REECS specializes in sustainable management and the economics of the environment and natural resources. Alongside tackling both contemporary and enduring challenges of sustainable economic development, environmental protection, climate change and disaster resilience, and health and social development, REECS also integrates innovative and participatory methods and tools in every project undertaking.
The Metro Manila Solid Waste Management (SWM) Master Planestablishes the coordinated vision and overall strategic framework for thesustainable and effective management of solid waste in the National CapitalRegion (NCR). The Master Plan strengthens the role of the Metropolitan ManilaDevelopment Authority (MMDA) in managing inter-jurisdictional SWM activities,while providing guidance for the NCR’s 17 city and municipal local governments,particularly in the implementation of their local SWM plans. In formulatingthis 25-year Master Plan, the Project team was tasked to hold stakeholderconsultations and include interventions in waste reduction, segregation, andrecycling; social and behavior change communication activities; and developmentand use of a database and other IT-related.
The project facilitated theestablishment of Local Conservation Areas (LCAs) in biologically diverse areassurrounding Agusan Marsh, a recognized Key Biodiversity Area of thePhilippines. The development of LCAs requires intensive community consultationsto ensure social acceptability and ownership of the established sites. To thisend, the Project Team, led by an LCA expert, provided capacity building,mentoring, and coaching to the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur andother key stakeholders in undergoing the participatory process of planning andimplementing the declaration of LCAs.
This process includes a series ofworkshops, community meetings, and dialogue, enabling stakeholders – theprovincial, municipal and barangay governments and indigenous communities,especially ancestral domain claimants or CADT holders – to collectively agreeon the policy framework and governance that are most appropriate to theconditions and needs of the Agusan Marsh and identify sites to be declared asLCAs. The project supported the drafting of the relevant ordinances of fourmunicipalities and subsequent management planning for the LCAs.
The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB)Philippine Country Study was part of the multi-country effort to pilot the TEEBmethodology, which helps decision-makers recognize and capture the values ofecosystem services and biodiversity and reflect these in policy and managementdecisions. The Philippine study focused on policy and management decisionsrelated to changes in coastal ecosystems in Manila Bay, particularly the175-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA),the only natural, wetland sanctuary for waterbirds in the National CapitalRegion.
The study developed and compared several scenarios for land reclamationin the bay and LPPCHEA through a cost benefit study that focused on changes inthe provisioning of ecosystem services and the biodiversity impacts caused byreclamation. Over the course of the study, the Project team generated adatabase of valuation studies and scenario modeling outcomes and conductedpolicy and training workshops to capacitate concerned staff of the Departmentof Environment and Natural Resources on TEEB methodologies and approaches.
The Socioeconomic Capacity Development Program was under the Protected Area (PA) Management Enhancement Program of the GIZ and DENR. The goal of the capacity development program was to raise awareness and build the capacities of PA managers and partners in the use of socioeconomic indicators in PA management, including concepts and approaches in economic valuation that are often overlooked yet provide vital inputs to natural resource management, such as the resource rent method.
Under the program, the Survey and Registration of PA Occupants was expanded and complemented with the Socio-economic Assessment Utility software tool. The two phases of the program are: 1) nine-day training on generating socio-economic information using data on resource use and local institutions, processing of information (including technical map preparation using spatial data), and feedbacking these to PA management organizations; and 2) coaching and mentoring of site-based staff and local governments on the use of practical applications such as business planning for formulating or updating PA management plans.
REECS is tasked to assess the level of dependence of selected LGUs in the Caraga Region on extractive industries such as mining for local employment and revenue, help them diversify revenue sources by identifying alternative options from sustainable resource management, and determine commercially viable green business opportunities.
REECS estimated the contribution of geothermal operations to the local economy and developed a tool to assist EDC in periodically assessing these contributions.
REECS provided project management and technical assistance to the USAID in terms of planning, data gathering, socio-economic monitoring, modeling, analysis, and resource assessment. We facilitated inter-government collaboration, training, and campaigns on an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) in selected marine key biodiversity areas nationwide; helped improve women’s status in fisheries; and helped address site gaps in sustainable fisheries management.
As the consulting team for capacity development, REECS spearheaded the designing and the conduct of a comprehensive needs assessment of the training, knowledge product, and policy development requirements of the PPP Center and IAs related to climate change, disaster risk management, and resiliency.
Theconduct of the Capacity Development Program on climate change, disaster riskmanagement, and sustainability for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Centerresponds to the need for the agency to develop competency and capacity formanaging PPP projects related to urbanization, resiliency, and climate change.The series of capacity-building activities, conducted for the agency staff andfor representatives from four other implementing agencies and some localgovernments, widened the knowledge of staff on climate change and disaster riskmanagement and their integration into PPP projects.
The Project also developeda conceptual framework and related toolkits for identifying climate-relatedrisks to investments throughout the PPP project development cycle. A TrainingNeeds Assessment was used to develop the capacity development program, and aLearning and Development Post Assessment Tool and related implementingguidelines were developed and used to evaluate its performance. Following the“training of trainers” approach, the program was conducted via virtual andin-person sessions. TheProject team was also later engaged to support the completion of theFeasibility Study for the Bislig City Bulk Water Supply and Septage Project,which included market research and an environmental baseline study.
The project links the development of sustainable urban environments to the promotion of transformative gender equality. Implemented in Coron and El Nido, Palawan province’s tourism hotspots that are under going urbanization, the project enhanced the gender knowledge and capacity of the two municipal governments and its stakeholders through training and capacity building. Guided by an Institutional Assessment and Training Needs Analysis, a three-day training program was conducted that covered gender, diversity and inclusion, urban planning, climate resiliency, financial literacy, and business skills, and targeted senior government officials, women leaders, women entrepreneurs, and tourism government personnel. The project also focused on developing gender-responsive pedestrian zones. Using the Tactical Urbanism approach, the project facilitated the identification and installation of gender and urban development interventions in the municipalities, such as street solar light panels, trash bins, hanging gardens, and murals promoting water conservation, biodiversity, and gender equality.
As a subproject under the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility, the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) provides guidance to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH),contractors, and operators on incorporating environmental considerations in implementing flood management measures in the Apayao-Abulug River Basin. These measures are the construction of dikes, installation of sluice gates, evacuation roads, river widening, and construction of a bridge. The potential adverse and beneficial environmental impacts of these structural measures were assessed based on the Feasibility Study and technical review by sectoral experts, site visits, river and groundwater sampling, and consultations with key stakeholders and affected persons. An Environmental Management Plan was formulated that covers implementing arrangements, mitigation measures for the environmental impacts, monitoring, inspection and reporting, and capacity building. The plan was included in the DPWH bid and tender documents for civil works to ensure that the implementation of the structural measures is consistent with national requirements on environment, health, and safety.
This project is under the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) – Output 02 (Water Projects), which prepared an Integrated Flood Risk Management Sector Project covering six river basins indifferent parts of the Philippines. This project specifically assists concerned local governments and agencies in incorporating nature-based solutions (NBS) in national policies and flood-risk management to address issues such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management, and water management. NBS are non-structural measures that minimize adverse environmental and social impacts; these are designed to complement structural measures for flood risk management. The project applied several nature-based approaches, such as natural river management, Room for the River, and risk approach. NBS were recommended for each river basin, depending on the type of flooding, inhabitants, and natural state of the river, among others. In three river basins, specific sites for NBS were selected based on an assessment process with multiple stakeholders and experts.
As the program development consultant, REECS provided technical assistance to the national government agencies in developing program and policy recommendations geared toward integrated and centralized planning, financing, implementing, and monitoring of climate and disaster risk resiliency initiatives.
Working with DSWD’s National Community Driven Development Project (NCCDP), REECS conducted participatory risk mapping among beneficiary communities and helped in determining priority project interventions regarding disaster risk reduction and management in the process.
REECS provided modules on three Ecotown (now called “Communities of Resilience” or CORE) components – environment and natural resource accounting (ENRA), GIS, and project development. The team also facilitated three batches of training of trainers – academe partners nationwide on the implementation of the said modules.
REECS coached the Ecotown/ CORE LGU partners in the preparation of proposals on climate change adaptation measures, based on the criteria set forth under the People’s Survival Fund and format of development partners such as UNDP, ADB, WB among others.
REECS conducted a natural resource assessment (NRA) in San Vicente, with Palawan being an Ecotown pilot site, in order to determine the natural resource conditions in the area, the total economic value of the ecosystems, and mitigation and/or adaptation measures that could be implemented. A similar undertaking was implemented by REECS in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, with USAID and International Resources Group (now International Development Services Group) as partners.
The urban planning toolkit is a practical guide for planners and decision-makers for developing pandemic recovery interventions using a bottom-up approach. To develop this toolkit, the Project team conducted a vulnerability and impact assessment on informal settlements in Metro Manila, including vulnerable groups such as children, elderly, persons living with disabilities, and women. The assessment focused on support mechanisms, such as social protection programs and health infrastructure and services provided to urban informal dwellers during theCOVID-19 pandemic; it also looked into new and innovative practices developed by residents to cope with and adapt to the impacts of the pandemic.
The assessment used qualitative (key informant interviews) and quantitative methods. The toolkit introduces a process anchored on the Doughnut economics framework for mapping social and ecological information of communities to analyze and address the different factors contributing to their vulnerability during pandemics and other disasters.
The Protected Area (PA) Academy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was conceived to strengthen the management of protected areas in the Philippines. Compared to short-duration training, the PA Academy offers a sustainable skills and professional development program that adequately equips PA superintendents and rangers for their roles. The program provides in-depth exposure on all technical bulletins; simulation exercises on management plan preparation; data projections; and habitat evaluation and movement, among others. Specific lecture topics also include governance and management zoning, investment planning for multiple use zones, enforcement and dispute resolution, payments for ecosystem services and other finance mechanisms, and tenure and tenure management.
The development of the program was guided by a Rapid Training Needs Assessment; program alignment with the IUCN PA Staff Training Guidelines was ensured. The Project Team developed lesson plans, resource and instructional materials, training evaluation forms, and a facilitation guide, which may be used for future training-of-trainers activities.
REECS conducted spot check monitoring of the Pantawid Pamilya program implementation per component in two provinces – Quezon and Leyte. The survey also probed the extent of knowledge of program rules and regulations of beneficiaries and implementers.
REECS provided a model to measure and forecast the level of social investments (as reflected by government budget allocation in key social programs or services) for attaining a certain level of human development outcomes (e.g., reduced poverty, reduced mortality, and increased cohort survival rates in education); developed scenarios for the medium-term (6 years) to long-term social investments; and consulted with key agencies in selected social sectors – education, health, housing, and social protection.
Through a nationwide household survey, REECS analyzed the magnitude and extent of drug use and abuse problems in the country. Presented in and cited by various media platforms; the results served as the basis of the Boards’ anti-drug abuse initiatives, policies, and programs.
REECS conducted a market study in order to inform sanitation product suppliers and producers of cost-effective marketing strategies, by taking into account public behavior and attitudes, supply chains, and enabling environment factors, as part of NGOs’ efforts on recovery and reconstruction post-Haiyan.
With the aim of supporting the DOH and the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) through formative market research, REECS conducted consumer/household and supply surveys tackling community behaviors, attitudes, and market-based mechanisms targeted at improving rural sanitation conditions, particularly among lower-income households.
The project involved an impact evaluation of Grab Food in the Philippines, a business powered by financial technology innovation that employs tens of thousands of delivery drivers, with focus on how such innovations helped alleviate living conditions and movement restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. A phone survey of about 1,200 drivers in Cebu, Davao, and Manila was conducted for the evaluation. The survey covered: drivers’ welfare status, including earnings from Grab and other sources during the pandemic; reasons for choosing the occupation; and their COVID-19 experience and vaccination status. The survey interviewers were trained, especially on the use of the computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) version of the questionnaire. Among the recommendations of the evaluation are the inclusion of insurance coverage in the drivers’ benefits package; and the conduct of an information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign to change public behavior towards food delivery drivers.
The study estimates the urban carrying capacity (UCC) of Tagaytay City, a top tourism center in the Philippines that has experienced a boom in population and industry in the past decades. The UCC estimates the level of population and development that the city’s natural resources, infrastructure, and services can sustain in the long run. The Project team formulated a framework for assessing the UCC with components such as environment and ecology, urban infrastructure facilities and services, and public perception; estimated the ideal population threshold for Tagaytay City; and identified appropriate policy and program recommendations, complemented by digital maps of urbanization trends.
Public consultations were held throughout the formulation of the study, and the results were disseminated through public forums. Relevant government staff were also trained on the study methodology, procedures, and software. The estimated UCC will guide the relevant local governments in updating their comprehensive land use plans and zoning ordinances and in crafting their medium and long-term development plans to ensure sustainable growth and development for Tagaytay City and its adjoining areas.
The study conducted a survey of 100 emerging coconut micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) exporters and a survey of 71 coconut farmers in nine regions of the Philippines. Using a structured questionnaire, the enterprise survey gathered information related to the structure of the non-traditional coconut export value chain and its actors; product demand, trends, opportunities, and constraints on firms; quantity and quality of employment in said value chain; and rules and supporting functions for developing value chain competitiveness while increasing employment and good working conditions. The farmers survey gathered information on farm production, costs, and practices; labor profile; harvesting and post-harvest technology; logistics, distribution, and marketing; and profile of buyers, etc. The study results were used as inputs for policy recommendations to strengthen all aspects of the value chain in delivering greater value and benefits for coconut farmers, workers, and small businesses, and to help the MSMEs identify and take advantage of export market and value chain opportunities.
Taking stock of existing socio-economic assessment and monitoring methods, REECS capacitated and coached partners from DENR, LGUs, academe, and PA stakeholders on data collection methods and analytical tools in assessing and monitoring the uses, users, values, and threats to biodiversity; and consolidating all data into a centralized platform. The team also covered business planning applications for effective and sustainable PA management as part of the training.
Drawing from and integrating existing biophysical assessment and monitoring methods, REECS capacitated and coached partners from DENR, LGUs, academe, and PA stakeholders on data collection methods and analytical tools in assessing and monitoring the fisheries, megafauna, water quality and pollution load, hydrology, and aquatic macrophytes; and consolidating all data into a centralized platform.
REECS undertook a comprehensive assessment of natural resources and relevant socio-economic and politico-institutional conditions surrounding the marine protected areas and fish sanctuaries covered in the study. This was accomplished through the active participation of various local stakeholders and technical partners. The assessment delved into major NRM and economic conditions, issues, concerns, and proposed actions to address such gaps.
As the consulting firm, REECS has developed an activity road map and financial plans; participated in meetings with PENRO, CENRO, PAMB, and other ARNP stakeholder; conducted surveys of habitats (coral reefs, seagrass beds, soft bottom communities, mangrove and beach forests, and taxonomic groups; and presented the assessment results to the stakeholders.
REECs provided technical assistance and support to the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS) in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in the areas surrounding the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, through the establishment of what is now known as Local Conservation Areas (LCAs).