The local governments of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato in Philippines have tied up with a Manila-based environmental consultancy firm for the conduct of resource mapping and community-based resource assessment of the Allah Valley watershed areas. Both local governments secured the services of the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) through an agreement with the Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLDA), which bankrolled by the two provinces.
The Allah Valley watershed is a drainage area of river systems supporting facilities in the two provinces. It forms part of the 102,530 hectare river and watershed system in the provinces of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat that had been declared a watershed forest reserve through Presidential Decree 2455 under the Marcos administration. The severe degradation of the vegetative cover of the watershed due to conflicting policies of different institutions and the weak implementation of environmental laws, has caused major disasters in the area. It had been deemed necessary to engage ESSC so they can come up with updated information and characterization of the Allah Valley landscape through GIS mapping and remote sensing and to conduct community-based resource assessment. The scope of the ESSC’s services will include the establishment of the updated land cover and landscape mapping within one year.