Participatory Mapping of the Natural
Domain and Ecological and Hydrologic
Survey in Selected Communities of
A REPORT TO THE
RUFFORD SMALL GRANTS FOUNDATION
Wilfredo V. Alangui, Celia M. Austria, Rosemary M. Gutierrez, Dymphna
N. Javier, Roland M. Hipol, Alicia G. Follosco, Aris A. Reginaldo,
Ronan Q. Baculi, Bella Angela C. Soriano
University of the Philippines Baguio
With assistance from the Cordillera Studies Center, University of
the Philippines and the Rufford Small Grants Foundation
30 April 2009
The Participatory Mapping and Ecological and Hydrologic Survey of Selected Communities in Tinglayan, Kalinga is a research project that was started in early 2007 and was motivated partly by reports of on-going negotiations for mining exploration in portions of Tinglayan and its neighboring municipalities, and the possible construction of a geothermal plant within the said area. Tinglayan is a municipality in Kalinga whose terrestrial and inland water areas of biological importance are categorized as “extremely high” by the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-setting Program (PBCPP, 2002). The resources in this municipality, however, have never been systematically studied and surveyed.
The general objectives of the study were to survey the geological and biological resources in the area and to generate resource maps based on the field data. It is an initial documentation of the natural resources in Tulgao West and Tulgao East, two of the communities that will be affected by the proposed mining exploration and operations of a geothermal plant. Results are meant to help these communities make informed decisions regarding development projects that could potentially impact negatively on the resources that they have protected and conserved for generations. The resulting database could also help the people plan for alternative development projects that are low-impact and can be directly managed and controlled by them.
In terms of policy, this is UP Baguio’s contribution to the enrichment of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, the conduct of which has been contentious from the point of view of the affected communities and other interested parties. The research output, though preliminary, is an important contribution in environmental benchmark data generation and monitoring in the Cordillera region.
Like in many places in the Cordillera region, the primary threat to the biodiversity of Tulgao’s forests is land conversion. The research site was heavily disturbed by human activity (e.g. clearing of forests to give way to vegetable gardens) resulting to forest gaps of variable sizes. However, even with the fragmentation that was observed in the area, and despite the limited scope covered in the survey, the results of this study indicate a rich and diverse ecosystem.
This study may be seen as an initial Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) that can immediately be used by the Tulgao communities, relevant agencies and government bodies to decide on whether a geothermal project should be implemented in the area.
The study concludes that safeguarding the integrity of the ecosystem in Tinglayan requires (1) the conduct of a biodiversity study in a bigger area and to include two montane forests, namely Mt. Mosimus and Mt. Binulauan, and (2) the initiation of community members in environmental monitoring. A select group of residents (barangay leaders, teachers, high school or college students, for example) can be identified and trained as local researchers to measure environmental data, like rainfall, water temperature, water discharge; properly collect flora and fauna and undertake mapping. These are doable strategies considering the success of the strategy of sustained community participation employed in this just-concluded project.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TABLES
Specific Objectives of the Study 6
Significance of the Study 7
THE RESEARCH SITE 9
Physical Characteristics 9
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 10
Initial Visits and Obtaining Community Consent 20
Community Consultations 21
Geophysical Features 22
Sampling Procedure 24
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 28
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 28
Geophysical Features 28
Morphology and Drainage 28
Land Use 29
Soil and Rock 29
Water Quality 31
Biochemical Tests 40
Participatory Mapping 46
Participation in research 47
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 53
Geophysical Features 53
FPIC Process 55
Further Research and Local Capability Building 55
APPENDIX A: SELECTED IMAGES OF COLLECTED FAUNA 64
APPENDIX B: SELECTED IMAGES OF COLLECTED FLORA 66
APPENDIX C: PHOTO DOCUMENTATION 68
PROJECT TEAM 72
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Maps of Tinglayan Municipality and Kalinga Province 10
Figure 2: Steps in Creating the Resource Map 26
Figure 3: Map showing the sampling areas plotted in the April 3, 2002
Landsat ETM+Satellite Image 27
Figure 4: Survey sites in 3D View (Background: April 3, 2002
Landsat ETM+ Satellite Image, Exaggeration: 2) 27
Figure 5: Pillow lavas behind our field aides 30
Figure 6: Indigenous stove carved from diorite. Top view (left) and
bottom view (right) 30
Figure 7: Gas emitting vent (encircled) looking north towards Mount Binulauan 30
Figure 8: Density of individuals per species 32
Figure 9: Rattus exulans 34
Figure 10: Otopteropus cartilagonodus 35
Figure 11: Cervus marianus 36
Figure 12: Land Cover Map of Tulgao 44
Figure 13: Land Cover Maps of 1990 and 2002 46
Figure 14: Political Boundary of Tulgao over a 1:50,000 Topographic Map 50
Figure 15: Political Map and Domain Map over the April 3, 2002
Landsat ETM+ Image 51
Figure 16: Political Map and Domain Map over a Terrain Model from the
April 3, 2002 Landsat ETM+ Image 52
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Frequency Distribution of Collected Species of Rodents 32
Table 2: The collected murids, their distribution, and status (Heaney et al., 1997) 34
Table 3: Flora Collection from Sitio Balugon 36
Table 4: Comparison of Colony Forming Units per gram of soil using the dilution
Plate count method among the different sampling sites 39
Table 5: Results of Biochemical Tests and Gram Staining Procedures for the 24
Selected isolates from the six sampling sites 41
Table 6: Comparison of the results of land cover/land classification (1990 and 2002) 44
Table 7: Patch Metrics for 1990 and 2002 45
This project would not have been completed successfully if not for the partnership of the University of the Philippines Baguio team and the communities of Tulgao West led by Barangay Captain Joseph Olao and Tulgao East under the leadership of Barangay Captain Miguel Guyang. Also, various institutions and individuals supported this project and their contributions are hereby acknowledged:
Grants from the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation under its Small Grants Programme and the Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines Baguio under its Research Fellowship Programme;
Endorsement of the project by the local government of Tinglayan through Mayor Johnny Maymaya and the University of the Philippines Baguio through Chancellor Priscilla S. Macansantos;
Expertise of various individuals:
• Dr. Danilo Balete (Mammal Specialist), The Field Museum, Chicago and the University of the Philippines Los Baños
• Dr. Leonard L. Co (Botanist), Conservation International Philippines
• Charles Picpican (GIS specialist), Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region
• Rubul Hazarika (GIS Specialist), Assam Forest School, India
• Dr. Dick van der Zee (Geographer, GIS Specialist), International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, the Netherlands
Among our most valuable partners were the men and women of Tulgao who provided research support. We acknowledge in particular the local officials of Tulgao West who spent time on field, our able guides during the community consultations and reconnaissance, our porters for their dedication, Mario Batang-ay for his extensive knowledge about Tulgao’s domain and Daniel (Angngolao) Olao for giving the local names of flora in the area.
Environmental benchmark data generation, banking and monitoring in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon is a major research thrust for the College of Science of UP Baguio. This thrust is a reflection of the unit’s commitment to be of continuing service to the region as well as a recognition of the need for interdisciplinary approaches in biodiversity studies and programs that allow faculty and staff across disciplines, and local communities, to work together to address growing concerns about the environment.
The Participatory Mapping and Ecological and Hydrologic Survey of Selected Communities in Tinglayan, Kalinga is a project that falls within this research thrust. It was conceptualized in early 2007 motivated partly by media reports of on-going negotiations for the construction of a geothermal plant that would cover Tinglayan and nearby municipalities. Tinglayan is a municipality in Kalinga whose terrestrial and inland water areas of biological importance are categorized as “extremely high” (p. 28) by the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-setting Program (PBCPP, 2002). However, the PBCPP also warns that the socio-economic pressures being exerted in these areas of biological importance are “very high” (ibid., p. 42).
The project is an initial ecological survey in Tulgao West and Tulgao East, two barangays in Tinglayan that are to be affected by the proposed geothermal plant. Because of the lack of environmental data in Tinglayan, the general objective of the research is to document the biological resources in the said communities, and to come up with a research output that will help the people make informed decisions about the geothermal plant (regardless of what the outcome of the negotiations might be) and other future development projects in their areas. With the endorsement of local government officials in Tinglayan at the barangay and municipal levels, the research project was pursued by an interdisciplinary team from UP Baguio, composed of faculty and researchers from the College of Science and the Cordillera Studies Center.
There are two general objectives of the study, namely to survey the geological and biological resources in the area and to generate resource maps based on the field data.
Specific Objectives of the Study
1. To collate existing literature on the ancestral land, forest and water resources in Tulgao West and Tulgao East;
2. To survey, identify and catalog representative species of flora (trees, weeds, grasses, ferns and other vascular plants); terrestrial species of fauna (mammals and birds); and terrestrial and aquatic species of bacteria;
3. To describe the geophysical features of Tulgao; and
4. To generate land use resource and domain maps using geoinformation systems.
Significance of the Study
The study is an initial documentation of the natural resources in Tulgao West and Tulgao East, two of the communities that will be affected by the proposed operations of the geothermal plant. The research output, though preliminary, is an important contribution in environmental benchmark data generation and monitoring in the Cordillera region, especially in an area that has never been systematically studied.
The research also provides the Tulgao people with useful information about their environment and resources so that they are well aware of what are at stake when making decisions not only on the proposed geothermal plant but on other modernization projects that might be proposed or implemented in the area. Our assumption is that the people will be better prepared in coming up with an informed position regarding the entry of modernization/development programs and projects in their areas, if they have in their possession a variety of data and information that might help them in their decision-making.
The resulting database could also help the people plan for alternative development projects that have low-impact and can be directly managed and controlled by the community. In terms of policy, this is UP Baguio’s contribution to the enrichment of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, the conduct of which has been contentious from the point of view of the affected communities and other interested parties.
A Note on the FPIC Process
In March 2007, a Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process was held in areas that will be affected by the pre-operation activities of the geothermal plant. These would include well drillings and geothermal explorations for seven (7) years.
The proposed site for the drilling operations in Tinglayan covers 400 hectares, directly over and below the people’s swidden farms, rice fields and residential houses. It is part of an important communal forest in Tulgao and nearby communities that has never been systematically studied. The FPIC is an important process that seeks to ensure that people in target sites of modernization/development projects are consulted and involved in decision-making. Also an integral part in the whole process is the conduct of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). Unfortunately, it has been observed that having ESIAs have failed to protect the environment adequately (Doyle, Wicks and Nally, 2007). Affected communities and several non-government organizations that are actively monitoring such processes question the integrity of ESIAs because these are conducted by the DENR and the companies themselves, instead of independent bodies who do not have a stake on the project. They also noted the non-compliance of the guideline which stipulates the conduct of an ESIA before the FPIC process is initiated. In practice, these are done after the company has already obtained the consent of the people. The government has also successfully pushed for an amendment in the process, allowing for the simultaneous conduct of both the FPIC and the ESIA (ibid, v.; CPA, 2006).
These gaps in the FPIC process, as well as in the conduct of ESIAs in relation to mining operations in the country have been noted in the report of a fact finding mission to the Philippines, entitled Mining in the Philippines: Concerns and Conflicts (Doyle, et. al., 2007). Members of the fact finding team reported the “difficulty communities had in obtaining copies of ESIAs, of the lack of independent analysis or explanation of their contents and implications” (ibid, p. 12), and on how companies comply with environmental standards.
Two of their recommendations for immediate action by the Philippine government are (1) provision for independent technical … advice and support to communities and indigenous peoples … in both the FPIC and ESIA processes and where licenses are granted, throughout the life of the projects; and (2) the conduct of Strategic Environmental Appraisals (SEAs) to identify threats to biodiversity and sustainable development, including protected sites as well as sacred sites of indigenous peoples. Thus, the SEAs would help “identify current and all potential threats and their accumulative impacts” (ibid, p. 12).
SEAs should not be confused with the ESIA. These are two different studies that may be done independently by different groups. The proposal is to have the environmental appraisal before the FPIC, while the conduct of the ESIA should be done regularly in relation to the operations of the project.
Thus, our initial environmental survey in Tulgao may be seen as a response to the recommendations forwarded above. As mentioned earlier, it provides the Tinglayan people with independent technical information and support about their environmental resources before coming up with decisions regarding the entry of any big-scale project in their communities.
THE RESEARCH SITE
The municipality of Tinglayan is roughly 170 kilometers from Baguio City. It is the first Kalinga municipality coming from Mt. Province, bounded by Sadanga and Bontoc, Mountain Province in the south, Tubo, Abra in the southwest, and the Kalinga municipalities of Lubuagan (north) and Tanudan (east). It is composed of twenty (20) barangays with an area of 326.8 sq. kilometers (or 32,679.94 hectares). This comprises 10.32% of the total land area of Kalinga province (Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Tinglayan, 2004).
The research sites Tulgao West and Tulgao East are the westernmost barangays of the Municipality of Tinglayan in the south of the Province of Kalinga. A 2000 survey shows Tulgao West as having the biggest land area in the province at 81.74 sq. kilometers. The second biggest, barangay Basao, only has 35.49 sq. kilometers, while Tulgao East is fourth with land area covering 25.65 sq. kilometers. Together, Tulgao West and East cover 107.39 sq. kilometers or 32.9% of the total land area of the province.
Tulgao (used here to refer to both West and East) is bounded by approximate coordinates 17o15’ to 17o21 north latitude and 120o56’ to 121o07’ east longitude. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Cordillera Central Mountain Range, an anticline whose northeast trending summit here marks the approximate western limit of the study area.
Like the rest of Northern Luzon, Tulgao is subject to the northeast trade winds from November to March and the southwest trade winds from June to October. Climate is generally wet, with annual rainfall exceeding 2500 mm. Like in other parts of the country, rainfall is especially heavy from June to November. Tulgao can be reached through fair weather roads.
Figure 1: Maps of Tinglayan Municipality and Kalinga Province
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The Philippines is one of the island constellations of Wallacea. Wallacea originated primarily as island arcs at pressure points between sliding ocean plates in the Pacific. These tectonic forces have caused geologic uplift and volcanism. Wallacea is one segment of specific biogeographic regions in Asia which were studied by Russell Wallace, a contemporary of Charles Darwin.
In 2005, Heaney, Walsh & Peterson stated that “The Philippine archipelago is an exceptional theatre in which to investigate the roles of past history and current ecology in structuring geographic variation. According to them, the Philippines is an area of high biotic diversity and exceptional endemism that is in critical need of conservation, citing others who shared their view, among them Myers (1988), the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines (1997), Heaney & Regalado (1998), Mittermeier et al (1999), Holloway (2003), and Mey (2003).
Alcala (1998) in his Introduction of the Vanishing Treasures of the Philippine Rainforest, stated that the number of plant and animal species in the Philippine rain forest is incompletely known. According to him, there are an estimated 13,500 plant species, of which about 8,000 are flowering plants. Of these, about 3,200 are endemic. Philippine land vertebrate species number about a thousand, with approximately 80 amphibians, some 240 reptiles, 556 birds (resident and migratory), and 174 mammals.
Remarkable Diversity of Philippine Fauna
Each oceanic island that has remained continuously isolated from its neighboring islands is a unique centre of mammalian endemism, with 25–80% of the nonvolant mammals endemic, even on islands of only a few hundred square kilometers. Similar patterns are evident among butterflies (Holloway, 2003) and trichopteran insects (Mey, 2003).
The terrestrial mammalian fauna of the Philippines has been traditionally divided into four major provinces based, on richness, composition and degree of endemism (Heaney and Rabor. 1982). These are the Palawan group of islands, the Mindanao Province, the Luzon Province, and the Panay-Negros Province. The Luzon province reportedly contains fewer families, but those present, especially the Muridae, have radiated into a wide variety of niches, and many endemic genera are present (Taylor, 1934).
The mammalian fauna of the region is remarkably diverse. According to Heaney (1985), there are in the country at least 17 endemic genera of rodents, two of insectivores and four of bats, as well as many endemic species of widespread genera.
New species are still being discovered in the region. Alcala (1998) reports having described eight new species of forest frogs in a space of five years. He cites the work of Heaney and his colleagues that reported 16 new mammal species during the last ten years. According to Alcala, it is the exceptionally high level of endemism that is now attracting international attention, with figures that are found nowhere else in the world: seventy-five percent of the amphibians, 70 percent of reptiles, 44 percent of birds, and 64 percent of mammals. He echoes Heaney’s belief that Philippine mammals have the highest percentage of species endemism in the world on a hectare-for-hectare basis, which could be true for other groups as well.
Also in 1998, Heaney wrote that “while it is noteworthy that at least 111 of the 170 native species of terrestrial mammals (64%) are endemic (Heaney et al, 1998), it is still more striking that 24 of 84 genera (29%) are endemic, implying much in situ diversification, and phylogenetic studies suggest that several large endemic clades are present among fruit bats and murid rodents (Heaney & Rickart, 1990; Heaney, 2000; Steppan et al, 2003).
Before the recent intensive work done by Heaney and other foreign and Filipino taxonomists, the inventory of Philippine mammals had been badly out of date. The earliest works were by Dickerson (1928) and Taylor (1934).
Oldfield (1898) reported what he referred to as a ‘remarkable series of animals’ collected by Whitehead in the plateau of Monte Data (now known as Mt. Data) between 1895 and 1897. In 1992, Bibby stated that Luzon mountains are among the nine areas in the country which have been classified as Endemic Bird Area (EBA).
A list of faunal species and their ecological status was reported at Kabugao-Conner, Kalinga- Apayao and Pinukpuk, Kalinga-Apayao by the ENR-SECAL (2004). The list includes 7 species of reptiles, 52 species of birds and 11 species of mammals. There were fifty six (56) birds recorded and observed present in the area, out of which fifty (50) were truly identified.
The economic significance of the mammals was highlighted in the recent work by Stuart, et al. (2007). They recorded a diverse rodent fauna in Banaue Ifugao rice terraces, including the non-native pest species, Rattus anezumi, and the native species, Rattus everetti and Chrotomys mindorensis. Results from trapping and spool-and-line tracking suggested that these native species do not contribute to rice damage and that several may actually be beneficial in the rice field ecosystem as vermivores that feed on invertebrate pests. Control should therefore be directed at the pest species, R. tanezumi, minimizing non-target effects on the non-pest rodent species.
The birds economic value was attributed to their predatory characteristics. They feed on insects, which are harmful to plants, thus keeping the insect population in balance. Being a fruit feeder, they aid in seed dispersal and pollination. Some of these birds can be considered as species with aesthetic value because of their beautiful and colorful plumage.
Addressing Threats of Biodiversity Loss and Extinction
Deforestation in the Philippines is the most rapid and most severe in the world, with only 20% of forest cover remaining. According to Sajise (1985), the Philippines needs at least 54% forest cover to regulate its natural processes. Only about 1.87 million hectares, about 6 percent, have remained as prime habitats of wildlife. The immediate reasons for the drastic reduction of the primary forest area are large-scale logging and conversion to agriculture, and are strongly associated with the rapid increase in human population, reaching about 70 million in 1997. Over 15 million upland people today threaten the survival of the remaining forests, despite government effort at protection.
According to Alcala (1998), the Philippines may now be classified a hotspot owing to a large number of endemic species in tropical rain forest, including the forest itself, that are now threatened with complete destruction. Already some 52 native vertebrate species are in the critical or endangered categories, and a great many more are listed as threatened like the frog Platymantis spelaeus and the fruit bat Dobsonia rabori. Another frog, a bushy-tailed cloud rat, and at least one species of bird are probably extinct as well. According to him, most endemic land vertebrates (including birds, small arboreal frogs, and many mammals) require primary-forest habitats and fail to survive in highly disturbed and secondary forests.
Preservation of the primary rain forest is therefore a high priority for the Filipino people.
Heaney (1986) said that modern conservation biology has two fundamental goals: (1) preservation of natural communities that are representative of the biotic regions of the world; and (2) prevention of extinction of species. In 1991, he wrote, “Habitat preservation is the most common requirement for the conservation of all the species mentioned. However, other factors must be considered as well in developing plans for the conservation of the fauna: the impact of commercial trade, the impact of subsistence hunting, and the current limits of knowledge of the distribution and diversity of the fauna.
In a study on montane forest diversity and land use in Paoay, Benguet and Mount Data, Austria, Co & Romero (1999) asserted that the overall impact of biodiversity loss in their study areas and in many parts of the Cordillera requires more thorough ecological and policy studies, taking into consideration indigenous knowledge systems.
The Soil as Habitat
The soil is a complex habitat for microbial growth. It is a heterogeneous medium of solid, liquid and gaseous phases that vary in properties across varying landscapes and depth. In addition there is competition that exists among a variety of organisms for nutrients, space and moisture. Typical microorganisms found in soil are bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi as well as other living forms like animals and plant roots (Wollum, 1999.)
Bacteria are prokaryotic, single celled microorganisms that inhabit soils throughout the world. They are extremely diverse and versatile metabolically. They can transform soil minerals and organic matter from one form to another and alter the availability of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and phosphorus for plants and other soil organisms to use. Therefore bacteria play central roles in organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling and soil formation (Alexander, 1999).
Another organism found abundant in soil are the fungi, a group of diverse, multicellular, eukaryotic organisms. They are plant like since they contain cell walls, they are generally non- motile and reproduce by means of spores. The vegetative body of the fungus is called a thallus, and it generally exists as either yeast cells or the mycelia. Yeast cells are spherical to oval cells that divide by budding or fission, while mycelia is a filamentous network of hyphae that branch and grow by apical extension. Fungi inhabit almost any niche containing organic substrates, and their primary role would be degraders of organic matter. They are also agents of diseases, agents of soil aggregation and an important food source for humans and many other organisms (Morton, 1999).
Other microbial organisms found in soil are the algae, protozoa and viruses that are also major players in the important processes that build soil. These organisms vary greatly in morphology, physiology, reproduction and habitat.
Soil Microbial diversity
Soil microorganisms play a significant role in maintaining soil quality especially in agriculturally managed systems and these microbes are highly influenced by environmental factors. Microbial soil characteristics are indicative of changes in resource availability, soil structure, pollution and it may represent the key to understanding the impacts of environmental and anthropogenic factors. Soil microbial diversity can represent the ability of a certain soil to cope with environmental disturbances and it has been proposed by soil microbiologists to be an indicator of soil quality. It is important therefore to study the soil microbial diversity and soil community structures when monitoring environmental influences on soil quality (Hartmann and Widmer, 2006).
Soil microbiologists often describe soil microbial communities as among the most complex, diverse, and important assemblages in the biosphere. Because of such high-level diversity, soil microbial communities are among the most difficult to phenotypically and genetically characterize. To study soil microbial community diversity, molecular techniques are often used like small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene analyses and (rDNA)-based cloning and sequencing approaches. More studies of a variety of soil types and habitats are needed to obtain a more comprehensive view of microbial community diversity and structure in soil environments (Zhou et al., 2004). Classical microbiological methods like cultivation based techniques are insufficient for studying the diversity of naturally occurring prokaryotic communities because the majority of bacteria are believed to be unculturable by these traditional techniques (Amman et al., 1995). This is the main reason why most studies on microbial soil diversity would use the molecular approach like 16S rDNA gene sequences to avoid the limitation of culturability and to be able to analyze a larger potion of the bacterial community in soil samples (Prieme et al., 2002).
However there are studies that would use both the conventional and molecular methods. The study of Smit et al. (2001) used both methods to analyze bacterial diversity in a wheat field in the Netherlands to compare data obtained by cultivation-based methods with data found using molecular techniques, to investigate the magnitude of seasonal changes in the bacterial community, and to use the data to search for general ecological relationships. In their study, soil samples were taken in the different seasons over a 1-year period. Fatty acid-based typing of bacterial isolates obtained via traditional plating methods revealed a diverse community of mainly gram-positive bacteria, and only a few isolates appeared to belong to the Proteobacteria and green sulfur bacteria. Some genera, such as Micrococcus, Arthrobacter, and Corynebacterium were detected throughout the year, while Bacillus was found only in July. Isolate diversity was lowest in July, and the most abundant species, Arthrobacter oxydans, and members of the genus Pseudomonas were found in reduced numbers in July. Analysis by molecular techniques showed that diversity of cloned 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences was greater than the diversity among cultured isolate.
Moreover a study done by Ellis and co authors (2003) used both the culture independent and culture dependent traditional methods in examining the bacterial community structure in a heavy metal contaminated site. Results of their study indicated that metal contamination did not have a significant effect on the total genetic diversity present but affected physiological status, so that the number of bacteria capable of responding to laboratory culture and their taxonomic distribution were altered. Thus, it appears that plate counts may be a more appropriate method for determining the effect of heavy metals on soil bacteria than culture independent approaches.
A similar study was done by Chien et al., (2008) wherein they used molecular methods to study bacterial diversity in a soil sample from a site next to a chemical industrial factory previously contaminated with heavy metals. Using 16S rDNA sequence analysis using DNA extracted directly from soil, they were able to isolate 17 different bacterial types namely Polyangium spp., Sphingomonas spp., Variovorax spp., Hafina spp., Clostridia, Acidobacteria, the enterics and some uncultured strains. In addition, microbes able to tolerate high concentrations of cadmium (500 micromol/L and above) were also isolated from the soil. These isolates included strains of Acinetobacter, Enterobacter sp. and a strain of Stenotrophomonas sp. The results indicated that the species identified from direct analysis of 16S rDNA of the soil can be quite different from those strains obtained from enrichment cultures and the microbial activities for heavy metal resistance might be more appropriately addressed by the actual isolates.
Bacterial community structures are difficult to study because of their magnitude in number, the typical size is 109 cells per gram of soil using the traditional plate count method, while based on DNA reassociation kinetics the estimated number of distinct genomes present in a gram of soil ranges from 2,000 to 18,000 (Dunbar, 2002). Factors that affect microbial diversity could vary depending on the type of soil studied. For instance, agricultural land may be affected by the rhizosphere. Rhizosphere as defined by Hiltner (1904) (as cited by Wollum, 1994) as the portion of the soil that is under the immediate influence of the plant root. Generally microorganisms are found in greater numbers and diversity in the rhizosphere compared with nonrhizosphere locations. As Wollum (1994) further explained, differences may be due to root exudates, alteration of the partial pressures of O2-CO2, coupled with changes in nutrient availability that may be controlled by acidity, plant acidity, plant species, stage growth or moisture stress. Generally most microbiologists recognize that the number of microbes per unit volume decreases as the reference point moves away from the root.
Moreover, soil structure depends on the association between mineral soil particles like sand, silt, clay and organic matter in which aggregates of different size and stability are formed. A study undertaken by Sessitch et al., (2001) analyzed the topsoil samples of different fertilizer treatments of a long term field experiment by separating the samples by pore size and using molecular methods, they characterized the microbial community structure. Results revealed that the microbial community structure was significantly affected by particle size, yielding higher diversity of microbes in small size fractions than in coarse size fractions. They attributed the low diversities in larger size fractions to factors like low nutrient availability, protozoan grazing, and competition with fungal organisms. Furthermore, larger particle sizes were dominated by Proteobacteria, whereas high abundance and diversity of bacteria belonging to the Holophaga/Acidobacterium division were found in smaller size fractions.
Community Mapping and Participation
Mapping as a tool for analyzing local situations has a very long history. In the 1980s, nongovernment organizations and many academic researchers working with the grassroots evolved methods that allowed more involvement in mapping domains and territories. These had greatly changed and increased the intensity of community participation, from people being passive recipients of what is about to happen or what has already taken place or serving as mere providers of information, to participants that actively contributed to data generation, analysis and decision making, as well as independent initiatives for change (see Arnstein 1969 on the Ladder of Participation).
Alcorn (2000) argues that community-based maps not only allow popular participation in arenas previously dominated by the maps of governments and corporations created for development and exploitation of natural resources, they also provide a way to renew local commitment to governing local exploitation of those same resources.
Mapping can also have desirable impacts on community organizing. Older members of the community may use the process to assist them in relating and relaying legends, beliefs, rules, and practices that influence their traditional conservation practices to their younger counterparts. Alcorn (ibid, p. 4) claims that when completed, maps are proudly exhibited and “a feeling of group identity and history is affirmed”. He cites other positive effects of mapping. Local people who were involved in the exercise are enriched by the experience and, more often than not, empower them for more action. Maps can be used to strengthen resource rights, to aid in planning for sustainable development, for policy change, for promoting intra-community co-operation and for reclaiming lost lands.
For these reasons, Alcorn concludes that “maps are powerful political tools in ecological and governance discussions.”
Geographic Information Systems is a computer-based technology that combines geographic data, i.e. locations of man-made and natural features on the earth’s surface and other types of information to generate maps. Examples of other types of information are sociodemographic characteristics, land use practices and livelihood activities. These may be stored as tables, graphs, text or even photos. Geographic information technology involves “systems to store, manage and analyze geographically referenced data (geographic information systems), devices that measure geographic location (global positioning system or GPS receivers); and airborne data collection systems that provide periodic land use, land cover and other thematic information (aerial and satellite remote sensing)” (Deichman and Wood, 2001).
The use of GIS in broad-based and public participatory processes is called Participatory Geographic Information Systems or PGIS, a method evolved from the rich and diverse experiences in participatory development (and participatory mapping). The practice of PGIS is based on using geo-spatial information management tools including sketch maps, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems to represent peoples’ spatial knowledge. Such knowledge is expressed in various forms, like digital or physical, i.e. 2-or 3-dimensional maps. These materials, in turn, are used as venues for information sharing, discussion, and analysis of current situations and as support in advocacy and decision making (Rambaldi, 2004). The information gleaned from these materials can assist in the formulation of appropriate responses. Map products and their analysis are made available because of innovations present in PGIS.
Weiner (2001) argues that participatory GIS may promote the participation of community organizations in policy-making, where the state may become willing to share more power with a credible partner. Other benefits are the enhancement of the capacity to generate, manage and communicate spatial information; the perpetuation of an avenue that stimulates innovation; and ultimately, the encouragement of positive social change (Corbett, et. al., 2006).
PGIS Practice among Indigenous Peoples
Many documented applications of PGIS have illustrated achievements that clearly benefited indigenous peoples and marginalized groups. For example, Weiner and his co-authors (2001) have identified “various applications involving indigenous natural resource mapping in arctic and tropical regions within the Americas (see Marozas, 1993; Cultural Survival Quarterly, 1995). There is also a rapidly growing network of planning professionals interested in how GIS can merge with community participation in the context of neighborhood revitalization and urban planning (Aitkin and Michel, 1995; Craig and Elwood, 1998; Talen, 1999, 2000). Environmental groups are experimenting with community GIS applications to promote environmental equity and address environmental racism (Sieber, 2000; Kellog, 1999). Furthermore, NGOs, aid organizations, and governmental agencies are linking communities with geographic information systems as they seek to promote more popular and sustainable development projects (Dunn, et al., 1997; Elwood and Leitner, 1998; Gonzalez, 1995; Harris et al., 1995; Hutchinson and Toledano, 1993; Jordan and Shrestha, 1998; Kwaku-Kyem, 1999; Mitchell, 1997; Obermeyer and Pinto, 1994; Rambaldi, G. and J. Callosa 2000; Weiner,et al., 1995; Weiner and Harris, 1999).
Participatory three-dimensional mapping exercises for collaborative protected area management have been documented in the Philippines (see experiences of Mount Banahaw, Mount Isarog, Panay Island, El Nido-Taytay in Palawan) and among the Ogiek indigenous peoples who have had experiences in 3D-modelling in Kenya (Rambaldi, 2007). Participatorymapping is also useful in defending territories and ancestral domain. Such application has been exemplified by the use GIS, Google earth and remotely sensed data by Amazon tribes to protect their lands from the exploitation of developers (Butler, 2006; Hearn, 2007); and the employment of GPS in foot surveys by the Huaorani of eastern Ecuador in defending their territory from loggers and international oil companies (Hearn, 2007). The Dayak of Sarawak have likewise utilized GIS to claim their customary lands. The community mapping activity was facilitated by the Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), a non-government organization aimed primarily “to delineate and document the native customary land boundary and help preserve the community’s traditional knowledge to their customary land. The output was used “as a tool for negotiation and resolving disputes between the community with outside parties or within the community itself” (Bujang, 2004: page 4).
Based on documented experiences, some practical and methodological issues in undertaking community-based, GIS-aided mapping and planning have been identified including access and ownership of information, building local skills, and how to use of GIS information to support analysis and decision making.
In general, the idea behind participatory mapping exercises is to involve participants in data collection on field (through transect walks and aided by a mobile GIS) to delineate village boundaries and plot the location of development activities. The aim of the participatory mapping exercise is to reflect the people’s local development needs and plans. This visualization tool is expected to serve the communication process between the local people and outsiders. In doing a participatory mapping exercise, local people gain more than a product – the map, but the local people may also find the method a good learning experience to know about their own resources (including shapes, sizes, locations and their comparative status to other resources) which are reflected in satellite images. In this case, participants see for themselves the status of land use and might reveal disparity of local spatial knowledge among community members, making the participatory mapping exercise a learning process.