Naujan Lake and Oriental Mindoro Watersheds

 

BACKGROUND

Naujan Lake and Oriental Mindoro Watersheds (NL&OMW) are situated in Oriental Mindoro province (Region 4B, MIMAROPA) and occupy a total area of 122,000 hectares. The Naujan Lake National Park, covering 21,655 hectares, was proclaimed a Protected Area in 1968 by virtue of Proc. No. 335. Naujan Lake is the 5th largest lake in the Philippines. It is recognized as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway for migratory birds. Meanwhile, the Oriental Mindoro watersheds include the Baco-Bucayao River, Bucayao River, Mag-asawang Tubig River and Pula River. These encompass the municipalities of Naujan, Victoria, Socorro, Pola, Baco, San Teodoro, and Calapan City.

NL&OMW have significant importance as natural habitat for endemic and endangered species, terrestrial and aquaticThe Philippine Duck is the flagship species of the Protected Area. The lake and waterhseds also provide important ecosystem services to the island of Mindoro such as water for irrigation and hydro-power generation, wildlife habitat, flood protection, tourism, and other livelihood opportunities for nearby communities, including the indigenous Manyans in the area. 

In 2010, the total forest cover in the priority site was at 2,400 hectares or 2% of the total area. However, threats of deforestation and continuous habitat degradation are prevalent, triggered by slash-and-burn farming, charcoal production, illegal tree cutting, and residential development. All of these contribute to forest degradation of at least 1,100 hectares a year.