The role of institutional arrangements for sustainable management of the Lingayan Gulf in the Philippines

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    The Philippines has a vast coastal zone with resources that serve as valuable assets for Filipinos, particularly those living in coastal communities. However, these resources are under considerable threat and are confronted with severe degradation which includes overfishing, illegal fishing, illegal cutting of mangroves and coastal pollution. These problems have been aggravated by poor institutional arrangements for coastal management, weak coastal law enforcement and policy formulation, and inappropriate coastal management mechanisms. Much of the damage to the coastal environment caused by these problems is concentrated in the northern part of the country where the Lingayen Gulf is situated. The Lingayen Gulf ecosystem is used as a case study in this research as it illustrates coastal problems and institutional responses to them. Data gathering for this research included two principal methods: documentation and interviewing. Documentation was used for setting out the problem addressed in the thesis, describing the situation, and developing the literature review concerning the management of the coastal resources of the Lingayen Gulf. Interviewing was at the core of this research. It was used to compare and verify the information gathered from written documents and, more importantly, to acquire new data relating to coastal management in the Lingayen Gulf. The research consulted a wide range of literature related to the theory, practice and history of coastal management and looked at some specific examples of integrated coastal management (ICM) implementation in Asia. It also critically examined the roles of the national government, the local government and the community sector as the lead actors in the coastal management of the Lingayen Gulf. This involved in-depth semi-structured interviews of 42 respondents from the national and local government sectors, and the community sector who were involved in the management of the Gulf’s coastal resources. The main findings of the research were that coastal problems continued despite a succession of coastal management initiatives and that most stakeholders were dissatisfied with the outcomes and processes of these initiatives. The latter failed to fully iv incorporate all of the components of ICM. Other issues identified included overlapping roles and conflicts between national government agencies, ambiguous laws and rules, lower than needed involvement and capacity of local government, and weak involvement of local communities. From these findings it was recommended to encourage more active participation of the community sector in coastal management, the creation of a management unit to coordinate all coastal management activities in the Lingayen Gulf, harmonisation of coastal laws to avoid confusion and weak law enforcement, and adoption of a comprehensive coastal management system, such as the ICM approach, that can help mitigate coastal problems in the Gulf as proven in other countries around the world.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMark Turner (Supervisor) & Chris Roberts (Supervisor)

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