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The case of the Angat Watershed and River Basin, Bulacan, Philippines.

This project focuses on watershed governance through the case of the rapidly urbanizing Angat Watershed and River Basin (AWRB), located in Bulacan, Philippines. The AWRB is highly vulnerable to climate risks. This study analyzes the rescaling of water governance, as well as the prospects and possibilities of introducing collaborative governance to the “tragedy of the commons” problem in the AWRB’s governance. Although collaborative governance in natural resource management is understood as one of the possible ways forward, there are few attempts to undertake action research that focuses on designing, planning and implementing collaborative governance in multi-jurisdictional watersheds and river basins in the Philippines.

This project is a collaborative effort between University and Government partners in Canada and the Philippines. The Canadian partners comprise the University of British Columbia’s (UBC), School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), Centre for Human Settlements (CHS) and Program on Water Governance (PoWG) as well as partners from University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), University of Guelph and the Fraser Basin Council. The Filipino partners comprise of De La Salle University (DLSU), Bulacan State University (BULSU) and the Bulacan Provincial  Government. This project hopes to support Bulacan State University’s (BULSU) capacity-building in environmental
research and delivering continuing education programs.

Research Goals and Objectives:

This study will lead to a longitudinal research program that links national and international partnerships; collaborative regional, provincial and municipal/local governance; institutional and civic capacity building in key watershed regions in the Philippines, beginning with the Angat Watershed and River Basin in Bulacan. This project hopes to build knowledge and understanding of the relationship between rescaled watershed governance and its institutional, social, economic, and environmental outcomes by:

1) identifying, and analyzing the system of relationships related to institution- and capacity-building imperative for collaborative governance to support both environmental sustainability and climate adaptation in urbanizing watersheds that span multiple jurisdictions and provide diverse resources and uses;

2) generating insights about the kinds of collaborative action that could be taken by various stakeholders to strengthen collaborative governance and coordinate regulatory and other decisions at various scales;

3) identifying the typologies of watershed stakeholder processes, means and ends objectives of various stakeholders at multiple scales, and the value-based performance measures for monitoring and evaluation of these decisions; and

4) identifying and analyzing the effectiveness of the particular roles that universities, their action-researchers, and their international partnerships, currently play in assisting governments and civil society to build their capacity for collaborative governance in urbanizing watershed regions such as the Angat Watershed and River Basin.

Related Article:    The Angat Watershed

Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. SSHRC_FIP_e

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