Natural Resources  and  Environmental Management

Natural Resources  and  Environmental Management


Forest Ecosystem Protection Forest
There  are  four distinct  areas currently  considered  as   forest  protection areas  due  to  its  ecological  significance  and unique biodiversity, these are the following: Mt. Pangasugan Protected Ranches Landscape. Situated  approximately  10  kilometers   away from  the  Poblacion  Zone,  the  Mt . Pangasugan  Protected  Landscape  covers three mountains  namely: Mt. Panasugan, Mt. Tabaan and Mt. Lunas. It  is  highly regarded for  its  unique biodiversity  and  is  home  to a range  of  endemic  wildlife.  It  serves   as   a habitat  for  several  endangered animals  such as   the  Philippine  tarsier  (Tarsius   syricta), flying  lemur  (Cynociphalus   volans)  and Fischer’s   pygmy  fruit  bat  (Haplonycterusfischeri). However, the said area  is  not under the  National  Integrated  Protected  Areas System  (NIPAS)  but  local  inhabitants, stakeholders   and  leaders   has  an  on-going initiative  to place  the  area  under  NIPAS  in order  to  protect  the  area  from  further significant  disruptive  land development.  Mt. Pangasugan  is   also  targeted  as   one  of  the major  natural  attractions  in  the  Province  of Leyte.

 Closed and Open Canopy Forest
Based from land cover maps, there are still broad leaved closed forests  located  in  the  high  elevation areas  of the Leyte Cordillera. Though they exemplify the same  land cover characteristics  as  that of Mt.  Panasugan  Protected  Landscape,  these areas   are  still  considered  as   unclassified public  forests  under  the  land  classification system.

Mangarove  Forests/Nipa  Areas
Policy recommendations  from the National Physical Framework  Plan  (NPFP)  referring  to  areas under  land  use  protection  are  the  vast Mangrove  Forests  and Nipa areas  located in Brgys.   Palhi,  Punta  and  Sabang  situated along  the  southern  coastlines.  These Mangrove  areas   have  significant  ecological roles   that  ensure  the  relative  growth  and survival of  the marine  ecosystem along with sea grass beds and coral reefs.

Marine and Coastal Resources
The  Institute  of  Tropical  Ecology-Marine Laboratory  of  VSU  has   made  significant mapping  and  inventory  efforts  to determine the  extent  and  quality  of  marine/coastal resources  of  the City. The GPS survey points compiled  by  the  said  Institute were  used  to delineate  and  determine  the  approximate location  and  size  of  these  resources.

Mangroves  and Nipa Resources
Mangrove areas can be  found  in  the Poblacion Zone, Brgys. Palhi,  Sabang,  Jaena,  and  Punta.  The mangrove  zones  are mostly  concentrated  in the  southern  coastal part  of  the City, which constitute around 261.51 hectares  or roughly0.57  percent  of  the  total  land  area.  Aside from  its   significant  ecological   role,  these mangrove areas  are also being planned to be among  the  eco-tourism  attractions   of  the City.

Fish Sanctuaries
Fish sanctuaries  can be found in  Brgys.  Gabas,  Guadalupe,  Sta.  Cruz, Punta, and Plaridel as  well as  areas  adjacent to  Mt.  Panasugan  and  the  VSU  campus. Necessary  local  ordinances  have  been enacted  to  ensure  the  protection  of  these marine  sanctuaries. Moreover,  there are  still ongoing  efforts  to  place  under  strict protection  status   other  potential  sites   that exemplify  unique  and  highly  diverse  coastal ecosystems.

Coral Reefs
Coral Reefs  can  be  found  in  the coastal areas of Mt. Panasugan, VSU, Brgys. Caridad,  Hilapnitan,  San  Agustin,  Marcos, Gabas,  Sabang,   Punta,  and  Nigad.  The spatial  distribution  suggests   that  these fragmented coral reefs  are  found throughout the  coastline,  wherein  large  coral  reef formations   can  be  found  in  the  southern coastlines  of Brgys. Punta, Palhi and Sabang.On  the  other  hand,  dead  corals  were  also observed  by  the  ITE  in  Brgy.  Nigad.  This implies  that  there  is  a  need  for  a comprehensive coastal resource management plan to ensure the protection of  the coral reef resources of  the City.

Surface water  resources
The City  is characterized as  highly  dissected with  rivers and  streams,  wherein  the  Department  of Agriculture  had  identified  27  rivers  and creeks.  The  surface  waters   have  been  a source  of  irrigation  water  to  sustain  the agricultural production activities. According  to Baybay Water District  (BWD), the current  sources  of  potable water  of  City of  Baybay  are  the  Busay,  Kawayan,  Hayas and  Upper  Hayas   Springs   with  rated capacity of 58, 7, 20, and 10 liters  per second(Lps), respectively (Table 2.8). The total  rated capacity  is   estimated  at  95  Lps.