The FCD, as resource speaker, attended the 19th National Cave Committee meeting on Nov. 24, 2015 at Brentwood Suites, Quezon City, Philippines. Representing FCD was Jake Miranda.
FCD presented the results of the rapid assessment of four underwater caves (anchialine) in Cebu and Mindanao.
FCD also showed the Hinatuan and Libwakan videos (personally seen by the BMB Director during an earlier screening) to the keen interest of the committee.
Other topics discussed were the publication of the Philippine’s first semi-technical cave book, a scientific cave conference in 2017, the ongoing geo-tagging of caves and the upcoming National Cave Congress on April 11, 2015 in Sagada province, and an upcoming symposium for Biodiversity.
The key successes were:
1. Continuous and growing appreciation of underwater caves by national government;
2. The publication of FCD articles in the new semi-technical cave book and a partner coffee table book;
3. An upcoming MOA between the Biodiversity Management Bureau and the FCD;
4. Successful presentation of the GIZ-PAME-FCD-USC Rapid Results Assessment, particularly the Libwakan Spring video which raised concern for springs around the country;
5. Anent Item 4, BMB to stipulate the word “biodiversity preservation” in national budget such that development works like tourism facilities, roads and irrigation will only be built when they have measures to protect biodiversity.
Thanks to the GIZ-PAME and USC-FCD team for the inputs, videos, and Anna Varona and Ethel Wagas for their work.