The first year of implementation of USC Phil LiDAR 2 is mainly spent on organization, renovation of laboratory facilities (see Figure 1.1), acquisition of equipment (see Figure 1.1 and Figure 1.2), literature survey, reconnaissance field work, and secondary data collection. The bulk of this report is devoted on secondary data collection while the LiDAR and other remotely sensed data/image (e.g. LandSat data) processing is relegated to the year-end report around December. In the case of forest resources survey in Cebu, a detailed field survey assessment was conducted due to their importance on the water supply of Metro Cebu and the fact that those areas were not covered by the LiDAR survey because of bad weather conditions during the LiDAR data acquisition missions.
To facilitate secondary data collection a meeting was set with representatives of government agencies and nongovernment organizations on June 24, 2014. A presentation on the Phil LiDAR Projects was also given to the Regional Development Council (RDC) on September 2, 2014. RDC subsequently endorsed the project to the different regional offices of government agencies and the local government units of Central Visayas. It is noted that Phil LiDAR 2 got the endorsement from the Secretary of the Department of Agriculuture. LandSat 8 data were also downloaded to our database. Worldview map from the Smarter Visayas Project was also provided by ASTI but it only covers northernmost tip of Cebu affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Visits to local government units (see Figure 1.3) also allow access to relevant information such as municipal land use plan (MLUP) and city land use plan (CLUP).
Philippine Agricultural Resources Assessment (PARMap)
The Department of Agriculture Regional Office 7 provided crop production data of Central Visayas. We also got data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS). According to BAS only 34.47% of the total land area of Central Visayas is devoted to agriculture. The top crop produced in Bohol is rice while in Cebu and Negros Oriental, it is sugarcane. In Siquijor banana is considered as the number one crop. The second crop produced in all provinces in Central Visayas is coconut.
Forest Resources Extraction from LiDAR Surveys (FRExLS)
Due to clearing for human settlements, agriculture, logging, and other human activities the world’s forest cover has been disappearing with the rate of disappearance accelerating in the last 50 years (Kummer & Turner II, 1994; Lasco & Pulhin, 2003). Global trend of forest denudation is also operating in the Philippine landscape with a number of researchers claiming that deforestation is most severe in Cebu than any other islands in the Philippines (Brooks, Pimm, & Collar, 1997). This perception has far reaching implications because a significant number of families in Cebu (in general in Region 7) depend on forestry and more than half of the families used wood as fuel (Lasco, et al., 2006). However, an opposite narrative has been enunciated by (Bensel T. G., 2008). He claimed that demand for wood fuel and other wood products provides incentive for reforestation efforts in the island province.
As mentioned, a detailed field survey of Cebu forests was conducted. Tabunan Forest in Central Cebu shows the highest forest attributes among the forest surveyed. Tabunan Forest has also the most number of tree species, number of individual trees and total tree biomass since this site has the greatest area covered. Tabunan also remains the highest in terms of species richness and diversity. Furthermore, two areas in Northern Cebu, namely Borbon and Sogod, have higher species richness and diversity than the other sites. Only Dalaguete in Southern Cebu showed relatively higher values of the attributes.
Southern Cebu generally has a greater number of individual trees compared to Northern Cebu. This may be due to intense logging for fuel wood and charcoal production in Northern Cebu. Tabuelan and Tuburan were two of the top municipalities in terms of fuel wood and charcoal production (Bensel & Remedio, 1993). However, Asturias has a relatively high amount of tree biomass since the forests there have private claimants that control the amount of disturbance and logging. That led to fewer but larger trees therefore the higher tree biomass.
Among the different areas, Tabunan and Tuburan are the only areas with sampled quadrats having a Similarity Index of 0. This means that at least two of these quadrats within these areas are completely dissimilar to each other. For Tabunan, this indicates the diversity of forest types within the entire forest. However, this is not the case for Tuburan. One quadrat is composed almost exclusively of Alstonia macrophylla (Matamban) and presents a natural monoculture of trees. When this quadrat is compared to another with no A. macrophylla, this would give a zero to very low similarity index.
Neighboring municipalities are expected to be more similar to each other. However, this does not seem to be the case. Dumanjug and Dalaguete are the most similar with a similarity index of 0.707 followed by Tuburan and Dalaguete and Borbon and Tuburan. The first pair of municipalities is on the western and eastern side of Southern Cebu and the third pair is on the western and eastern side of Northern Cebu but both pairs are not adjacent to each other. The second pair shows municipalities on the north and south sided of Cebu. Tabunan is the most dissimilar to the other sites with 3 out of the top five lowest similarity indices.
Coastal Resources Inventory from LiDAR Surveys (CoastMap)
From the secondary data we have gathered, it can be seen that among the provinces in Central Visayas, Bohol is the most ecologically stable in terms of marine resources and the number of marine protected areas. Although more urbanized, Cebu generally has considerable marine/coastal resources and has relatively stable marine environment due to its relatively high number of marine protected areas (second to Bohol).
Philippine Hydrologic Datasets (PHD)
In the reconnaissance survey held on the 7th of May 2014, preliminary quality assessment of Mananga river was made. Mananga is crucial to Metro Cebu’s water supply. Water quality in the selected Mananga tributaries was described in terms of its physical parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO) and hydrogen-ion activity (pH). It can be inferred that downstream Mananga tributaries showed apparent vegetation. Hypoxia (DO < 2 mg/L) is not present which is indicative of the existence of fish and invertebrate species in the tributaries, undisturbed biogeochemical pathways, and an increase of nutrient retention by sediments. The average pH range revealed neutral to alkaline conditions and is also within the accepted water quality standard.
Renewable Energy Resources (REMap)
Upon consultation with the Department of Energy Regional Office 7 (DOE 7), the USC REMap Component identified three existing Mini-Hydropower Plants in Cebu located at Kawasan, Badian with 750-kW capacity, Basak, Badian and Mantayupan, Barili, the latter two having 500-kW capacity. It is identified that a meteorological station can be installed in the northernmost tip of Cebu. During the rapid assessment trip to Bohol, small-scale charcoal making industry using coconut husks and heat generator using rice hull were identified.