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 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 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.