Phl to introduce Center for Lakes Sustainable Development in Laguna

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Photo courtesy of DOST NICER Program

Apart from the home of the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Laguna is blessed with the country’s biggest lake, Laguna de Bay and the Seven Crater Lakes of San Pablo in Laguna.

Mindful of the importance of these lakes in the country’s sources of freshwater fish, and also utilized for aquaculture, recreation, food support for the growing duck industry, irrigation and many more.

Hence, these lakes will be given top priority and will soon be taken care of by a new R&D agency, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Soon to be called Center for Lakes Sustainable Development (CLSD), this agency aims to develop solutions and strategies for effective management and sustainability of various lakes in CALABARZON Region, composing the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon. This will start in October 2021.

This project will be implemented by Assistant Professor Christian Paul P. de la Cruz of Laguna State Polytechnic University in Los Baños campus. Co-implementing with Asst. Prof. de la Cruz are:

CALABARZON local government units
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 4A
University of the Philippines Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management;
University of the Philippines Diliman;
Laguna Lake Development Authority; and
Southeast Asian Limnological Network, a non-profit organization.
CLSD was made possible through the PHP 53 million funding support from the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program of the DOST. Under DOST’s umbrella program Science for Change Program, NICER Program stimulates R&D in the region by financing higher educational institutions in the regions to solve their development needs through research.

Life in the lake

San Pablo in Laguna is home to the Seven Crater Lakes: Bunot Lake, Calibato Lake, Mohicap Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Sampaloc Lake, Yambo Lake and Pandin Lake. Based on the Laguna Lake Development Authority website, Yambo and Pandin are called The Twin Lakes and more famous as tourist sites. The rest are known fishing grounds.

Laguna Lake is landlocked by Metro Manila, Laguna, and Rizal. With Napindan Channel through the Pasig River as its only drainage, Laguna Lake is the country’s largest freshwater lake and third in Southeast Asia.

All these lakes serve numerous ecological and economic services. Numerous communities depend on these freshwaters for daily subsistence, mainly for aquaculture and tourism.

CLSD hopes to enhance the resilience and adaptation of these lake communities to the looming climate crisis. Adding to that are alternative income opportunities from selling eco-products and eco-tourism services; both are a win-win for the communities and local government.

With better lake water quality, which CLSD plans to manage, comes with better yield in aquaculture and capture fisheries.

More details about this soon-to-rise agency will be revealed in DOST’s Big 21, which will feature high-impact technologies, projects, and R&D initiatives of the science agency despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Big 21 will be live on DOST Philippines’ Facebook Page on 7 September 2021.

From DOST NICER Program

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