monitoring3.0 Findings   3.1  Towards a Monitoring Framework                    3.2  Community-Based Research                  & the Participatory Process of                   Developing a Monitoring Framework           3.3  Watershed Health Indicators,                  Criteria, and Measurements              3.4  Community-Based Monitoring                  & Data Gathering           3.5  Watershed Report Cards                  4.0 Conclusion                                     4.1  Lessons Learned                                          4.2  Recommendations  5.0 works cited     367101112142728303840161822244424348Executive summaryThis research project presents a watershed health monitoring framework developed under a community-based model to increase decision-making on environmental issues in the Philippines. It is part of a larger project administered by the Canadian Urban Institute, and was developed under the leadership of Philippine staff from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the Iloilo Provincial Government and University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). Improving the evidence-based decision-making for watershed management is an urgent and under-addressed need the Philippines. The framework specifically uses the Tigum-Aganan Watershed in the Province of Iloilo as a case study to develop a Watershed Report Card as a tool to assess and record data, communicate current environmental health conditions, encourage community participation in local decision-making, and increase watershed stewardship. The monitoring framework developed through this project helped to create a systematic approach for collecting and evaluating data and information to facilitate decision-making, priority setting, and both short-term and long-term initiatives to protect, restore, and celebrate watersheds. When all across the Philippines the demand for water is increasing, social inequality is spreading, and climate change is exacerbating, this project can be used by other regions in the country as a model to adopt a community-based, evidence-based, and ecosystem-based approach to planning and watershed governance and management. 4introduction1.0Context1.1 introduction   This Master’s research project is a part of a larger 18-month capacity-building project administered by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines. Funded by Canada’s International Development and Research Centre (IDRC), the project began in June 2015 and is in partnership the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the Iloilo Provincial Government and the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).From 2009 to 2013, a preceding project in Iloilo administered by the CUI, the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Sustainable Bioregion Initiative, culminated in the output of a State of the Watershed Report (SOWR). The SOWR summarizes the current characteristics of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed in the Province of Iloilo, and is a first-of-its-kind tool for watershed management in the Philippines. Aimed at providing assistance in environmental planning and management in the Province of Iloilo, the project also helped in the capacity-building of a recently established Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board (TAWMB).The State of the Watershed Report was prepared primarily as a living tool to ensure environmental sustainability, not only physically but also institutionally. It outlines a new approach to planning, monitoring, and evaluating the health and conditions of the watershed, and assesses the local governance efforts to promote conservation and restoration activities, guide land development, limit urban sprawl, and advance sustainable local economic development. I participated in this project for a duration of seven months to ensure the document’s successful dissemination as a standardized template for State of the Watershed Reports throughout the Province of Iloilo and eventually nation-wide.The current CUI project builds on these successes and aims to create a Watershed Report Card to improve policy coordination, strengthen monitoring, and increase public awareness of environmental issues. This research project uses the CUI project as a case study for community-based research on watershed governance in the Philippines. It is based on the research conducted over the duration of the 18-month project while working as a Project Assistant in Canada, and cumulating in two weeks of field researchin Iloilo, Philippines in April and May 2016.         iloilothe philippines6 source: www.philippinesmap.facts.corationaleintroduction   2.11.2Over the  last several decades around the world, there has been a transition towards integrating ecosystems and participatory processes as part of urban planning and management, particularly with the growing concerns around climate change (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). The Philippines, like many other developing countries, is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, increasingly due to the impacts of unpredictable or severe weather events.  Prolonged periods of both drought and critical water shortages, as well as flooding during typhoon season, are seriously affecting both the public and farming livelihoods. Intense heat waves have resulted in serious illness and fatalities among the most vulnerable populations. Rapid population growth and deforestation are resulting in the loss of prime agricultural land and decreased food security.  The influence of climate change on watershed processes is critically important to understand and to manage them, as the functions of a watershed directly impact public health, the economy, communities, and cultures (Pike, 2008).In the Philippines, however, the approach to integrated environmental management has only just recently begun to emerge (see the Tigum-Aganan Watershed below for an example). Communities and local governments are realizing that improvements in watershed governance and management are necessary to sustain a region’s economic competitiveness, increase a community’s resilience to natural disasters, and support sustainable development. Decentralization is critical to the success of any community-based initiative,  including environmental management. One of the first aspects of decentralization in the Philippines was the devolution of functions and powers of the national government, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to Local Government Units (LGUs) under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Angeles and Magno, 2004). Although the Code attempted to integrate planning processes at the local level, it lacked important aspects of decentralization, including the participation of  local communities and civil society, and the role of the private business sector or community organizations (Angeles and Magno, 2004). The advantages of local governments being responsible for water management are numerous, particularly because they can be expected to have specialized knowledge of environmental and economic conditions and can, in turn, have the ability to adjust policies accordingly. However, disadvantages of such devolution include the lack of capacity and funding to analyze, measure, and monitor watershed health. Therefore, in pursuing these responsibilities, local governments should seek the collaboration and participation of both the public and private sector in a broad range of eco-governance initiatives (Rola et al., 2004).While there are numerous national policies to improve environmental conditions, the Philippines suffers from a fragmentation of local efforts to manage its watersheds due to number of reasons. A lack of knowledge, capacity, and funding at the community level inhibits the attention directed towards upland forest conservation, the naturalization of riparian zones, and improvements to water quality (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). Furthermore, there are many vested capitalist and political interests that benefit from the current state of affairs detrimental to the environment. The logging industry is causing mass deforestation, the quarrying industry is increasingly disturbing river beds, and the real estate development industry is encouraging relentless urban sprawl. There is an urgent need to strengthen collaborative watershed management in order to effectively align land use planning policies to contain sprawl and preserve farmlands, as well as to engage the community in environmental issues. National agencies, regional organizations,      7local governments, and other stakeholders often pursue programming without adequate alignment toward outcomes (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). There are many provisions in the Local Government Code of 1991 that attempt to introduce participatory governance in local political culture; however, a majority of these  are  underutilized and many LGUs are  burdened with very few actively involved and engaged citizens in local governance and decision-making on environmental concerns, largely due to the lack of information dissemination and public awareness (Angeles and Magno, 2004). As a result of low public awareness for critical environmental concerns, community stewardship is limited and vulnerability to natural disaster remains high. Despite the emergence in the Philippines towards an approach to local governance based on natural watershed boundaries to complement municipal planning – through projects such as that of the Canadian Urban Institute – there is still a large gap the knowledge of effective frameworks and data to achieve that goal. A major issue is being able to find reliable, current, and organized data on a watershed scale, which creates a lot of difficulty in monitoring progress on environmental health (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). There is a crucial need for watershed management programs rooted in a participatory community-based process that engages a variety of partners from all sectors. This process represents an important shift in thinking that is central in ecosystem-based planning, and one that the Philippines can certainly improve upon. The Tigum-Aganan WatershedWhen Typhoon Frank hit the Visayas region in 2008, Metro Iloilo was unprepared for a climatic event of this magnitude. It hit the city and surrounding region particularly hard; intense flooding destroyed lives, homes, livelihoods, and infrastructure. Metro Iloilo is situated predominantly in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed (TAW), the largest watershed in the Province of Iloilo both geographically  and by the population inhabiting it. Both the Tigum River and the Aganan River flow through upland LGUs before converging downstream, forming the Jaro River. The estuary of the Jaro River is in Iloilo City, a highly urbanized city and the largest in the region, with a population of approximately 500,000. In addition to its role in supplying potable water to much of the region, the Tigum-Aganan Watershed provides water for farming, agri-business, and other industrial and commercial uses. It also sustains a complex ecosystem and important natural habitats that vary in characteristics between the upland, lowland, and estuary portions of the watershed area. The TAWMB is the predominant governing body for the TAW. As an alliance between LGUs, the local water utility, the irrigation association, universities and colleges, and local environmental NGOs, it has a mandate to undertake the planning and implementation activities necessary to protect, advocate for, and rehabilitate the  watershed. Though formed in 2001, the TAWMB has only recently begun to facilitate the transfer of DENR functions to the LGUs within the TAW, an initiative that will ultimately transfer environmental watershed management responsibility to the local level. While the TAWMB is responsible for monitoring specific indicators to track the health of the ecosystem, there lacks any official programs or frameworks with which to do so. There is also currently a lack of public participation in environmental planning and management, which does not help establish an efficient and sustainable planning process. It is an objective of the TAWMB to establish a Watershed Monitoring Program and launch a Watershed Report Card, enabling the reporting of the state of the watershed to policy-makers and the public, and allow for improved evidence-based decision-making for watershed rehabilitation. The advanced development, maturity, and organization of the TAWMB makes it an excellent example for other watershed management units, both throughout the province and the Philippines. 1.2 introduction   8introduction   2.11.2river networks in the province of iloiloThe Tigum-Aganan WatershedAlimodianMaasinLeonCabatuanSantaBarbaraSan MiguelOtonPaviaIloilo City`Source: Original GIS maps from PENRO, Iloilo. Text and highlight overlay from Emily Rosenstatement of Research PROBLEM1.3 introduction   The Canadian watershed management model has developed over time, continuously expanding the range of issues that are monitored and addressed as a result of the growing capacity, the sophistication of data collection, and the expansion of partnerships that support the process (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). The approaches and methodology around ecosystem-based planning and watershed management can be applicable across the world if adapted contextually to build on existing local capacity and knowledge to suit a region’s own needs and objectives. The proper, consistent, and regular monitoring of a given environment will generate data and information that is valuable to understanding local conditions. Currently in the Philippines, the responsibility for monitoring is typically delegated to government agencies. However, research from around the world shows that monitoring and data collection cannot be supported by a single entity if maximum results are to be achieved. The best monitoring framework will benefit by cooperative partnerships that bring together resources, knowledge, and commitment.  This project seeks to find a role for municipalities, educational institutions, businesses, associations, interest groups, and members of the community for monitoring watershed health, policies, priorities, and actions. Monitoring and reporting the state of a watershed and its health conditions can provide both an understanding of the pressures upon it and the basis for developing and evaluating management strategies and stewardship activities. The challenge is selecting a set of indicators appropriate to specific watershed conditions, designing reporting formats and Report Cards that are understandable to a non-technical audience, and creating a monitoring framework that does not burden local capacity but rather involves and leverages citizen knowledge. Creating a Watershed Report Card to communicate current watershed health conditions requires, therefore, the collection and evaluation of data. The yielded data is a prerequisite to the creation of a Report Card, a tool to communicate watershed health to both the public and to decision-makers. Environmental health conditions and issues vary from one watershed to the next, and therefore it is crucial that each watershed has its own unique set of indicators, developed using local knowledge and expertise. However, there are numerous benefits in reporting on a shared subset of indicators, regardless of a watershed’s scale or circumstances, particularly to gain a better understanding of the state of the broader ecosystem and to evaluate the effectiveness of policy interventions. The research questions to be answered through this project are as follows:What are the appropriate indicators for measuring the state of watershed health in the Philippines (using the Province of Iloilo as a case study) that can be also be applied to other similar regions around the world?  How can these indicators be easily and regularly measured and monitored, drawing on available resources within the local government system while leveraging the involvement of local communities and the academic sector?What watershed reporting format and rating system would assist local governments and watershed stewardship groups in the compilation, analysis, and presentation of information to stakeholders and the public? 10project objectivesintroduction   2.11.4The overall objective of this research project is to increase the capacity for community-based decision-making and improve the evidence basis of decision-making for watersheds in the Philippines. It also aims to innovate new approaches and tools that urban and rural practitioners can adopt to improve public policy outcomes in this area. Specifically, this research highlights an existing Canadian Urban Institute project in Iloilo, Philippines as a case study and model for other local governments across the country that are striving to address the deplorable state of their watersheds and reduce their risks to natural disasters.  This research seeks to determine the process of the development of  locally-generated watershed health indicators and the creation of a monitoring framework to establish a Watershed Report Card. A Report Card is a watershed monitoring and evaluation tool that enables periodic reporting on progress towards watershed protection and rehabilitation.Through the processes of this project, it is the goal of the researcher to strengthen the collaborative linkages between upland, lowland,  and   coastal  local  governments, community organizations, and the public. The focus of the project is building the capacity of partner organizations on watershed planning and developing policy solutions that encourage community-based decision-making. The advantages of such processes of decision-making link regional environmental conservation and food security efforts with community livelihood and local economic development programs; improve disaster risk reduction and develop climate change adaptation strategies; and promote the mainstreaming of citizen involvement and gender equality in policy solutions.The specific objectives of the Canadian Urban Institute (2016) project are as follows:-   --An emphasis was placed on the application and institutionalization of learned skills, creating self-sustaining mechanisms for collaborative governance in the province. In the long term, through better regional planning and environmental sustainability, security of access to clean water will increase, as will economic development and food security. To achieve this, the project supported its local stakeholders in developing a coordinated vision, with the aim of increasing public awareness to support engagement towards regional sustainability.To increase the sharing of best practices on watershed planning and management between Canada and the Philippines     9To improve collaboration between local governments and academic institutions for watershed data collection, analysis and ongoing monitoring in the Province of IloiloTo  create  a  Watershed Report Card template, rating system, and monitoring framework that can be used by local authorities to quickly assess current conditions and to improve community awareness of and engagement in watershed stewardshipMethodologyThe methodology for this project is research through the use of both secondary and primary data. Research was conducted and based on applied policy research through a literature review, as well as through two rounds of fieldwork as a Project Assistant with CUI on a research project in Iloilo, Philippines as a case study. During fieldwork, facilitation and participation occurred in two consultation workshops and a roundtable discussion, all located in the Iloilo Provincial Capitol building in April and May 2016. All of the matieral and data collected from other consultation workshops and project activities were provided by PENRO.  Applied Research Through Secondary DataDuring an internship with the Canadian Urban Institute from May to August 2015, policy research was undertaken on the best practices in ecosystem-based planning and management in Canada and the Philippines. Examined were aspects such as governance structures; inter-governmental coordination; planning approaches; community and stakeholder engagement; data collection, analysis, management, reporting and rating techniques; and partnerships with academic institutions and watershed stewardship groups. Research from the internship helped benchmark and inform efforts to establish a watershed monitoring and ‘Watershed Report Card’ program for the Province of Iloilo, which aims to eventually be disseminated to other watersheds throughout the Philippines. Project OrganizationAt project initiation, prior to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between all partners, a Project Steering Committee was formed, representing the local partners, key stakeholders,  and collaborating organizations. The main partners and leaders of the committee were the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the Province of Iloilo, and the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). The committee jointly developed a detailed work plan, budget, and performance management framework to guide the achievement of activities, outputs, and outcomes. The work plan was used to validate the research questions and planned results, provide greater detail on activities to be conducted, reconfirm roles and responsibilities of organizations and team members, establish a risk monitoring and mitigation framework, and create a communication and knowledge sharing strategy. Participatory Consultation Workshops A variety of watershed health indicators and measures exist that can be used to assess environmental conditions. This  project helped the local partners in Iloilo, Philippines to determine a set of indicators that is best suited to the specific local context and audience. One of the results from the 2009-2013 project Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Sustainable Bioregion Project was an initial set of potential indicators and measures to assess the health of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed (TAW) - this list was used as the starting point for the current project.A series of ten 3-day workshops and seminars were hosted by PENRO and the UPV. Each workshop invited different local partners and key stakeholders to participate in the consultation meetings, based on their area of expertise. Themes of workshops and seminars included: forest and natural cover, water, biodiversity, waste management, land use, agriculture, riparian and coastal management, watershed governance, monitoring station mapping, and a finalroundtable discussion. Through this locally-driven participatory process of workshops, indicators were evaluated, targets were1.5 introduction   12set, and ranking systems were determined and agreed-upon by the local partners and key stakeholders to ensure their quality and appropriateness to the local context. Based off the watershed health indicators developed through the consultation process, a monitoring framework was developed by PENRO and UPV faculty and students, with technical input from CUI project staff. Input from local stakeholders and community members was then gathered through consultations to verify the validity of the established monitoring processes for each indicator.The final activity was to design a simple ‘Watershed Report Card’ in  order to periodically report to policy makers and the general public on health conditions of the watershed and to improve evidence-based decision-making for protection and rehabilitation. The Report Card was developed by UPV, with input from PENRO, and reviewed with project partners and stakeholders at the consultative workshops. The final roundtable discussion focused on pilot-testing the Report Card design to make sure it communicates the message clearly and simply.Roundtable DiscussionOnce nine of the workshops were completed, facilitation was done at a roundtable discussion with all of the participants. For the first time, many of the project’s local partners and key stakeholders were coming together to discuss the entire project, rather than just the theme relevant to their expertise. Looking at the whole picture was important, and was an event looked forward to by many. The involvement and dedication to this project seems to have only increased with time. An informal focus group discussion was led. This final discussion with participants of the research project was used to evaluate achievements, define lessons learned, and provide a series of recommended next steps as a call-to-action on improving watershed management practices.Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management BoardSince 2008, the relationship between CUI and the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board (TAWMB) has been growing. The TAWMB - both its Technical Working Group and key members - was a major stakeholder and contributor to this  research project. Due to its urban and rural nature, the TAWMB was used as the sample watershed for the creation of a Watershed Report Card and Monitoring Framework. LimitationsThis project contained several methodological limitations. The biggest weakness was the lack of funding and timing to pilot-test the Report Card template and monitoring framework with members of the community. While the project involved a successful participatory process with local partners and key stakeholders to develop the outputs, it lacked the final step of community-based presentations to see if the tools, indicators, Report Cards, and monitoring protocols are feasible, acceptable, and understandable by the general public. While there were no stakeholder representatives from upland indigenous communities, there are plans for Barangay Captains to hold an information dissemination meeting with all community members and organizations for more detailed pilot-testing in the future.  introduction   2.11.5    13Structure of the ReportThe following section of this report, Section 2, will present a literature review, highlighting the current best practices in ecosystem-based planning and management in Canada and in the Philippines, as well as a comparative analysis of the watershed monitoring frameworks at the forefront of such practices in both Canada and the Philippines. It concludes by comparing the Canadian and Philippine approaches by presenting lessons learned for community-based watershed health monitoring. Section 3 is the portion of the report that describes the findings of the research. First, the general monitoring framework used in this project for the Tigum-Aganan Watershed is presented. A detailed explanation of the community-based participatory process used in this project will be described, followed by an elaborate explanation of the watershed health indicators that were developed by local partners and key stakeholders. It will cover the monitoring indicators, criteria, and measurements, the data collection and monitoring program, finally leading into the establishment of a Watershed Report Card.Concluding the report, Section 4 has two components: lessons learned through the project, and a list of recommendations for adopting ecosystem-based planning in other watersheds in the Philippines, using the Angat Watershed and River Basin as an example. A table was established to highlight the essential conditions for the successful implementation of a community-based approach to watershed planning and management. 141.6 introduction   Comparative analysis:canada & the philippines2.0Managing & Monitoring WatersheDS162.1The following section will present a comparative analysis between the watershed planning approaches, including the different monitoring frameworks, in the Philippines and Canada.  Increasingly, collaborative efforts and partnerships convening public and private stakeholders are being used to address challenging environmental problems related to land and water (Koehler and Koontz, 2007). A critical element of an ecosystem-based, or watershed, approach to environmental management is the involvement of local communities. Local active citizens are seen as essential participants in collaborative environmental management because they can provide vital information about an area’s natural and sociopolitical systems (Koehler and Koontz, 2007). Local stakeholder involvement leads to more locally relevant solutions that take into account unique social, economic, and environmental conditions and values (Rola et al., 2004). In addition, the participation of local stakeholders creates a sense of ownership of identified problems and solutions, ensuring the long-term sustainability of watershed health. A monitoring framework is a systematic approach for collecting and evaluating data and information used to tell a story about the environment. Resultant information will facilitate decision-making, priority setting, and both short-term and long-term initiatives to protect, restore, and celebrate watersheds. For the establishment of a well-designed management and monitoring program, a general and systematic framework is needed (Conrad and Daoust, 2007). While many different frameworks exist, a common framework will bring consistency over time and place. The cumulative body of information generated by regular monitoring will eventually be able to help identify long-term changes in environmental health, provide a scientific basis for identifying the possible causes of such changes, and show trends in measured conditions.In literature, there are two general types of monitoring: traditional and participatory. According to the World Bank (2010), with the growing emphasis on participatory approaches towards development, there has been recognition that monitoring and evaluation should also be participatory. Conventionally, the monitoring process has involved a top-down driven process with outside experts coming in to measure performance against an established set of indicators, using standardized procedures and tools. In contrast, participatory monitoring involves primary stakeholders as active participants and offers new ways of assessing and learning from change - ways that are more inclusive and reflect the perspectives and aspirations of those most directly affected (World Bank, 2010). Participatory and community-based monitoring not only builds ownership and empowers the community in decision-making, it also encourages collaboration, accountability, transparency, sustainability, and resiliency. The underlying objective of a community-based participatory process is to achieve a more holistic perspective and involve a more diverse set of stakeholders, enabling people to understand the views and values they share, and work through their differences with others (Estrella and Gaventa, 2000). The visual on the following page compares traditional and participatory monitoring based on different areas of the monitoring process. The original graphic was developed by the Environmental Health Project division of the U.S. Agency for International Development (Storti, 2004). comparative analysis     17AREA OF MONITORING   TRADITIONAL MONITORING     PARTICIPATORY MONITORING Purpose of MonitoringFocus of InformationCollectionInformation CollectionMethodsResponsibility forCollecting Information-  To measure progress relative to the     project plan or management     objectives-  Has a limited number of variables    related to the goals of the project    plan-  Uses quantitative methods-  Makes an objective analysis-  Assumed by outside evaluators   and/or project managers-  To measure successes qualitatively     as well as quantitatively-  To develop lessons learned to be    integrated into the project-  Achieves a holistic analysis-  The participatory group methods   allow for additional questions to    emerge from the repetitive learning    process-  Uses quantitative and qualitative   methods-  Makes a subjective judgment-  Assumed by project participants,   managers, and community members2.1comparative analysis  TRADITIONAL MONITORING   VS.   PARTICIPATORY MONITORINGSource: U.S. Agency for International Development2.2 comparative analysis Ecosystem-Based Planning & watershed management in CanadaOver the past several decades, there has been a shift in watershed planning and management practices in Canada, away from the traditional top-down approach. Governments have been increasingly moving towards adopting ecosystem-based management strategies and approaches, causing the emergence of  a  new framework for sustainable water management governance and policy. According to Environment Canada (2013), these approaches draw on sustainable development principals and are designed to ensure that decision-making reflects the interests of many stakeholders, and balances a range of goals – these include sustainable water resource management; protection of the ecosystem; and reduction of disaster risks.  The Canada Water Act (1970) has been a cornerstone policy in enabling the cooperation and collaboration between the federal, provincial, territorial, First Nations (indigenous peoples), and municipal governments, but also with other major organizations and communities for an integrated approach to the management of water resources.Watersheds are integrated systems and important units for planning and managing water: the various resources that interact within a watershed — the land, the surface and ground water, the air, and the organisms within the watershed — cannot be considered in isolation (Fraser Basin Council, 2011b). By recognizing the interconnections between the components of a watershed and by integrating this understanding into planning and decision-making within and across watershed boundaries, negative human impacts on watershed health are more likely to be more managed effectively (Fraser Basin Council, 2011b).Historically, water quality and quantity have been managed separately, and decision-making around water resources has been governed by political boundaries rather than by natural ones (Fraser Basin Council, 2011b). Given that Canada’s Federal Water Policy now adopts the watershed level as the spatial unit for water resource planning, it has become mainstream practice. Integrated watershed planning enables the coordination of decisions among government and private agencies in land use and resource management through multi-stakeholder collaborative planning, monitoring, research, consultation, and by ensuring accountability through open communication, education and public access to information (Fraser Basin Council, 2011b). A Blueprint for Watershed Governance in British Columbia is a recent publication from the POLIS Project, a research centre at the University of Victoria, that explores how the watershed can become a more formal focal point of decision-making and why it is generally the appropriate scale and space for integration and whole-system thinking. For healthy and functioning watersheds, POLIS encourages the watershed as the primary scale for water-based decision-making, including: watershed and related land-use planning, riparian management, agriculture, urban growth and development, restoration, green infrastructure, and certain types of resource development activities, such as forestry  and  fisheries (Brandes  and O’Riordan, 2014). The central premise of this Blueprint is to fundamentally change the scale at which critical decisions that impact watersheds are made. It envisions an integrated whole-system thinking with community-based functions and activities that  include watershedvisioning and planning; monitoring and reporting on local conditions; integrating mandates across levels of government; reducing and resolving conflicts; and18comparative analysis2.1 2.2education and building awareness (Brandes and O’Riordan, 2014). POLIS recognizes that this governance model must apply to the broader provincial government’s policies on land and resource management in order to have the most effective and sustainable watersheds.The provincial governments across Canada legally have the primary responsibility for making decisions about water and watersheds, with most legal powers related to land use, water management, and control over local government (Brandes & O’Riordan, 2014). In British Columbia, local governments are gaining more power over local matters. Local governments have contributed to water management planning across the province by initiating, managing and participating in various activities  related  to  water management and planning. Activities include developing water conservation plans and drought developing floodplain management plans and strategies, waste management plans and integrated stormwater management plans, conservation plans, integrated watershed management plans, and official community plans and regional growth strategies.Most Canadian provinces have historically relied on a top-down, government-led approach to environmental management and decision-making. The increasing complexity associated with addressing the challenges affecting our watersheds, coupled with a rapid decrease in the on-the-ground capacity of the provincial government, has created a demand for more direct civic and community engagement around critical environmental and resource management decisions (Brandes and O’Riordan, 2014). The move to formalizing more collaborative and distributed approaches to decision-making is already underway, including legally embedded community or watershed-based institutions, such as the Fraser Basin Council, as key implementers or drivers of action. The collaboration and engagement with different levels of government, different water-use sectors, stewardship organizations, and the multitude of community stakeholders is increasingly becoming a key success factor in ecosystem-based planning and management. Across Canada over the past two decades, a growing interest and willingness has emerged within communities to become involved in watershed planning. At the community level, a greater emphasis on collaborative planning for watersheds has put local governments in touch with a wide range of partners from different government organizations as well as representatives from both the business and stewardship communities (Fraser Basin Council, 2011a). According to the Fraser Basin Council (2011a), bringing the right people together to the numerous issues within a watershed is no easy task, but when done well, it can be an efficient, credible, and cost effective way of developing integrated and robust solutions. There is no single approach to designing a multi-stakeholder process, but a broad set of principles and practices that contribute to successful outcomes of collaborative decision-making processes is emerging across Canada.  In collaboration with local governments, organizations and individuals, the Fraser Basin Council aims to foster an environment in which its residents are actively engaged, share ideas, and help make effective decisions. The Council uses a variety of forms and levels of community engagement, such as: surveys, interviews, workshops, open houses, public events, and other creative methods.     19Partnerships & Public Participation2.220comparative analysis The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (2016), a leader at the forefront of watershed management in Canada, uses the following criteria for picking indicators:Validity-  Is the indicator relevant to regional land use    planning and development systems?Understandability-  Is the indicator simple, direct, and    understandable to decision-makers and    the public?Interpretability-  Is there a benchmark or baseline against    which measurements can be interpreted?Information Richness-  Does the indicator give information about    more than one environmental component?Data Availability-  Is data currently available, and will continue    to be available in the future?Timeliness-  Does the indicator detect environmental/   social/environmental changes in a timely    manner?Cost and Effort-  Can the data be obtained and interpreted    with reasonable cost and effort?Sufficient-  Is the suite of indicators sufficient to assess    the overall health of the landscape?IndicatorsA Canadian Monitoring FrameworkIn Canada, managing water and ecosystem information has long been critical to adaptive watershed management: each component in this process requires trained staff, standards, and tools to be effectively implemented (Conservation Ontario, 2003). Investing appropriate effort into each component of water information management is fundamental for a local Conservation Authority in Ontario to develop and evaluate management for continuous improvement. To characterize and manage a watershed and surface water and groundwater quality conditions, a consistent approach to monitoring is required by appropriate agencies. The resulting data must be interpreted and reported to local and provincial water managers, and to the public, to ensure the access to adequate and scientific information regarding water quality that will support effective decisions in this province. While Conservation Ontario (2013) recommends consistent monitoring by all of the provincial Conservation Authorities, individual Authorities are expected to build upon their network to address specific and unique water quality concerns within the specific context of their watersheds. Environment Canada (2013) is currently arguing that water management information“Integrated watershed planning combines scientific and technical information with cultural and social values to resolve conflicts and identify a desirable future outcome.” – Fraser Basin Council“The challenge of navigating highly complex water and land use issues is pointing to the need for an integrated and collaborative approach to watershed planning and governance. Integrated planning involves a broad-based analysis of local and regional water quantity, water quality and other watershed issues, as well as the interconnections between these issues.”- Fraser Basin Council2.2Watershed Report Cards    21comparative analysis In 2013, Conservation Ontario started a process of Watershed Reporting: monitoring, measuring and reporting to better understand the watershed, the progress made in protecting it, and the threats to its future health. The Report Card is a useful tool for providing the public with an evaluation of the state of a watershed, and includes the information needed to protect, restore and improve the natural resources within each watershed. Measuring helps the Conservation Authorities to focus their efforts where they are needed most, to track progress, and to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement (Watershed Checkup, 2013). The standards used in the Conservation Ontario Report Card (see Indicators above) were developed by the Conservation Authorities to ensure consistent reporting across the Province of Ontario. Alongside grades, arrows are also often included to show whether conditions are improving, decreasing, or remaining stable. While the creation of a Report Card is not a simple task, more communities across the country are beginning to see the benefits. Not only do Report Cards increase public awareness and support, but they also help identify research needs and data gaps. Ultimately, this leads to on-the-ground action – you can’t manage what you can’t measure.and reporting systems are needed to help guide and assess priorities and emerging integrated watershed management issues – jurisdictions have collaborated in many ways by developing guidelines to assess water quality, building data collection networks, modeling, and developing indicators to report on water resource trends. The availability of data varies across and within each province. According to Environment Canada (2010), Canadian researchers and watershed management agencies use baseline data from databases developed from national surveys of water and climate and maintained by the federal government. In many cases, data collected by provincial agencies are maintained by the provinces and contribute to the federal database. Research and development efforts made by governments, businesses, universities, NGOs, and community stewardship groups have resulted in the introduction of data collection and monitoring techniques that help address various water issues and concerns.The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a non-profit organization that works to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and across British Columbia, with major goals to increase public awareness and understanding about sustainability, identify critical issues and responses to improve progress, inform decisions and influence actions, and increase the sustainability and resiliency of the region. It receives funding from  both the provincial government and from public and private organizations (Fraser Basin Council, 2011a). The FBC published an Indicators Report in 2011 entitled Measuring & Reporting on Sustainability: A Report on Lessons Learned that presents a wide range of good practices and lessons learned from the field of sustainability indicators and reporting. It includes information of the FBC’s experience in data collection that involves the use of databases and spreadsheets to manage and analyze data for each indicator theme. Data comes in different types from a variety of sources: large centralized databases (ex: Statistics Canada); specialized or targeted data sources (ex: various other federal and provincial government departments, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations); one-time studies (ex: particular projects); and local and traditional ecological knowledge. Once indicators have been selected for a specific project, the planners contact providers of the corresponding data sources to acquire the indicator data (Fraser Basin Council, 2011a). Despite an internationally widespread ecosystem-based approach to environmental planning and management, the Philippines is still one of the countries where this approach has yet to become standard policy.  Many regions in the Philippines still do not have basic monitoring frameworks in place for measuring and evaluating environmental health. This is likely due to the lack of an ecosystem-based watershed approach to planning and management. The DENR has long used watershed management as an element of natural resources planning and management in the country, but it has been limited to the upper watersheds primarily in forested areas. The link between the upper watershed land uses and downstream water resources and conditions had not commonly been explored in the context of a watershed unit throughout the Philippines (Rola and Francisco, 2004).There are limits to establishing such a system, particularly in a developing country such as the Philippines. One factor is the lack of investment in substantial data collection and monitoring activities; however, stakeholder involvement and local community engagement in this approach will help make the system manageable. Another issue that is the lack of a national comprehensive policy and strategy for sustainable watershed management in the Philippines. With the presence of myriad agencies exercising different controls over the country’s watersheds, there is a continuous fragmentation of responsibilities over their resource management. The many major players in watershed planning in the Philippines provides a complex and difficult platform to coordinate activities, particularly because many of the agencies represent different stakeholders groups with competing demands for water. Many experts in environmental policy in the Philippines argue for the need to integrate all of the various provisions into a single and distinct policy pronouncement as well as the need to consolidate all of the agencies’ activities and programs (Francisco, 2004). The Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 marked a milestone in Philippine environmental policy. It provided the legal basis for local governance of the country’s natural resources—initiating the support for a watershed-based approach to planning and management. However, adopting this approach still requires a major structural shift involving political support, budget allocation, and strong leadership to mobilize local support and commitment by relevant stakeholders. In the Philippines, the principles of watershed planning and management are specified in the Philippine Strategy for Improved Watershed Management, which include (Cruz, 2004):Integration: This implies internal integration in the watershed, integration across watersheds, integration across institutions and agencies, and integration of policies.Multiple use: The use of water, land and other watershed resources for several purposes in a manner that will provide the greatest benefits for the greatest number of people for the longest time possible.Participation: Active involvement of stakeholders in planning and implementation.Interdisciplinary: Participation of key sectors and disciplines in management, and the integration across sectors and disciplines.Although this approach is still not widespread in the Philippines and its implementation is still very limited, there are some outstanding examples throughout the country that 2.322comparative analysis Ecosystem-Based Planning & watershed management in the Philippines2.3   23illustrate the watershed-based planning and management approach.The Maasin Watershed is a sub-watershed of the larger Tigum-Aganan Watershed in the Province of Iloilo. It illustrates  some of the efforts to mobilize various stakeholders’ support in a watershed-based planning and management approach. In the late 1990’s, the governor of the Province of Iloilo responded to the degrading situation of the upland forests by prioritizing the rehabilitation of the watershed (Salas, 2004). The creation of the Watershed Rehabilitation Project raised public awareness as well as enough partnership funding for various activities  and environmental protection projects such as reforestation. This case also points to the critical elements of effective watershed management. It highlights the importance of social infrastructure in the sustaining and operationalization of the watershed approach. The project in Maasin facilitated the creation of the Iloilo Watershed Management Council (IWMC) through a provincial ordinance (Salas, 2004). The IWMC put the provisions of the LGC into action and legitimized the political support to watershed management efforts in the area. It also ultimately led to the establishment of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board, which is made up of key stakeholders and is the governing body of the watershed. More specific to monitoring, an example of the evolving partnership between local communities and their governments in the management of water resources can be seen in Lantapan, Bukidnon. This region has experienced the initiatives of an emerging local institution—a group of local volunteers trained to become community water monitors— that was formed out of a foreign-funded project aimed at providing community-generated water data for local policy and action (Rola et al., 2004). In 1995, local citizens, including indigenous peoples and migrant farmers, volunteered to receive training in water quality monitoring and principles of watershed management; this core group of water monitors proceeded to form a people’s organization and incorporated themselves as an officially recognized NGO (Rola et al. 2004). This group’s monitoring results have been disseminated to community members, educators, and local policymakers, and shows that local people with sufficient training can be put in a position to monitor the state of their own water resources and thus contribute to local policy and governance. These examples point to the key roles that local government units and the community can play in protecting the country’s watersheds. While the DENR recognizes the need to adopt the watershed as the relevant planning unit throughout the country, it has not yet fully adopted this approach. Despite its lack of institutionalization, however, a number of watershed management councils, civil society organizations, and citizen volunteer groups have been formed. More effort is needed, though, to inform and educate communities and their government on the need for the watershed approach to resource management. This approach, which largely relies on inter-agency collaboration, major stakeholder involvement, and strong LGU leadership, is a crucial strategy to improve water resource management in the Philippines and, according to recent Philippine literature, should be pursued to its fullest extent as soon as possible (Francisco, 2004).comparative analysis Context is everything: successful models are strongly influenced by local priorities, geography, history, culture, and economics (Hunter et al., 2014). Still, there is no need to build or redesign institutions if there are lessons to be learned from other regions that are undertaking new practices and processes, embracing new ways of working together, and attempting to consider the environmental and social needs of their watershed in integrated ways. As new techniques or processes are piloted in one watershed, it is extremely beneficial for other regions considering similar reforms to seek out and learn from what currently exists.Improving the evidence-based decision-making for watershed management is an urgent and under-addressed need in both Canada and the Philippines that can help improve public policy outcomes. Collaborative projects that involve local authorities, organizations, and stakeholders will enable the shared knowledge of innovative best practices  and approaches for planning, managing, and monitoring at the watershed level. Although there have been examples of citizens, community organizations, different levels of government, indigenous peoples, and private businesses working collaboratively, this continues to remain a challenge for many communities in both Canada and the Philippines (Day & Litke 2005). Reseasrch indicates that there still remains inadequate government support and assistance to enable communities to participate meaningfully in shared decision making at the local watershed level, and the lack of effective communication between the community and decision-makers is quite common (Conrad and Daoust, 2007). While increased collaboration and communication with innovative partnerships is required for successful and sustainable ecosystem-based planning and management, building networks, trust, and relations across so many cross-sections of society is a challenging and time-consuming endeavor (Conrad and Daoust, 2007). But what is clear is that community-based monitoring is a means to strengthen local capacities for planning, problem solving, and decision-making  (Estrella and Gaventa, 2000). This project seeks to share with the Province of Iloilo some of the knowledge and lessons learned from Canada, specifically the Watershed Repot Card program established by Conservation Ontario and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The project will help build the capacity of the local partners and key stakeholders to use their local knowledge and expertise to  engage communities to implement the project. Comparing Approaches: Lessons for Community-Based Watershed Monitoring2.4 comparative analysis 24Findings3.0findings3.0The following section will be organized as follows:Section 3.1 will discuss the monitoring framework established through this project, and the following sections will highlight the phases of the framework. Section 3.2 details the participatory process of the development of a monitoring framework in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed.Section 3.3 goes into detail regarding the established six watershed health indicators, as well as their respective criteria and measurements. Section 3.4 sheds light on the community-based monitoring and data gathering program used and developed through the project. Section 3.5 describes the Watershed Report Card as a planning tool and the importance of reporting and sharing the monitored information with the community. Please keep in mind that this research project report is part of a larger project administered by CUI, Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines. This report does not intend to preempt the release of the contents of the CUI project, and therefore the information displayed in the Findings Section are only the substantive findings, not the methodological findings of the larger project.    27findings1 3.1Towards a Monitoring FrameworkA monitoring framework was developed through the collaboration of local partners and key stakeholders in this project. It is specific to the Province of Iloilo, and will guide all actors involved in the collection of useful information that can be presented in Watershed Report Cards, providing an evidence basis for decision-making. While this framework is a general starting point specific to the Tigum-Aganan Watershed, it is hoped that as capacity increases, the specific details of the monitoring program can be continuously updated and modified to any context. In time, the framework will need to be revisited and amended based on the original findings, availability of resources, and the need for more information or different kinds of data.A cyclical non-linear process, the four stages of the monitoring framework are: the establishment of a community-based participatory process, the identification of project objectives and monitoring indicators, the gathering and analyzing of data and information, and finally the reporting and sharing of information. These four main stages represent the framework that was both developed by, and used during, the project.Establish a Participatory Process Identify Objectives and IndicatorsGather and Analyze DataReport Information28findings3.2Community-Based Research & the participatory process of developing a monitoring frameworkConsultations with key stakeholders and local citizens was an important aspect of the project to ensure the final product was understandable, pilot tested, and accepted by the general public and agencies responsible for using the Watershed Report Card in the future. Consultation for CUI’s Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines project began in May 2015. Shortly after IDRC confirmed funding for the project, the Memorandum of Understanding was drafted and all of the partner signatures were received. Immediately, local partners PENRO and UPV convened to discuss and identify the initial stakeholders to involve in the project. Throughout the months of June and July 2015, a series of courtesy meetings and project presentations were conducted by PENRO and UPV in several different watersheds around the Province of Iloilo: a meeting with the Jar-ao-Tangyan-Guimbal Watershed held in the Municipality of Tubungan, a meeting with the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board (TAWMB) held in the Municipalities of Leon and Alimodian, and a meeting with the Jalaur River Basin Management Council in the Municipalities of Lambunao and Calinog. During these initial site visits, presentations and discussions on the State of the Watershed Reports were undertaken,  project objectives were discussed, and watershed units committed to participate in the project.Technical staff from PENRO and UPV then met independently with the Iloilo Watershed Management Council to conduct a workshop to enhance watershed reporting indicators that were developed based off the recommendations from the previous CUI project, The Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Sustainable Bioregion Initiative (2009-2013). This new draft set of enhanced watershed indicators were presented to the Technical Working Group of the TAWMB in August of 2015 for discussion and feedback. The inputs of the members were noted and added into the watershed report card template and monitoring framework.In October, 2015, in preparation for the first pretest of the enhanced watershed indicators, an expert panel workshop was convened.  The workshop was attended by technical experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Environmental Management Bureau, the National Irrigation Administration, and the Foundation for Philippine Environment, the Kahublagan Sa Panimalay Foundation, and UPV. The workshop resulted in a final set of watershed health indicators.In 2013, the Governor’s Prize on Blue Waters Competition was developed, with the supervision of PENRO staff, as an output of the project with CUI. The competition, endorsed by the Governor of the Province of Iloilo, Arthur Defensor, was to promote watershed management in planning and recognize the efforts of the different Watershed Management Boards or Councils in the province based off a set of indicators that guide ecosystem-based planning, project implementation, and monitoring. For the 3rd annual Blue Waters Competition at the end of 2015, the enhanced watershed indicators were used as criteria by the judging panel. Twelve out of the twenty-three watershed management units in the province participated (the highest number thus far) in the competition using the new indicators. Feedback was provided, and the indicators were then even more finely tuned as appropriate measures of indicating watershed health.  Governor’s Prize on Blue Waters Competition   29findings1 3.2Throughout March and April 2016, ten workshops were conducted to gather final inputs on the watershed report card and the monitoring framework. The workshops, attended by local partners and key stakeholders depending on their area of expertise or interest, were divided by indicators: natural cover, biodiversity, riparian and coastal, watershed governance, waste management, water, land use allocations, agriculture, and mapping for monitoring stations. A separate roundtable discussion session was scheduled  for May 3, 2016, to finalize the report card template and monitoring framework. This final event was attended by representatives from the PENRO, UPV, the DENR, Iloilo Watershed Management Council, West Visayas State University, Housing and Land Use Regulator Bureau, Provincial Assessors Office,  Provincial Health Office, Environment and Management Bureau, Department of Agrarian Reform, Provincial Planning and Development Office, National Irrigation Administration, Metro Iloilo Water District, Be Secure USAID, GIZ-Forclime II, Provincial Agriculture,  Central Philippine University, as well as municipal LGU representatives from Alimodian, Pavia, Maasin, Janiuay, Duenas, New Lucena, Tigbauan, Dumangas, San Miguel, Lambunao, San Enrique, Calinog, and Cabatuan.On May 12, 2016, the Report Card Template, Monitoring Framework, and two sample report cards were presented to the Technical Working Group of the Jar-ao-Tangyan- Guimbal Watershed Management Council, the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board, and the Sibalom Baguingin Watershed Management Council in the Province of Iloilo. This resulted in additional comments and suggestions, and inputs were gathered on time frames for implementation.  It was further agreed that a Watershed Report Card will be developed by each watershed management unit in the Province of Iloilo and published by December 2016, in time for the 4th annual Governor’s Prize on Blue Waters Competition. Workshops and SeminarsThroughout the workshops, several focus group discussions occurred relating to a monitoring framework. Partners and stakeholders found it crucial to discuss and agree upon a list of objectives of a monitoring framework:- -----Ensure information is collected using widely accepted procedures and protocols so that it can be replicated and disseminated Select sampling stations that will yield information on actual and potential conditions over timeIdentify baseline conditionsUnderstand how current conditions compare to national, provincial, or other standards and criteriaDetect the environmental deterioration or improvement over timeEvaluate the effectiveness of management interventions to protect, restore, and improve watershed conditionsMonitoring Objectives 303.3 findings2.1Watershed health indicators,criteria, and measurementsIndicators are umbrella themes that contain specific parameters and measures used to communicate the health and condition of the environment. After almost one year of a participatory process with local partners and key stakeholders, a list of six indicators were developed for Watershed Report Cards in the Province of Iloilo, Philippines. Each of these indicators has two or more specific parameters and measures - as well as an assigned grading system - to help describe watershed condition. The six indicators are represented by individual icons containing a characterizing symbol and distinguished by a randomized colour: NATURAL COVER BIODIVERSITY WATER AGRICULTURE AND LAND USE WASTE MANAGEMENT WATERSHED GOVERNANCE   31findings1 3.3The following criteria, developed by the local partners and key stakeholders during consultation workshops, was used for selecting the most appropriate indicators for Watershed Report Cards in the Province of Iloilo:--------Excellent and target has been achievedGood but minor action is still required to meet the targetAverage with moderate action still required to meet the targetPoor with major effort still required to meet the targetVery poor with significant action still required to meet the targetThe Watershed Report Card must include a key assessment for its indicators, essentially the reporting component of the Report Card. It is crucial to assign a grade that indicates current conditions based on the adopted criteria of each indicator. The numerical grade, developed by stakeholders, is the most appropriate symbol to display the actual current conditions of each indicator, and will be the number that the audience of the Report Card uses to understand the health status of the watershed.   5   4   3   2   1Is the indicator relevant and understandable by the target audience?Is data currently collected and available? Is it feasible to collect necessary data over the long term?Is the indicator responsive to change? Will the indicator show trends over time?Is the indicator scientifically defensible?Will the indicator tell multiple stories?Is the indicator consistent and aligned with the objectives of partner agencies?The following pages go into detail regarding each of the six indicators, developed through this project (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). A description of the indicator and its importance to the context is presented, followed by the indicator’s parameters, measures, and grading system developed through consultations through the project.  PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEThe health of a watershed is largely attributed to its natural cover. One parameter used to assess natural cover is the percent of existing forest land. Forest land has been defined as upland forest, beach forests, riparian zones, and mangroves. The percent of forest cover describes the quantity of forest cover relative to the total watershed area. Forest cover includes areas greater than 0.5 hectares with at least 10% closed canopy and trees not less than five metres in height. Another parameter indicative of natural cover is forest quality. The two measures of forest quality are: (a) the ratio of indigenous species to exotic species, and (b) presence/absence of the four growth stages of a forest (seedlings, saplings, poles, and mature trees).Forest Quantity (upland, riparian, beach, and mangrove)Forest Quality (upland, riparian,beach and mangrove)% Forest CoverRatio of Indigenous Species to Exotic Species# of Growth Stages Present5  > 44%4  39% - 44%3  30% - 38%2  20% - 29%1  < 20%5  > 60%4  46% - 59%3  36% - 45%2  20% - 35%1  < 20%5  Ideal Ratio of Seedlings, Sapling,     Pole and Mature Trees4  4 Growth Stages3  3 Growth Stages2  2 Growth Stages1  1 Growth Stagefindings323.3NATURAL COVER PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEThe amount of biodiversity that exists in a watershed indicates the stability and health of the ecosystem. Biodiversity is an important element in the foundation of a sustainable community. Urban development and harmful human activity reduces the diversity of habitats, and the plant and animals species that inhabit those habitats.  Non-native species, pollution, and overuse are common causes of the loss of biodiversity, and unfortunately such losses are often irreversible. It was determined that a higher ratio of existing species versus expected species generally indicates a higher quality environment. Further, communicating information about flagship species is a way of bringing attention to special plants and animals that tell important stories about watershed conditions, and their presence often indicates that a superior quality environment exists.Species RichnessFlagship Species% of Expected Species Present# of Flagship Species Identified, Categorized, and Inventoried5  > 80%4  61% - 80%3  41% - 60%2  21% - 40%1  < 20%5  Flagship species Identified,     Categorized and inventoried3  Flagship Species Identified and     Categorized1  Flagship Species Identifiedfindings1 3.3 PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADE   33BIODIVERSITY PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADECommunicating the status of both surface water quality and quantity as well as groundwater quality and quantity is essential to understanding the health of a watershed. Measuring surface water quality determines some of the key issues affecting watercourses such as bacterial contamination, whereas surface water quantity data, such as the mean stream flow, is used for stormwater management, flood infrastructure operations, etc. As a result of millions of people relying on groundwater from municipal and private wells as their primary source of drinking water, monitoring and communicating current groundwater conditions is important for detecting and responding to changes in water quality and water levels in wells.Surface Water QualityGroundwater QualitySurface Water QuantityGroundwater Quantity% of Samples not Exceeding National Standard (Total Suspended Solids, E. coli, Nitrates, Pesticides, and Metals)% of Samples not Exceeding National Standard (E. coli, Total Coliforms, Chlorides, and Nitrates)% Deviation of Mean Monthly Flow Rate (m3/s) Over 5 Year Period (Baseline Data 1970-1990)Completeness of the Inventory of Groundwater Extraction (Deep Wells, Water Levels, and Permits)5  > 80%4  70% - 79%3  60% - 69%2  50% - 59%1  < 50%5  Maintained 1970-1990 Average     (Baseline)4  5% Deviation from Baseline 3  10% Deviation from Baseline2  15% Deviation from Baseline1  20% Deviation from Baseline5  Completed Inventory of Deep Wells,     Water Levels, and Permits3  Inventory 50% Complete1  No Inventory3.3 findings34WATER PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEfindings1 3.3 PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEAgriculture is an important contributor to the economy and the lives of many Filipinos. Agricultural land in the Province of Iloilo ensures the maintenance of secure, safe, and healthy food production in close proximity to growing urban regions. Monitoring and communicating how well agricultural land is being protected is important because of the need to be able to grow healthy food close to large populations. Having abundant agricultural land near urban regions helps to avoid added costs of packaging and transportation, and reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To understand watershed health, it is particularly important to know how well prime agricultural land and non-irrigated land is being protected from conversion to other uses. However, in some cases the quantity of agricultural land my increase at the expense of natural cover such as forests, and this conversion of land use can have negative effects on the ecosystem. Prime Agricultural LandNon-Irrigated Agricultural LandProtection Forest Converted to AgricultureProduction Forest Converted to Agriculture% Converted to Other Uses% Forest Converted to Agriculture5  0%4  1% - 2%3  3% - 4%2  5% - 6%1  > 7%5  0%4  1% - 2%3  3% - 4%2  5% - 6%1  > 7%   35AGRICULTURE & LAND USE PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADELandfill sites have a finite life expectancy. Therefore it is important that residents, businesses and government agencies help divert waste from landfill sites by reducing, reusing and recycling waste. Decreasing the environmental impact of landfills can come from producing less waste.  Good waste management programs and infrastructure is necessary to reach longterm targets. Reporting on how well a region is doing at diverting solid waste from landfill sites is crucial to understanding the health of the environment. Residential Solid Waste Diverted from LandfillUseage of Diverted WasteSanitation Compliance (access to potable water, sanitary toilets, and proper solidwaste disposal)% Reduced Over 5 Years% of Recycled/Reused Diverted Waste% Compliance with National Sanitation Standards5  > 10%4  8% - 9%3  6% - 7%2  4% - 5%1  < 3%5  > 10%4  8% - 9%3  6% - 7%2  4% - 5%1  < 3%5  > 81%4  61% - 80%3  41% - 60%2  21% - 40%1  < 20%findings363.3WASTE MANAGEMENT PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEfindings1 3.3 PARAMETER          MEASURE        GRADEGood environmental governance involves the government, market, and civil society in both decision-making and taking actions to manage and govern environmental matters. In the Province of Iloilo, ecosystem health is primarily affected by the decisions and programs of governments, by how businesses operate, and by the attitudes and behaviours of all citizens whose daily lives impact watersheds. The condition of watersheds is driven by governance, and is influenced by the collective efforts of all local stakeholders and citizens (LGUs, indigenous people, businesses, NGOs, funding agencies, farmers, irrigators, women, youth, cooperatives, Academe, etc.). There is a lot of value placed on functional and effective Watershed Management Boards or Councils interested in good watershed management. Watershed Management Councils (Organizational, Regulatory Outputs, and Market Incentives)Stakeholder Participation in Watershed Management Councils# of Instruments in Place (Meetings, SOWR, Ordinances, Resolutions, Allocated Funds, Short/Longterm Plans and Targets, Designated MENRO and/or Watershed-Based Personnel, etc.)% of Participating Watershed Stakeholders5  7 - 84  5 - 63  3 - 42  1 - 21  Only proposals5  Full Participation by Majority of      Stakeholders4  Full Participation by Many     Stakeholders3  Full Participation by Some     Stakeholders2  Majority of Stakeholders in     Consultation1  Some Stakeholders in Consultation   37GOVERNANCEcommunity-based MONITORING & data GATHERING3.4 findings2.138Once information needs, objectives, and indicators were identified by the group of stakeholders, the next step in the community-based monitoring process was to determine how to collect and gather the required data (Estrella and Gaventa, 2000). Due to the six diverse indicators developed to measure and assess watershed health, a wide variety of tools and techniques were created for data gathering. The monitoring program developed through this project  uses  the Tigum-Aganan Watershed as a sample: it identifies data sources, a map of sampling locations, variables to be measured, collection methods, frequency of sampling, information management, and responsibilities. Properly trained community members are an important component of any monitoring framework established to understand watershed health. The use of community partners can be incorporated into all of the recommended protocols for monitoring indicators, though it is important that participants have a certain level of experience (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). Community partners engaged in monitoring expands geographic coverage area, increases the frequency of observations, builds awareness among the community, and potentially changes social attitudes and behaviours towards watersheds and environmental protection and rehabilitation. Throughout the consultation workshops, project partners and stakeholders worked with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experts to identify appropriate monitoring sampling stations throughout the watershed area for each indicator. Some of the data required for monitoring certain indicators involves technical expertise and highly technical equipment. Properly designed training courses, from across interdisciplinary sectors, can help to ensure that the collection of information is accurate. Other indicators, however, depend on local knowledge from community members. Therefore, different methods of collecting data were identified in the monitoring program for this project, such as using remote sensing through satellite imagery, GIS to  overlay data, and ground validation to conduct monitoring activities in the field.    39findings1 3.4water sampling stations for monitoring major river networks in the province of iloiloSource: Original GIS maps from PENRO, Iloilo40findings3.5WATERSHED REPORT CARDSA ‘Watershed Report Card’ was developed as a tool to assess and record data, communicate current environmental health conditions, encourage community participation in local decision-making, and increase watershed stewardship. Ultimately, a Report Card is an educational and advocacy tool that aims to increase and improve policy coordination, monitoring, and public awareness.Collective action is required by everyone to achieve a sustainable region. Local partners and key stakeholders in the project decided that it is essential to include in the Report Card several major next steps that will bring attention to policy, protection, restoration, investment, and education initiatives needed to improve conditions for each indicator. However, action often stalls or is not initiated because responsibility is overlooked or not clearly assigned. One major discussion had amongst stakeholders was that Report Cards should clearly identify the agency, group, or other authority that has primary responsibility for initiating the next steps that are recommended by the watershed management units.It also came up during consultation meetings that an important component of the Report Card were progress arrows that show trends in the condition of the indicator over time. When sufficient data is available, changes in watershed conditions or progress can be illustrated with an arrow. Multiple years of data will be required to use the trend indicators, as a way of putting the graded indicator into historical context.Since changes in the environment happen slowly, it was determined that a five-year cycle is a suitable time frame for producing new Report Cards. In the interim, it was considered important to continue to report any events, changes, or efforts to help keep environmental reporting at the forefront of the public conversation, and that it is specifically important to engage the decision-makers in these conversations.In many cases, there is already work underway within a watershed that will ultimately improve the condition of the environmental indicators that have been measured. Project stakeholders agreed that the Report Cards should recognize significant planning, policy, and other implementation actions by governments, municipalities, businesses, educational institutions, community groups, and individuals that will result in positive  change to watershed health. However, the role of a Report Card is to assess and communicate current health conditions; therefore, it was determined that it is important to distinguish current health conditions from management efforts or initiatives to improve watershed conditions (Canadian Urban Institute, 2016). conclusion4.0lessons learnedconclusion4.1This project is rooted in a community-based participatory process. It established a multi-stakeholder collaborative structure, with local partners in both the Provincial Government and Academe to encourage an integrated and institutionalized approach to watershed planning, management, and governance. Involving citizens in the process also ensured that the project met local needs and priorities. The project would not have been successful had it not aligned with the goals and objectives of the local and provincial government.  Long before this project, CUI and PENRO in the Province of Iloilo started collaborating on projects to share knowledge, build capacity, and raise public awareness on environmental issues and watershed management. This longstanding relationship, both personal and professional, has been instrumental to success of the project; the efficiency, communication, and work patterns might not have been so smooth otherwise. This project might also not have been possible if it did not align with current targets of the provincial government. PENRO has been a champion of watershed planning and management for years, and because watersheds cut across municipal jurisdictions, it was to everyone’s advantage that municipalities aligned their local plans and actions with the Province.  While monitoring data is necessary for making informed management decisions and creating adaptive policies, it is often not legally required by large scale government bodies. Without a number of key components, such as long-term commitment, financial investment, and community buy-in, an effective monitoring program will not likely succeed in informing environmental decision-making.The Province Iloilo is home to a large pool of technical experts, but there is often a lack of collaboration and participatory processes in decision-making. Due to a lack of funding, it is difficult for some municipalities to dedicate staff to such projects while also being assigned to other roles. Projects such as these, however, encourage partnerships and networking among LGUs to enhance watershed-based knowledge and practice.While different local stakeholders and community members were involved in this project, there still remains a need for more community-based presentations, to ensure that the developed tools, indicators, score cards, and monitoring protocols are feasible, acceptable, and adaptable in and by all of the communities throughout the watersheds. It is essential to create participatory systems to enhance the respect for local knowledge and culture, and package the deliverables as user-friendly so that individual community members and  community-based organizations can participate. 38   43Recommendationsconclusion 4.2This report provides a list of recommended actions, goals, and policies that can be taken in order to begin implementing an ecosystem-based approach to planning. The responsible sector for each of the recommendations is also listed, and include government, NGOs, Academe, businesses, civil society, etc.There are many prerequisites that must be taken before the creation of a Watershed Report Card. Most importantly, a watershed ecosystem-based approach to planning must be standard practice, with strong governance and civic capacity to plan and manage watersheds. The reality is that, in the Philippines, this approach to planning is still not commonplace. Further, as shown through this project, the involvement of the community in watershed planning and management is essential from the early stages of project planning, rather than being introduced at a later point in time.    The Angat Watershed and River Basin (AWRB) is one of the largest and most influential watersheds in the country. The Angat River supplies drinking water to 12 million people in Metro Manila, irrigates 30,000 of hectares of farmland, provides 200 megawatts of hydroelectric power to the grid, is rich in biodiversity, and is home to millions of Filipinos (DENR, 2016). The AWRB, however, lacks the governance mechanisms to prevent serious issues such as environmental degradation and resource depletion, industrial pollution, and inadequate solid waste and wastewater management systems. Many LGUs within the AWRB do not correspond their efforts with one another, and therefore lack the institutional frameworks to establish a watershed management approach to their regional ecosystem.  When all across the Philippines the demand for water is increasing, social inequality is spreading, and climate  change is exacerbating, there is no better time than now to adopt an community-based, evidence-based, and ecosystem-based approach to planning and watershed governance and management. The following list of recommendations is aimed to address this issue, not only for the AWRB, but to all watersheds in the Philippines who may not even be able to define the term ‘watershed’. Finally, a table suggests some of the conditions required for the successful implementation of community-based watershed planning and management. Both recommendations and suggested conditions are based off the experiences had through this research project, and from the lessons learned through working in the Province of Iloilo.While this research project aims to increase the capacity for planning on a watershed basis in one region of the Philippines, it is hoped that the monitoring framework developed will serve as a model for other local governments across the country that are striving to address the deplorable state of the their watersheds, and reduce their vulnerabilities to climate change and the risks of natural disasters.44               RECOMMENDATION              RESPONSIBILITY                  INDICATOREcosystem-Based Planning Approach:Adopt watershed or catchment as the primary unit for management by developing a watershed agreement (e.g. common vision, objectives, indicators, strategies, commitments); fund watershed coordinator and management unitsIncreased Collaboration and Partnerships:Improve communication among scientists, resource managers/policy makers, and elected officials in order to instill a sound understanding of ecosystem concepts with those passing legislation; encourage greater participation by local officials in local projectsStakeholder Knowledge Sharing:Solicit and consider knowledge and information from local stakeholders and interest groups (e.g. fisherfolk, farmers, biodiversity experts, etc.) to identify watersheds where programs have been successful and encourage application elsewhere; sponsor training sessions to transfer knowledge and information from successful programsPublic Participation:Take a regional-community wide planning perspective by forming committee of interested community members and developing a plan that explores options to restore and enhance the ecosystem; explore maximum number of funding sources and liaison with provincial and federal politiciansCommunity Engagement and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage the education of professionals and local experts via workshops, training, etc.; establish inter-agency planning meetings to identify common ground and objectives; ensure on-going project development and review processconclusion4.2 All levels of governmentDENR, PENRO, provincial government, LGUs Provincial fish, wildlife, agriculture agencies and interest groupsRegional governments/agencies, or public organizations (assure plan meets community needs)Potentially a watershed management unit to act as a lead; probably best achieved through multi-agency or stakeholder board or commission   45conclusion 4.2               RECOMMENDATION              RESPONSIBILITY                  INDICATORPartnerships with Local Expertise Groups:Municipalities with responsibilities for land use development should empower community volunteers with expertise, skills, and information; local groups or clubs can provide knowledge, skill, expertise, and high quality data, and can act as catalysts to attract other partners, including governments and foundationsCommunity Water Stewards:Establish citizen stewardship program where people are trained to help inventory habitat, talk to landowners about habitat values, and provide advice on protection and enhancement of rivers and wetlandsLocal Knowledge in Fishery Management: Foster volunteer programs that utilize local expertise and interest, along with governmental technical assistance, in undertaking local fishery and biodiversity management projects by establishing or expanding grant programs, or seeking out service clubs, schools groups, and nongovernmental organizations as partnersMapping & Identifying Development Zones:Conduct mapping activities of unique ecosystem features within the watershed, identifying constraint areas from an environmental and servicing perspective (e.g. sewer lines, high erosion sites, wetlands) in order to indicate where development is and is not appropriateZoning Bylaws / Ordinances:Develop policies and establish zoning bylaws or ordinances to preserve and rehabilitate key ecosystem features within the watershed (e.g. minimize runoff during construction, limit impervious surface area development, etc.)Local groups or clubs in partnership with planning agencies or LGUsWatershed councils, conservation organizations, or nongovernmental environmental groups, with support from government agenciesDENR, LGUs, NGOsPlanners; public; developers; specialists; Watershed Management Councils/Boards Watershed Management Councils/Boards to develop bylaws or policy; LGUs to implement practical application46Watershed PlanningMonitoring and ReportingPartnershipsPublic Participation-  Tailor planning process to particular watersheds through locally-generated data-  Define the process, roles, and responsibilities prior to project initiation-  Build understanding and support of Steering Committee -  Effectively characterize the system by integrating information from each discipline -  Use GIS to communicate data, information, and recommendations -  Set clear, understandable goals, objectives, and targets-  Consider a range of alternatives -  Have expertise and decision support tools for evaluating alternatives -  Celebrate successes -  Report on a regular basis -  Involve the public in developing monitoring plans, monitoring, and reporting -  Link monitoring to watershed goals, objectives, and targets-  Develop reports that are engaging, user-friendly, and in appropriate languages-  Involve key partners from the beginning of the process in a Steering Committee and/or other    committees or watershed groups  (e.g. Technical Committee) -  Seek strong leadership at the political and staff level from key partners -  Forge strong links to other programs and processes to maximize the use of information -  Use consensus-based approaches to develop a shared vision -  Adopt a philosophy of collaboration in planning and implementation -  Include the participation of local universities to help address emerging issues and keep pace    with the evolving science of watershed management-  Involve the public in determining the study objectives, goals, and selection of the preferred    plan -  Be inclusive, open, and unbiased-  Aim to create “local ambassadors” - public participants in the process who can educate,    motivate and serve as watchdogs in their own neighbourhoods -  Find a strong, enthusiastic, and respected citizen to chair the project                   ASPECT                                                CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESSCONDITIONS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY-BASED WATERSHED PLANNING AND MANAGEMENTconclusion4.2works citedAngeles, L.C., and Magno, F. A. 2004. Chapter 8 - “The Philippines: Decentralization, Governments, and Citizen Action.” In Decentralization, Democratic  Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective. Woodrow Wilson Centre Press. Washington, D.C.Brandes, O. and O’Riordan, J. 2014. “A Blueprint for Watershed Governance in British Columbia”. Available from: Urban Institute. 2016. “A Monitoring Framework to Help Communicate Watershed Health in Iloilo Province, Philippines”. Submitted for the project  Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Watersheds in the Philippines. Conrad, C., and Daoust, T. 2007. “Community-Based Monitoring Frameworks: Increasing the Effectiveness of Environmental Stewardship.”  Environmental Management (2008) 41:358–366.Conservation Ontario. 2003. “Conservation Ontario Discussion Paper: Recommendations for Monitoring Ontario’s Water Quality”. Available from: http://, R. 2004. Appendix: “Comments on the paper: Watershed-Based Water Management Strategy: The Missing Link to Sustainable Water Services”. In  Winning the Water War. Philippine Institute for Development Studies.Estrella, M., Gaventa, J. 2000. “Who Counts Reality? Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation: a literature review.” IDS Working Paper 70, Institute of  Development Studies, Brighton.Environment Canada. 2013. “Water Management”. Available from:, H.A. 2004. Chapter 2 - “Watershed-Based Water Management Strategy: Why Push for It?”. In Winning the Water War. Philippine  Institute for Development Studies.Fraser Basin Council. 2011a. “Measuring & Reporting on Sustainability: A Report on Lessons Learned”. Available from: Library/Comm_Indicators/report_indicators_lessons_2011.pdfFraser Basin Council. 2011b. “Rethinking our Water Ways: A Guide To Water And Watershed Planning For BC Communities In The Face Of Climate  Change And Other Challenges”. Available from: http://www.rethinkingwater.ca5.0485.0Hunter, R., Brandes, O., Moore, M., and Brandes, L. 2014. “The Cowichan Watershed Board: An Evolution of Collaborative Watershed Governance”.  Available from:, B., and Koontz, T. 2007. “Citizen Participation in Collaborative Watershed Partnerships”. Environmental Management (2008) 41:143–154. Muskoka Watershed Council. 2003. “Indicators of Watershed Health”. Available from:  MWC_Indicators_Report1.pdf Pike, R.G; Bennett, K.E.; Redding, T.E. 2008. “Chapter 19 - Climate Change Effects on Watershed Processes in British Columbia”. In Compendium of  Forest Hydrology and Geomorphology in British Columbia: Volume 1 of 2. Available from: Lmh66_ch19.pdf Rola, A.C., Deutsch, W.G., Orprecio, J.L., and Sumbalan, A.T. 2004. Chapter 8 - “Water Resources Management in a Bukidnon Subwatershed: What  Can Community-generated Data Offer?”. In Winning the Water War. Philippine Institute for Development Studies.Rola, A.C., Francisco, H.A. 2004. Chapter 1 - “Toward a Win-Win Water Management Approach in the Philippines”. In Winning the Water War. Philippine  Institute for Development Studies.Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. 2016. “Watershed Report Cards”. Available from: watershed-report-cards/Salas, J. 2004. Chapter 9 - “Iloilo Watershed Management Council: A Local Initiative in Watershed Management.” In Winning the Water War. Philippine  Institute for Development Studies.The World Bank (Editor). 2010. Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, in Topics: Participation and Civic Engagement. Available from: http://   49


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