Community and Environment Centered Sustainable Development: Case Studies from Puerto Princesa City of Island Palawan, the Philippines

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2014

281 Pages, Grade: A+


Table of Contents





CHAPTER 1: Introduction
1.1 Research background
1.2 Research problem
1.3 Research objectives
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Reasons for choosing this destination
1.6 Significance of the Study

CHAPTER 2: Research Methodology
2.1 Qualitative Research
2.2 Quantitative Research
2.3 Mixed Methodology
2.4 Data Gathering Techniques
2.4.1 Desk Research
2.4.2 Interviews
2.4.3 Focus Groups
2.4.4 Surveys
2.4.5 Observation
2.4.6 Photography
2.4.7 Field Notes

CHAPTER 3: Review of Literature
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Sustainable Development
3.3 Environmental Integration
3.4 Island Sustainability
3.5 Stakeholders
3.6 Community
3.7 Community Based Management
3.7.1 Community Based Forest Management
3.7.2 Community Based Mangrove Forest Management
3.7.3 Community Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST)
3.8 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 4: Community Based Sustainable Tourism in Association with Mangrove Forest Case Studies
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Dwindling mangroves around the world
4.3 Status of the declining mangroves in the Philippines
4.4 Love Affair with Nature
4.4.1 How this project is sustained in Puerto Princesa
4.5 Island Tourism
4.6 Sustainable Tourism
4.7 Case Studies of Community Based Sustainable Tourism
4.7.1 Sabang Mangrove Paddleboat Tour
4.7.2 Iwahig Firefly Watching in Mangrove Forest
4.7.3 San Carlos Floating Restaurant
4.8 Mangrove protection and community based tourism development
4.9 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 5: Community Based Forest Management Case Study
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Dwindling Forests around the World
5.3 Status of Forests in the Philippines
5.4 Forest Degradation in the Philippines
5.5 Community Based Forest Management (CBFM)
5.5.1 Community Based Forest Management in the Philippines
5.6 Case study: Pista Y Ang Kagueban – “Feast of the Forest”
5.7 Findings of the Project
5.8 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 6: Livelihoods and Capacity Development
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Capacity Development
6.3 Sustainable Livelihood
6.4 Livelihood projects
6.4.1 Babuyan weaving project
6.4.2 Ugong Rock
6.5 Analyzing case studies
6.6 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 7: Results, Analysis and Discussions
7.1. Introduction
7.2 Puerto Princesa City Planning
7.3 Stakeholders contribution
7.4 Leadership
7.6 Puerto Princesa City’s Tourism Development Story
7.7 Puerto Princesa City’s Mangrove Forest
7.8 Puerto Princesa, a City in a Forest
7.9 Protecting environment
7.10 Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 8: Conclusion and List of References
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Puerto Princesa City today compared to 20 years ago
8.4 Sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City
8.4.1 Application of the Puerto Princesa City’s sustainable development model in other parts of the Philippines and neighboring countries
8.5 Future of the city
8.6 Recommendations
8.7 Recommendations for future Research



I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Miyoshi Koichi, for his continuous support and excellent guidance. Without his support, I would not have been able to complete this dissertation. I will always be sincerely grateful for all the kindness and understanding of Professor Yamamoto Susumu throughout my studies at APU. Also I would like to convey my thankful thoughts for Professor Sanga-Ngoie Kazadi for being my ENVOL program supervisor and for all the support he provided for my research. I would also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all APU professors who have helped me throughout the course of my study, in the graduate and undergraduate schools since 2005. I thank Professor Fellizar for kindly sparing his valuable time to discuss my research and his family for the support given to me during my fieldwork in the Philippines. I thank Professor Mani and Professor Progler for their continuing support. I thank the supportive and helpful staff of the academic, research and student office that has helped me in my student life. I thank Professor Leigh Faulkner and former APU English teacher Simon Bahau for the great support in editing.

I especially thank Kobayashi International Scholarship foundation for providing me a scholarship, which has anonymously helped me to conduct my studies without a financial burden. Also I thank Sylff for selecting me as a fellow and also for providing me financial assistance to conduct my research.

Most importantly I thank my wife, Darshi Gamage, for her patience, understanding, and her endless support and care. I thank her for being beside me all the way, throughout the good and bad times. I am also grateful to her family for their continuing support and understanding. Also a special thank goes to my daughter Dimishi Midori for all the joy she brings and for being my reason to be motivated.

I am indeed thankful to my Father and Mother who back up all my achievements and I thank my brothers for their great support. I also thank Dr. Kumara, Dr. Manjula and all the members of ENVOL and Geosciences laboratory. I am certainly indebted to thank Ms. Buddhini, Ms. Niluka, Mr. Kushan and Mr. Santiago for supporting me in many ways. I thank my Accounting teacher Mr.Kumudu Liyanage for all the encouragements and support given to me to start my journey in Japan. Also I thank Mr. Surendra Wijesinghe and family, Mr. Lanka Dissanayake and Mr. Lalith Jayagoda for financial support given to me.

To Mayor Edward Hagedorn who has provided me tremendous support to conduct this study and accepted me in the mass wedding ceremony and follow-up dinner. It was an honor for me to plant mangrove trees together with such a world-renowned environmentalist. Also I would like to thank the new Mayor Bayron Lucilo as well as the former City ENRO Mr. Rogelio, Mr. Tulali and his staff at City Environment Office in Puerto Princesa.

I thank Dr. Ramon and Dr. Patrick who were with me during the study in Puerto Princesa in all visits in 2010, 2011, 2013 and also in 2014. Their support in providing technical assistance, equipments, assistance in photography, hospitality and transport facilities have helped me in many ways. Also I would like to thank other faculty members at Palawan State University, Dr. Ganapin, Dr. Gelito, Dr. Elma, Mr. Dennis, Mr. Manalo, Mr. Hermenigildo and the library staff for insightful information provided.

I got anonymous support from the staff at PCSD especially in finding secondary data and also providing and sharing qualitative information through their experiences. I especially thank Mr. Pontillas, Mr. Alex and Ms. Glenda for the support together with other staff members. The senior staff members and all other staff members of City Agriculture, City Planning and City Information offices and especially I thank Ms. Jovinee, Ms. Melissa and Mr. Alroben for providing important qualitative information.

I thank the staff members of Mangrove Paddle boat tour project, Iwahig Firefly watch project, Ugong Rock adventure, San Carlos floating restaurant, Babuyan women’s weaving association and staff at Amy’s cashew of Roxas. Also I thank the staff members at the hostel of Palawan State University, the tour guides, travel companies of Puerto Princesa, tricycle drivers and jeepney drivers who took me from place to place safely. I thank the local citizens and media personalities who assisted me in taking photographs. I really would like to thank every citizen of Puerto Princesa for the warm hospitality and kind support that they have shown throughout my study. I especially thank them for maintaining the Puerto Pricesa as one of the best Eco cities in the world.

Finally, I have to thank my friends, who have made my life in Japan very enjoyable. I specially would like to thank Mr. Watanabe for providing financial assistance for my studies and all the support. Also I thank my host family, Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka for their continuous care since 2005 to date. Also I thank Dr. Maho, Dr. Hirakawa and the staff of Beppu ekimae clinic for their caring advices and support. I thank, Ms. Tahara, Mr. Gayan, Ms. Chikako, Ms. Satomi, Ms. Suin, Mr. Gotsu, Mr. Bono, Ms. Abe and others whose name I have not mentioned, for their kindness and support. I thank my seminar class members for being such great classmates to me and would like to thank the staff and kids at Inukai nursery school for working together and sharing information about the Japanese society.

List of Figures

Figure 1.1: Map of Asia, Island Palawan and City of Puerto Princesa.

Figure 1.2: Author sharing research findings and recommendations with former Mayor Hagedorn

Figure 1. 3: Live radio Program

Figure 2.1: Data gathering techniques

Figure 2.2: Lectures conducted to receive feedback.

Figure 3.1: Common three-ring sector view of sustainable development

Figure 3.2: Nested sustainable development

Figure 3.3: Stakeholder map

Figure 3.4 : Stakeholders during 1980's

Figure 3.5: Stakeholders during 1990's

Figure 3.6: Stakeholders during 2000's

Figure 3.7: Stakeholders during 2010's

Figure 3.8: Community capacity development and community policy structure model

Figure 3.9: Components of Policies, Institutions and Processes (PIP)

Figure 3.10: Community Based Forest Management model

Figure 3.11: Adaptation strategies of community based mangrove forest management

Figure 3.12: Benefits of Sustainable tourism

Figure 4.1: Decline in Mangrove by Region between 1980 - 2005

Figure 4.2: Percentage Change in Area of Mangrove since 1980 to 2005

Figure 4.3: Declining of Mangrove Resources in the Philippines

Figure 4.4: Area map of Love Affair with Nature sites from 2003 to 2011

Figure 4.5: Planted Seedlings and Propagules, 2003 - 2013

Figure 4.6: No. of planted Seedlings and Propagules since 2003 to 2009

Figure 4.7: Mass wedding followed by mangrove planting

Figure 4.8: Massive Mangrove planting project with Mayor’s Participation

Figure 4.9: Message board used to communicate the importance of mangroves

Figure 4.10: CBST Introduction leaflet of City Tourism Office

Figure 5.1: Forest cover comparison of World, Asia, and South and Southeast Asia Region, 1990-2005

Figure 5.2: Forest covers comparison of world regions, 1990-2005

Figure 5.3: Forest cover of the Philippines, 1521 - 2003

Figure 5.4: Forest cover of the Philippines, 1990-2005

Figure 5.5: Forest cover as percentage of total land area of the Philippines, 1521 - 2003

Figure 5.6: Deforestation process in the Philippines

Figure 5.7: Causes of forest degradation in the Philippines

Figure 5.8: Local community reaching the planting site

Figure 5.9: Local celebrities, speeches, and officials joining planting with the mayor

Figure 5.10: Site preparation and Scout camp

Figure 5.11: Different participant groups exhibiting messages on their t-shirts

Figure 5.12: Total planted area from 1993 to 2009

Figure 5.13: Number of seedlings planted from 1993 to 2009

Figure 5.14: Survival rate of Irawan Watershed, 1993-1999 / 2005-2007

Figure 5.15: Survival rate at Magarawak Watershed, 2000-2004

Figure 6.1: The Sustainable Livelihood Framework

Figure 6.2: Sustainable rural livelihood framework

Figure 6.3: Characteristics of community based livelihood reducing poverty

Figure 6.4: Women engaged in pealing and weaving

Figure 6.5: Climbing Ugong rock and zip line adventure

Figure 6.6: 'Survived', souvenir photograph

Figure 6.7: Characteristics of Puerto Princesa livelihoods

Figure 7.1: Development sectors framework of Puerto Princesa City

Figure 7.2: Planning process of the city

Figure 7.3: Environmental protector award 2011

Figure 7.4: Landslides and planting trees demonstration posters

Figure 7.5: The Role of the Leader in Community Change

Figure 7.6: Tourism arrivals to Puerto Princesa from 1991 to 2012

Figure 7.7: Estimated income from Tourism in billion Pesos 2008-2012

Figure 7.8: Target tourist arrival

Figure 7.9: Danger of cutting and beauty of planting mangroves display

Figure 7.10: Reason behind Mangrove growth in P.P.C

Figure 7.11: Mangrove forests cover in Puerto Princesa City

Figure 7.12: Mangrove forests cover of Palawan Island

Figure 7.13: From Manila to Puerto Princesa

Figure 7.14: Reasons behind forest cover gain in P.P.C

Figure 7.15: Forest cover in Puerto Princesa

Figure 7.16: Why citizens protect environment

Figure 8.1: Oplan Linis Program Awards

Figure 8.2: Community Based Sustainable Tourism in Puerto Princesa City

Figure 8.3: Community Based Sustainable Livelihoods in Puerto Princesa City

Figure 8.4: Community Based Sustainable Forest Management in Puerto Princesa City

Figure 8.5: Summarized sustainable development case of Puerto Princesa City

List of Tables

Table 2.1: Case Studies Description and Visits

Table 2.2: Interviews Conducted

Table 2.3: Focus Group Interviews

Table 2.4: Conferences Presentations Throughout the Study – September 2011 to November 2013

Table 3.1: International timeline of sustainable development

Table 3.2 Characteristics of Small Island Development and effects to triple bottom line

Table 3.3: Stakeholders of ongoing community based projects

Table 4.1: Estimated Mangrove lost in 1910’s to 1990`s

Table 4.2: Ordinance No. 287

Table 4.3: Overcoming Sustainable Tourism Challenges

Table 5.1: International recognition of the concept

Table 5.2: Government policies to adopt and implement CBFM

Table 5.3: Lessons learned and international recognition on CBFM compared with Pista Y Ang Kagueban

Table 6.1: Definitions of social capital

Table 6.2: Description of livelihood characteristics

Table 6.3: Components of capacity development in livelihood projects of Puerto Princesa

Table 7.1: EEA Criteria for Environmental Integration

Table 7.2: Checklist on sustainable development

Table 8.1: Local Development of Puerto Princesa City

List of Acronyms

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I hereby declare that, this thesis which is presented to the Higher Degree Committee of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is the result of my own work; and the ideas presented in the thesis are my own ideas except where otherwise indicated.

Dimithri Devinda Jayagoda

28th August 2014


Former mayor Edward Hagedorn and officials have set their vision to see the City of Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island in the Philippines, as “a model city in sustainable development.” This dissertation discusses how people have committed to accomplish this vision and also how they have contributed to Puerto Princesa being recognized as the “City in the Forest” of the Philippines. The objective of this study is to identify the sustainable development model of Puerto Princesa City and to describe the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa using case studies and to offer an exclusive approach to case study research that is practical and applicable in other parts of the Philippines and neighboring countries. Global recognition to the concept of sustainable development, its history and application in to island city is discussed throughout this dissertation.

This dissertation introduces the trend of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa City’s mangrove and forest covers. Case studies of annual mangrove plantation and tree planting are discussed in detail. Community based sustainable tourism and livelihood activities are also discussed in the form of case studies. Based on the interviews and surveys, stakeholder’s contribution, leadership and the society of Puerto Princesa City is described. Puerto Princesa City’s tourism development story, why people protects the environment, the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City and the possibility of applying of the Puerto Princesa City’s sustainable development model in other parts of the Philippines and neighboring countries are also described in detail.

This study is conducted in the form of a case study. Qualitative data are mostly used but at the same time quantitative data are also used to prove qualitative descriptions as a mixed methodology. Data gathering techniques used in this study are interviews, focus groups, surveys, photography, participatory observations, action research and desk research. The sustainability of projects has resulted in creation of the first carbon neutral city in Southeast Asia, despite the fact that Puerto Princesa is highly an urbanizing city in the Philippines. Local community, policy makers, academia and politicians of the city are in agreement that the community is fully aware of forestation, protection and environmental security in the city, primarily because of continuous community based economic, environmental and social development projects. Research findings further prove that mangroves and forest cover in Puerto Princesa has increased during the last two decades based on government records. Rich biodiversity, environmental protection, high rate of economic development are continuously attracting several visitors and local migrants to the city of Puerto Princesa.

Keywords: capacity development, community based forest management, environmental security livelihoods, leadership, sustainable development, sustainable tourism.

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

1.1 Research background

The city of Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan in the Philippines is known as the ‘City in the Forest.’ The city has a land area of 253,982 hectares and boasts a forest cover of 73 percent, with a population of 225,955 (City Information, 2010). Puerto Princesa is recognized as the country’s ‘Last Ecological Frontier’ and was declared a ‘Biospheric Reserve’ by the United Nations (City Information, 2010). Several community-centered development projects were initiated by former Mayor Edward Hagedorn to accomplish the city’s vision of “Puerto Princesa: A model city in sustainable development, exhibiting the character of a city in a forest and demonstrating the proper balance between development and environment” (City Planning, 2013). All these projects place high emphasis on developing community capacity while protecting the environment. Puerto Princesa City has been declared as the first carbon-neutral city by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Puerto Princesa City is not only carbon neutral but, in fact, is a significantly carbon negative city. This dissertation describes the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City, using various community-centered development case studies.

Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan, an island province known for its lush rain forest and tropical beauty. Its western side is a coastline of the South China Sea, while to the east lies the Sulu Sea. The city has become a natural destination for eco-tourists, nature lovers and researchers. It abounds in diverse resources and natural scenic spots, which attract both local and international tourists who bring to Puerto Princes their goodwill. In 1996 the city was given the ‘Hall of Fame’ award for being the ‘Cleanest and Greenest City in the Philippines,’ and there have been a number of other awards in the area of environmental protection, sustainable agriculture, rural health delivery services, peace and order and functional literacy, which have supplemented the natural attraction of the city and made it a more popular destination (City Information, 2011).

Puerto Princesa is the second largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. This city is composed of 66 barangays (villages) of which 35 are urban and 31 are rural. The city is conducting various environment-based, sustainable development projects, aiming to gain economic benefits, while increasing social standards. Puerto Princesa has adopted an ecologically focused brand name of ‘Park-like City’, which strives to win and keep the honor of becoming the ‘Premier Tourist Destination’ in the Philippines. Apart from that, in relation to Palawan Island, Puerto Princesa continues to serve as the center of trade and commerce, communication, education and public administration in the province. It is among the active players in regional development. Its economy largely relies on agriculture, fishing, tourism, trade and commerce, with tourism showing a rapid growth and a strong economic base.

According to the City Information Office (2013), the following projects were initiated by former Mayor Edward Hagedorn to accomplish the city’s vision. Oplan Linis Program (Clean and Green Campaign), dating back to 1992, was initiated to sustain cleanliness, beautification, and sanitation. Bantay Puerto Program (Puerto Princesa Watch, in other words, Protect, Rehabilitate and Plan) is a program aiming to protect available natural resources, rehabilitate what has been destroyed and plan sustainable utilization of the resources of the city. Comprehensive Housing Program was initiated to provide housing for migrants who have been attracted by the city. Agriculture Program was launched to enhance the betterment of farmers and maintain the self-sufficiency of food in the island. Education Program aims at increasing the knowledge level of local citizens through establishing schools and initiating training programs for school teachers in the city. Health Program was launched to guarantee good health among citizens, and the Infrastructure Program aims to boost economic development of the city with low impact on the environment. Livelihood Program known as 3K’s Program meaning, (1) Kalinisan (cleanliness); (2) Kapayapaan (peace and order); (3) Kaunlaran (economic development) aims specially to make the city one of the safest destinations in the Philippines for its locals and visitors. Tourism Program was launched to further boost the economy of the city, while protecting its environment and the E-tricycle (Electronic Tricycle) Program was launched in 2007 to reduce noise and carbon monoxide. The location of the Island Palawan, along with the city of Puerto Princesa is shown in the following Figure 1.1.

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Figure 1. 1 : Map of Asia, Island Palawan and City of Puerto Princesa.

Source: City Planning Office, 2011

1.2 Research problem

“The world is faced with challenges in all three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental. More than 1 billion people are still living in extreme poverty and income inequality within and among many countries has been rising” (UN, 2013 p.1). Economic and social development has failed to reach rural communities. More especially the development hasn’t moved to island societies. Most of the island communities are lagging behind. Community based sustainable tourism, community based sustainable livelihoods are introduced at international level and implementation and sustaining of these activities still remains a question mark due to lack of performances of those societies. More research is needed in investigating success cases and their strategies. Rural communities especially island communities need global attention and also alternative to traditional economic centered development. As a solution, this study partly responds to this issue by giving voice to a successful case from Puerto Princesa city.

Just two decades ago, Puerto Princesa was a dead city full of garbage, malaria and also a known place for prisoners where nobody bothered to travel. Only a single flight per day was recorded and this place was an isolated city. Now 20 flights per day serve the city with tourists flooding in to see its spectacular tourist spots. This is a successful case for community driven sustainable development. The other important feature of this story is that environment is the centerpiece. The development story of Puerto Princesa is centered by community and environment. How this shift happened in Puerto Princesa? What activities, events and projects in the community led to the extraordinary leap in quality of social life and rich environment of the Puerto Princesa community? How stakeholders play their role in this development? These questions are unanswered by an academic study. The exclusive development story of Puerto Princesa holds valuable lessons and ideas for other island communities struggling to keep up with the economic development while protecting environment and sharing benefits among locals.

1.3 Research objectives

The objective of this study is to understand the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City and to describe the process of creating Puerto Princesa as a model city in sustainable development using local examples and voices through case studies that is practical and applicable in other parts of Philippines and neighboring countries. In simple terms, the objective of this dissertation is to give voice to such an exclusive sustainable development story which is isolated in academia. Following are the research questions answered in this study in order to achieve the above-mentioned goals. The chapters that answer these questions are mentioned within the brackets.

1.4 Research questions

1. What is the global recognition of the concept ‘sustainable development’? (Chapter 3)
2. What is the global recognition of the concepts ‘capacity development’, ‘community centered development’, ‘leadership’ and ‘livelihoods’? (Chapters 3 and 6)
3. What is the exclusive development story of Puerto Princesa City and what are the components (ingredients) of such development? (Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7)
4. What are the status and the trend of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa city’s mangrove forest? (Chapter 4)
5. What are the status and the trend of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa City’s forest cover? (Chapter 5)
6. What is the status and development of ongoing livelihood development projects in Puerto Princesa City? (Chapter 6)
7. Who are the stakeholders involved in the process of sustainable development in Puerto Princesa City? (Chapters 3 and 7)
8. How do community stakeholders and their leadership contribute to the development of community centered development projects? (Chapters 7 and 8)

1.5 Reasons for choosing this destination

As with many other island destinations, Palawan is given very little attention by scholars conducting academic studies. The lack of early studies has been important in stimulating me to conduct fieldwork in this destination. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) had previously established research networks with Palawan State University and various key stakeholders in the Puerto Princesa City through the Environmental Opinion Leaders (ENVOL) program. Several joint research projects and conferences were conducted since the launch of the program in 2009. These research networks have become handy tools for gathering data which are not available in published formats. This study also links to previous studies conducted to complete my master’s thesis. My research interests and the Palawan case fall in similar categories.

More importantly, it is possible to apply research findings and recommendations practically. As an example, two recommendations made through my master’s thesis were accepted. One, removal of plastic bags (waste management system) was in place by the 2013 mangrove plantation event, a change from the 2011 event. Secondly, a faculty member had requested Palawan State University (PSU) students to submit a report as an assignment after participating in annual planting event in 2013 to enhance critical participation. Figure 1.2 shows a formal discussion that took place at a dinner before Love Affair with Nature on 13 February 2013. Former Mayor Hagedorn was willingly listening to recommendations made based on previous studies conducted by the author.

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Figure 1.2: Author sharing research findings and recommendations with former Mayor Hagedorn

Locals are willing to hear and accept the recommendations. A radio program was broadcasted live in Palawan Island and also in the City of Manila, which consists of the recommendations of current research activities. Figure1.3 shows an image taken during the live radio program in 20 February 2014.

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Figure 1.3: Live radio Program

The forest cover of the Philippines is less than 25 percent (7.162 million hectares) but in Puerto Princesa City it is above 73 percent (185,406 hectares). It is important to study this unusual case, as Javelosa (2010) noted, “Puerto Princesa is a jewel of a case study of the success of a place that actually works and can point to a direction that other local government units and the whole country can take.”

1.6 Significance of the Study

Island ecosystems are fragile and communities are isolated and are subjected to natural and human-induced destruction. This study seeks to understand and consequentially promote various projects being conducted in the island supportive of community-centered development. Community and environment are becoming serious concerns among countries with respect to achieving the goals of sustainable development. This research will be an addition to the somewhat limited research and information dealing with understanding and enhancing community-based development in island societies.

There were very few academic studies conducted in the destination. In fact, there is almost no community-based mangrove management, forest management or carbon-neutral city development studies being conducted in the destination. Being a city in a forest, Puerto Princesa is showing various aspects of sustainable development. All levels of community are covered in this study as stakeholders or respondents for primary qualitative data providers. Ground-level community members, faculty members and policy makers are all included in interviews, group discussions, focus groups and also in both formal and informal discussions.

There is a clear evidence to prove that mangroves and forest cover around the world is showing a dwindling trend but Puerto Princesa is showing the opposite while continuously developing. Puerto Princesa provides very exclusive and impressive examples of forestation, forest management and protection with its people on the center. The city was recognized as the 'Cleanest and the Greenest City' in the Philippines and has received a variety of awards for its environment friendliness.

These findings of this study and the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City can be applied in various parts of the Philippines and island communities in the region. Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Palawan State University (PSU), City Planning Office, NGOs and other various organizations involved in policy making can use these findings for further planning, implementing and continuing of development projects. It is important to study the development model of Puerto Princesa when undertaking ongoing projects, evaluating them with the city's vision and using the model to further develop other parts of the island. Additionally, the findings and model should be of use to policy makers.

Ragin (1994, p. 32) describes seven goals of social research in his book Constructing Social Research as: (a) identifying general patterns and relationships; (b) testing and refining theories; (c) making predictions; (d) interpreting culturally or historically significant phenomena; (e) exploring diversity; (f) giving voice; (g) advancing new theories. This study achieves the fourth, fifth and sixth goals of social research and contribute new knowledge to the field of social science.

1.7 Summary of the Dissertation

Chapter 1: Introduction. This dissertation describes and analyzes the people- and environment-centered development story of Puerto Princesa City, an island destination in the Philippines with some very exclusive characteristics. The first chapter introduces the research background, research objectives, the research questions, significance and limitations of the research and outlines the study in brief. A brief introduction to the research destination is also included in this chapter.

Chapter 2: Research Methodology. Research methods being used to answer research questions are discussed in this chapter. Justification of selected methods and the importance of each method over available options are also explained in this chapter.

Chapter 3: Review of Literature. This chapter contains the related theories and concepts that are being discussed throughout the study. Only selected literature is introduced in this chapter since some of the literature is introduced in the following chapters that introduce case studies. Selected models of sustainable development are discussed and used in the following three chapters to explain the case studies. This chapter discusses the global concept of sustainable development and its application to island destinations, such as Puerto Princesa.

Chapter 4: Community Based Sustainable Tourism in Association with Mangrove Forest Case Studies. In this chapter, case studies are introduced. The inputs are taken mainly from the following published papers by the author: “Community Based Mangrove Forest Management in Association with Sustainable Tourism in Puerto Princesa City of Island Palawan,” “Love Affair with Nature - Performances of Sustainable Mangrove Plantation Project in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Island, The Philippines" and “Sustainable Community Based Mangrove Plantation Projects: Three Case Studies from Palawan Island, the Philippines.” The status of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa mangrove forests is described. The community based sustainable tourism concept is introduced in association with mangrove forests.

Chapter 5: Community Based Forest Management Case Studies. In this chapter, the community-based annual tree planting campaign and forest management case study are discussed. The inputs are taken mainly from a paper by the author: “A Unique Case Study of Tree Plantation Bringing Increased Forest Cover to Puerto Princesa, Philippines.” The status of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa forests is described. Community-based forest management practices conducted in the Puerto Princesa City are discussed in this chapter.

Chapter 6: Livelihood and Capacity Development Case Studies. In this chapter, case studies are introduced in relation to livelihood and capacity-development programs being conducted in Puerto Princesa. This chapter also introduced the story and the strategy of creating a sustainably developing city and becoming a carbon-neutral city.

Chapter 7: Results, Analysis and Discussions. The findings of all cases are discussed in this chapter, with analysis of results according to literature introduced in Chapters 2, 4, 5, and 6. Selected models from the literature chapter are discussed. The development story of Puerto Princesa City is described using various frameworks which can be adopted in other parts of the Philippines.

Chapter 8: Conclusion and List of References. This chapter provides a summary of how the research has responded to the research objectives outlined in Chapter 1. These include implications and recommendations on community-based sustainable development. A number of suggestions for potential future studies to build on this research are mentioned.

CHAPTER 2: Research Methodology

There is no right or wrong method; there are only methods that are relevant to your research topic and models (Silverman, 2005, p. 112). This is a qualitative study, with quantitative data used to support qualitative explanations. Therefore, a mixed methodology is used as a mechanism of data gathering. Several case studies were conducted, using a case study approach. This chapter explains qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodology concepts as employed in this study.

2.1 Qualitative Research

Creswell (2013) gives an explanation of qualitative research, mentioned by Denzin and Lincoln (2011). He says,

Qualitative research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. Qualitative research consists of a set of interpretive material practices that makes the world visible. These practices transform the world. They turn the world in to a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs recordings and memos to the self. At this level, qualitative research involves an interpretive, naturalistic approach to the world. This means that qualitative researches study things in their natural setting, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them (p. 44).

This study exhibits all the characteristics of qualitative research mentioned by Creswell (2013, p. 46). He mentions the following nine characteristics of qualitative research:

1. It is conducted in a natural setting (the field), a source of data for close interaction.
2. It relies on the researcher as key instrument in data collection.
3. It involves using multiple methods.
4. It involves complex reasoning going between inductive and deductive.
5. It focuses on participants’ perspectives, their meanings, and their multiple subjective views.
6. It is situated within the context or setting of participants/sites (social/political/historical).
7. It involves an emergent and evolving design rather than tightly prefigured design.
8. It is reflective and interpretive (i.e., sensitive to researcher’s biographies/social identities).
9. It presents a holistic, complex picture.

According to Denzin et al. (2005, p. 3), “Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts.” Qualitative research is a fitting method when gathering a large amount of detail and specially explaining about a social and environmental event or an activity. The flexible nature of qualitative research allows investigation using common language understandable by any audience, which is an important part of action research, as well as non-traditional means of expression, including photography and video mechanisms (Lincoln & Denzin, 2003, p. 4). Qualitative data is authentic and can be validated because it is connected with the fairness of open discussion (Weiss, 1998, p. 262), especially when it is combined with observation and participation methods (Banyai, 2010).

Creswell (2013, pp.11–12) gives five approaches to qualitative research. He lists two books for each method, written by respected scholars in the field. The five approaches and two selected works for each approach are:

1. Narrative research (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Riessman, 2008),
2. Phenomenology (Moustakas, 1994; Manen, 1990),
3. Grounded theory (Charmas, 2006; Corbin & Strauss, 2008),
4. Ethnography (Fetterman, 2010; Wolcott 2008),
5. Case Study (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009).

Creswell goes on to describe the characteristics of each approach.

Based on Creswell's comparison, this study is conducted in the form of a case study, with some characteristics of narrative research, except that the focus is broader than one individual (Creswell, 2013, pp.102–107).

2.2 Quantitative Research

In quantitative research, categorize features, calculate them, and develop statistical models in an effort to explain what is observed and quantitative data is more efficient when examining hypotheses, but it may miss background details (Neil, 2007). In this study most of the data were gathered using qualitative approaches. However, to provide support to the qualitative explanations, quantitative data were used when appropriate. Some quantifiable informationsuch as socio-economic profile of the Puerto Princesa city, land cover data, mangrove plantation area and number of plants being planted, upland tree planted area and the number of trees being planted, and economical gains of livelihood projects – are mentioned in numbers. In the data chapters, the current global, the Philippines, and Puerto Princesa City’s mangroves and forest cover data are given as quantitative data in order to provide a statistical analysis.

2.3 Mixed Methodology

This research was conducted using mixed methodology approach, defined by Creswell (2009) as:

Mixed methods research is a research design with philosophical assumptions as well as methods of inquiry. As a methodology, it involves philosophical assumptions that guide the direction of the collection and analysis and the mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches in many phases of the research process. As a method, it focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies. Its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches, in combination, provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone. (p. 5)

The mixed methodology approach takes qualitative methods out of their natural home, which is within the critical, interpretative framework (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005, p. 9). Mixed methods are explained by Creswell et al. (2011, p. 4) as an approach or research methodology with the following characteristics: (a) Focusing on research questions that call for real-life contextual understandings, multi-level perspectives, and cultural influences, (b). Employing rigorous quantitative research assessing magnitude and frequency of constructs and rigorous qualitative research exploring the meaning and understanding of constructs, (c). Utilizing multiple methods (e.g., intervention trials and in-depth interviews), (d). Intentionally integrating or combining these methods to draw on the strengths of each and (e). Framing the investigation within philosophical and theoretical positions.

2.4 Data Gathering Techniques

This study used mainly the case study technique. As reported by Creswell (2013, Pp. 8-10), the qualitative case study, according to Lancy (1993), Denzin and Lincoln (1994, 2005, & 2011), Saldana (2011), and Yin (2009), involves the study of a case within a real life, contemporary context or setting. Stake (2005) states that case study research is not a methodology, but a choice of what is to be studied (Creswell, 2013). Further, Bromley (1990) defines a case study as a “systematic inquiry into an event or a set of related events which aims to describe and explain the phenomenon of interest” (p. 302). Neale and Boyce (2006) states, “Case studies are appropriate when there is a unique or interesting story to be told. Case studies are often used to provide context to other data (such as outcome data), offering a more complete picture of what happened in the program and why” (p. 4). Case studies are a valid, accepted and reliable research methodology, like other research techniques (Flyvbjerg, 2007, p. 391; Yin, 2003, Pp. 36–39). The validity, acceptability and reliability depend on the quality of the research design and its rigorous implementation (Banyai, 2010).

Case studies exhibit causal arguments about how common social forces take shape and produce results in a specific setting (Ragin, 2000, p. 122). It is a holistic approach to research considering the interrelationships between people, institutions, and events (Weiss, 1998, p. 261). Comparatively, case study provides more detailed information than other methods (Neale et al., 2006). The other advantage of case studies is that it allows the researcher to present data collected from multiple methods, such as, surveys, interviews, document review and observation in order to introduce the bigger picture or a complete story (Neale and Boyce, 2006).

There are three different types of case studies: (1) intrinsic case study, 2) instrumental case study and 3) collective case study, which is a number of case studies investigating a general phenomenon (Silverman, 2005, p. 127; Stake, 1995). In this study the third type or the collective case study – has been used. There are two approaches in selecting a case, one is randomly and the other is purposefully. Selection of the cases in this research was done purposely after visiting various sites. Table 1 shows the description and the time scale of visits to select case study sites.

Table 2.1: Case Studies Description and Visits

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Feast of the forest project is continuing for 23 years and Love Affair with Nature is continuing for last 11 years. These projects are continuing even the political administration has changed. There are various tree planting projects being conducted in the city by private organizations and individuals. Feast of the forest and Love Affair with Nature are legalized government sponsored major events that at least 10,000 plus locals participate every year. San Carlos Floating Restaurant, Iwahig Firefly Watch and Sabang Mangrove Paddleboat Tour are continuing since 2012, 2008 and 2002. There are about 9 Community Based Sustainable Tourism projects in the city and these 3 are all associated with Mangrove forest. Immature to mature range CBST projects being selected to highlight the diversification of the activities. Babuyan Women’s Weaving Project is continuing since year 2002 and the only project implemented and maintained by women and continuing sustainably without any government financial back up. Ugong Rock Adventure is the most successful livelihood activity in the city after world renounced underground river tourism. All major tourism attractions were observed (as shown in Figure 4.10 of chapter 4 and Underground River) before selecting these major case studies to describe the development story of Puerto Princesa.

Flyvbjerg (2006) identifies the following common misunderstandings about case study research:

- General, theoretical knowledge is more valuable than concrete case knowledge;
- The case study contains a bias towards verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions;
- It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies;
- Selection bias may overstate or understate relationships, weaken the understanding of occurrence in population of phenomena under study;
- Statistical significance often unknown or unclear.

As limitations of the case study method, Neale et al. (2006) notes that it is lengthy, lacks rigor and is not generalizable.

The sources of information for case studies, according to Palena et al. (2006) are case study project documents (including meeting minutes), project reports (including quarterly reports), midterm reviews, monitoring visits, mystery client reports, facility assessment reports, interviews, questionnaire/survey results, evaluation reports and observation. Using these methods, reasons and justification for methodology are explained in the following part of the chapter, with specific techniques that were used to gather data for this work. Data gathering techniques are explained in detail in this chapter. Figure 2 shows the data gathering mechanism of this study as a model.

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Figure 2.1: Data gathering techniques

2.4.1 Desk Research

Desk research is also known as secondary research. This method involves the collection of summaries and the collation and synthesis of existing research, rather than conducting a new study, where data is collected from already existing experiments and research (Crouch, S. C. & Housden, M., 2003). References to secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, newspapers, and annual reports of local governments and organizations, were conducted throughout this study to support explanations, especially in the literature review of chapter 3. Throughout chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7, appropriate desk research findings are used in order to build the discussion. Most of the quantitative data were gathered through this method using available documents . Desk research, based on unpublished reports of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and City Environment Office, was used in both qualitative and quantitative data gathering. For this study, online news publications, articles and books written about sustainable environmental development projects were the other sources of secondary information.

Today, secondary information is largely available free of charge or at very low cost, although confirming the validity and reliability of the secondary sources remains a challenge. In many cases the information is incomplete and also the studies are conducted in favor of the author. Some of the studies were out-of-date research reports and did not help the researcher in the current study.

2.4.2 Interviews

Interviews are one of the key methods used in this study, especially for gathering people’s opinions on various case study sites. During interviews, respondents can express their past and even future actions, experiences, feelings, and thoughts of social encounters (Rapley, 2007, p. 16). Both formal and informal interviews were used during this study, according to the situation. An advantage of informal unstructured interviews is that it does not use a strict question guide and, in most cases, can be conducted in a friendly conversational setting (Weiss, 1998, p. 258). Another advantage of informal interviews is that the researcher can listen to the respondent as they tell a story in their own words and open-ended questions can be used (Weiss, 1998, p. 259).

When conducting case studies, interviews have the strength of targeting and focusing on a specific group to provide insightful, causal inferences and explanations (Yin, 2009). Weaknesses of interviews lie in the respondent’s bias and bias due to poorly articulated questions, with mainly the interviewer asking questions in the form that the interviewee wants to hear (Yin, 2009). In this study, close-ended and open-ended questionnaires were used during informal and formal interviews. Discussions were conducted with local community members during observational and participatory visits. Table 2 shows the interviews conducted and the types of questionnaires used during this study.

Table 2.2: Interviews Conducted

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The interview method is expensive when the sample size is bigger and geographically wide. Also, the findings can be biased and data gathering consumes a large amount of time (Banyai, 2010). Specially, unstructured interviews can be very time consuming, as the conversation can go on and on (Cicourel & Kitsuse, 1963). Additionally, they are usually small scale, so it is hard to generalize from the results, as only a small number of the population can be interviewed. As well, data collection is hard to categorize, as it is likely to have a variety of different answers. Coding will require more work when choosing categories for the respondents (Cicourel & Kitsuse, 1963).

2.4.3 Focus Groups

When a number of people are brought together and questions are raised for them to discuss, this is called the focus group method (Weiss, 1998, p. 260). It is called a community interview when the group is larger and more inclusive and involves holding a public meeting with a more detailed program and question guide (Krishna, 1987, p. 17). Focus groups allow group dynamics and conversations to be observed (Weiss, 1998, p. 260) and provide a stage for community interaction and communications (Banyai, 2010). Focus groups can become problematic because the groups can be dominated by a few articulate or powerful participants (Krishna, 1987, p. 15). For this study, focus group interviews were conducted, as shown in Table 3.

Table 2.3: Focus Group Interviews

illustration not visible in this excerpt Snowball Effect

In various disciplines within the social sciences snowball sampling is a widely used qualitative technique, used mainly when enriching sample clusters, accessing new participants and social groups (Noy, 2008). When gathering and accessing information on hidden populations, snowball sampling is a famous tool that is being employed regularly (Noy, 2008). Even during planned interviews, both individual and focus groups respondents tend to invite others who had similar or more knowledge in the field. This was a very common incident in the Philippines and almost every informal discussion had input from many respondents. The negative factor of this method is that sometimes it is difficult to control, and sometimes repetition of findings occurs.

2.4.4 Surveys

Survey questioning is a type of formal interview. For this study, a large survey was not necessary and in most cases an informal survey method was chosen. When using an informal survey, few variables are used, small sample size with non-probability sampling is used, and in return it permits more flexibility to the interviewer (Krishna, 1987, pp. 2–3). Although smaller in size and limited in focus, informal surveys do generate data that can be interpreted with statistical analysis (Krishna, 1987, pp. 2–3). Data from informal surveys with open-ended questions can be statistically analyzed as long as they are appropriately coded and then categorized (Weiss, 1998, p. 168). According to Krishna (1990, p. 11), incorporating qualitative, open-ended questions into an informal survey enables respondents to tell their story in their own words, encourages freedom and spontaneity in answering, allows respondents to use their own language and concepts, and to qualify and elaborate when they feel it is necessary, and opens the opportunity for unanticipated findings. In keeping with the foregoing, the author used qualitative, open-ended questionnaires to gather data without harming the original ideas of the respondents.

Schutt (2012) states, “Surveys are efficient in that many variables can be measured without substantially increasing the time or cost. Survey data can be collected from many people at relatively low cost and, depending on the survey design, relatively quickly” (p.160). Despite the advantages of using surveys, if careful attention to sampling, measurement, and overall survey design is not given, the survey technique is likely to be a failure (Schutt, 2012).

2.4.5 Observation

Observations provide the researcher a greater understanding of the case (Robert, 1995). Observation is a common technique in research that is easily employed and unfortunately heavily biased (Krishna, 1987, p. 22), but still a very useful method to build a detailed narrative study (Banyai, 2010). For the most part, direct observations were conducted. Direct observation requires the researcher to simply describe the things witnessed. The advantage of this technique is that it allows the observer to study the phenomena in their natural setting and may reveal things that informants are unable or averse to otherwise describe (Krishna, 1987, p. 21). Various types of observations were used in this work, including direct observation and participant observation. Participant observation is an examination conducted by a researcher who takes part in the activities or events that he or she is describing (Weiss, 1998, p. 257).

This method is linked with participation, informal interviews, discussions, and photography methods. In keeping with this, the author participated in planning, in actual events and in post-events. The author participated in ‘Love Affair with Nature’ (mangrove plantation projects) in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Also, the author participated in ‘Feast of the Forest’ (annual tree planting campaign) in 2013. Events of planning during and after the projects were observed in order to describe them in the case studies. Community-based, sustainable tourism projects, waste management project, and rubber nurseries that provide plants for the upland tree planting campaign were observed by the author. The author conducted observations in at least two different years in all community-based, sustainable tourism and livelihood cases, as introduced in chapters 4 and 6. Comparatively, it is an expensive method and information provided by this method is limited.

Observations were conducted in the form of participatory action research. Rapoport (1970) states, “Action research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical framework” (p. 499). Action research is very much related to interpretive inquiry, hence traditional criteria to evaluate rigor in experimental research objectivity, reliability, validity, and generalizability are inappropriate, and action researchers may establish trustworthiness of their study by reporting on credibility, transferability, dependability, and conformability (Stringer, 2004). For this study, the author was a participant observer in the cases mentioned.

This study employs key features of participatory action research, which, as Kemmis and McTaggart (2005) state, generally involves a spiral of self-reflective cycle of planning change, acting and observing the process and consequences of the change, reflecting on these processes and consequences, re-planning, acting and observing again, reflecting again and so on… (p. 563). Participatory action research is a learning process that studies what people do, how people interact with the world and with others, what people mean and what they value, what discourses people understand and how they interpret their world (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005). Through this method, the exclusive story of people in Puerto Princesa City is described in this study.

2.4.6 Photography

Photography is used in research especially for qualitative data gathering in community-based projects (Banyai, 2010). Harper (2005) states that

Visual methods will become ever more important in the various research traditions where it already has a foothold and that this growth will take place in a way that acknowledges the potential of new media, while preserving what is useful in the old media…. I hope that during the next decade, visual social studies will become a world movement… (p. 760).

Photography is a methodology that helps to tell the story of a certain group of people, a place or an event (Bleiker & Kay, 2007; Harper, 2001; Lykes, 2006).

Photography is used as a tool for evaluation even though it is not widespread as yet (Rietbergen-McCracken & Narayan, 1998, p. 212). Photography can be used as an alternative technique of data gathering that parallels the concepts of participatory methodologies (Bleiker & Kay, 2007, p. 152). Documentaries and photography are considered as visual ethnography, even though taken by observer or internal participants (Harper, 2001, p. 15). In this study, original photographs were taken by the author to document the project with the support of PSU staff and the local community. Despite the advantages and wide coverage of qualitative explanations, photography also can be a time consuming and costly method.

2.4.7 Field Notes

Field notes are taken and instances are included in studies since field researchers get closer to others to understand their way of life and to describe situations and events in detail (Silverman, 2005). Silverman (2005, p. 174) gives four functions of detailed field notes specifically:

1. to identify and follow processes in witnessed events,
2. to understand how members themselves characterize and describe particular activities, events and groups,
3. to convey members’ explanations for when, why or how particular things happen and thereby to elicit members’ theories of the causes of particular happenings, and
4. to identify the practical concerns, conditions and constraints that people confront and deal with in their everyday lives and actions.

Three types of field notes are used in this study and these three types were mentioned by Thorpe (2008) based on Lofland and Lofland (1995):

1. Mental notes, when it may be inappropriate to take notes;
2. Jotted or scratch notes, taken at the time of observation (non-participant observation or participant observation) or discussion and consisting of highlights that can be remembered for later development;
3. Full field notes, written up as promptly and as fully as possible.

2.4.8 Other Methods

Apart from the above-mentioned mixed set of methodologies, various other mechanisms provided insights during this study. Listening to presentations by superiors in the field has anonymously shaped this study. Presenting to the local community, and receiving their feedback with recommendations, is another strategy used throughout this study to gather data. As shown in Figure 3, the author conducted lectures and engaged in discussions with Palawan State University students and faculty at both graduate and undergraduate levels to share findings and to receive feedback revealing the perspectives of the locals.

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Figure 2.2: Lectures conducted to receive feedback.

Participating in conferences and presenting to professional audiences and receiving feedback is another strategy used to further shape this study. Table 4 gives the list of conferences where parts of this study were presented and refined, based on feedback. Methodology and questionnaires were further developed by presenting to seminar members. This research was presented at Research in Progress Seminar (RIPS), where faculty members, fellow PhD and master degree colleagues provided feedback. Also, the introduction chapter and methodology were presented in Perspectives on Asia Pacific Studies class, offered by Professor Mani A.

Table 2.4: Conferences Presentations throughout the Study – September 2011 to November 2013

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CHAPTER 3: Review of Literature

3.1 Introduction

This chapter is not like the traditional literature reviews. Only selected literature suitable for this study is introduced briefly. Some other literature is introduced in data chapters that suits to the discussion of those. This chapter will answer the research question “What is the global recognition of the concept ‘Sustainable Development?” Also this chapter will be a basis of the literature discussed in chapters 4, 5 and 6. Most of the concepts discussed throughout the study and the context of Puerto Princesa’s stakeholders are introduced in this chapter.

3.2 Sustainable Development

The publication of ‘Our Common Future’ in 1987 gave the most commonly used definition of sustainable development as “which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 41). This concept can be considered at both international and local levels, which called on governments, local authorities, businesses and consumers to define and adopt strategies for sustainable development. After the introduction of the Agenda 21, various national and local governments started preparing and implementing their plans to establish sustainable development.

According to Brundtland Commission, the term sustainable development consists of two key concepts or ideas. The concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential need of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). Sustainable development is accepting the importance and values of intergenerational equity, alleviation of poverty and environmental protection at a very low financial and political cost (Lenschow, 2002). Policies are concern with the goals of sustainable development consisting of minimizing pollution, reducing the utilization of non-renewable resources (oil and gas), close product loops, using renewable resources carefully and care for the environment to get these services continuously (Lenschow, 2002). The new millennium focuses the discussions about the notion of economics and the links between environmental and economic values in guiding societal decision making (Figueroa et al., 2010). Sustainable development is often presented as being divided into the economy, environment and the society (Hardi and Zdan, 1997). The three sectors are often presented as three interconnected rings (Figure 3.1).

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Figure 3.1: Common three-ring sector view of sustainable development

Source: Giddings et al., (2002)

Some scholars presented the relationship between society, economy and environment without using the usual three rings. They nested economy within the society, which in turn is nested within the environment as shown in Figure 3.2. Placing the economy in the center does not mean that economy is the main hub and that the other sectors and activities just revolve around it. Economy is a subset of the others and is dependent upon them. Human society depends on environment although in contrast the environment can stand alone without the component of society (Lovelock, 1988). Taking a holistic view and overcoming barriers between disciplines is seen as a key issue of sustainable development and the integration of different actions and sectors. Unlike the ‘three-ring’ model, the ‘nested’ model encourages a conceptual outlook sympathetic to integration. Almost all humans live their lives in all three areas, often without sharp distinctions in thought or practice.

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Figure 3.2: Nested sustainable development

Source: Giddings et al., (2002)

In the European Union, the concept of environmental policy integration was introduced as a result of response to an internal performance crisis. In Europe, this concept is related to sustainable development and gained more attention since the publication of the report ‘Our Common Future’ of United Nations World Commission on Environmental Development (Lenschow, 2002). The main goal of sustainable development is environmental protection, economic growth and social development and these are compatible rather than conflicting (Lenschow 2002), meaning integrating the pillars of sustainability. There are various events and incidents that took place in relation to sustainable development. Following Table 3.1 shows the related events or in other words the timeline of sustainable development in the international level.

Table 3.1: International timeline of sustainable development

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Source: Modified based on Earth Summit 2012, International Institute for Sustainable Development 2012, and International Institute for Sustainable Development, 1997.

3.3 Environmental Integration

Environment integration is a concept that has roots to Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since the summit, many governments are giving priority to environmental integration to their development agendas. European Union is giving a key focus for the concept and the European Commission defines the concept as:

"Environmental integration means making sure that environmental concerns are fully considered in the decisions and activities of other sectors. Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the community policies in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development" (2014).

In the concept of integration, the triple bottom line is given high emphasis. The triple bottom line consists of the society, environment and economy. Also this concept is considered as the three pillars of sustainability. In different terms, these three pillars are introduced as People, Planet and Profit. The triple bottom line is abbreviated as the ‘TBL’ or ‘3BL’. Environmental Integration is represented under several terms such as ‘Integrated Environmental Management’ (IEM), ‘Environmental Policy Integration’ (EPI), ‘Integrated Pollution Control’ (IPC), Ecosystems Management and Holistic Resources Management. Environmental Integration can occur at both informal (individual level) and formal (organizational and government) levels. The objective of economy, environment and society has to be achieved mutually in an integrated manner (Lenschow, 2002) and this is defined by Liberatores in 1997 as:

The relevance of integration for moving towards sustainable development is straight forward: If environmental factors are not taken into consideration in the formulation and implementation of the policies that regulate economic activities and other forms of social organization, a new model of development that can be environmentally and socially sustainable in the long term cannot be achieved (p.107).

In many countries during the decision making process, the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental factors are treated separately at policy, planning and management levels. In Europe, this concept is related to sustainable development and gained more attention since the publication of the report ‘Our Common Future’ of United Nations World Commission on Environmental Development (Lenschow, 2002). The term integration is given high emphasis in Agenda 21 as:

This influences the actions of all groups in society, including governments, industry and individuals, and has important implications for the efficiency and sustainability of development. An adjustment or even a fundamental reshaping of decision-making, in the light of country-specific conditions, maybe necessary if environment and development are to be put at the center of economic and political decision-making, in effect achieving a full integration of these factors. In recent years, some governments have also begun to make significant changes in the institutional structures of government in order to enable more systematic consideration of the environment when decisions are made on economic, social, fiscal, energy, agricultural, transportation, trade and other policies, as well as the implications of policies in these areas for the environment. New forms of dialogue are also being developed for achieving better integration among national and local government, industry, science, environmental groups and the public in the process of developing effective approaches to environment and development (p. 64).

Most recently the published Rio+20 outcome document entitled ‘The Future We Want’ stated:

We also invite business and industry as appropriate and in accordance with national legislation to contribute to sustainable development and to develop sustainability strategies that integrate, inter alia, green economy policies (p. 12). As the representatives of working people, trade unions are important partners in facilitating the achievement of sustainable development, in particular the social dimension. Information, education and training on sustainability at all levels, including in the workplace, are keys to strengthening the capacity of workers and trade unions to support sustainable development (p. 9). We strongly encourage educational institutions to consider adopting good practices in sustainability management on their campuses and in their communities with the active participation of, inter alia, students, teachers and local partners, and teaching sustainable development as an integrated component across disciplines (p. 44).

3.4 Island Sustainability

Novels tell us that islands are mysterious, romantic, tranquil, dazzling, inspiring and exquisite (Graci and Dodds 2010). Islands are identified as useful destinations to discover concepts of sustainability and can be used for practical application of concepts such as ‘sustainable livelihood approach’ (Graci and Dodds 2010). For more than two decades, the sustainable development of island countries and ecosystems has been a subject of international discussion and negotiation (Byrne and Innis 2002). The 1994 UN Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing states recognized climate change and sea level rise as the priority issues of island sustainability. The other challenges for island sustainability consists of economic dependence on a limited natural resource base, vulnerability to natural and environmental disasters, insufficient institutional, administrative and technical capacity, and limited access to financial and technological resources. Nine characteristics of Small Island Development introduced by Bloomestein in 1996 can be classified as issues for triple bottom line components as follows:

Table 3.2 Characteristics of Small Island Development and effects to triple bottom line

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Source: Modified based on Bloomestein 1996

Island sustainability is continuously gaining attention in the international policy making agendas. Rio+20 outcome document, entitled ‘The Future We Want’ under the section of Small Island Developing States, stated:

We reaffirm that small island developing states remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities, including their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks, including to a large range of impacts from climate change and potentially more frequent and intense natural disasters. We note with concern that the outcome of the five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy concluded that Small Island developing states have made less progress than most other groupings, or even regressed, in economic terms, especially in terms of poverty reduction and debt sustainability. Sea-level rise and other adverse impacts of climate change continue to pose a significant risk to small island developing states and their efforts to achieve sustainable development, and for many represent the gravest of threats to their survival and viability, including for some through the loss of territory. We also remain concerned that, while small island developing states have progressed in the areas of gender, health, education and the environment, their overall progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals has been uneven (Pp. 33-34).

Sometimes it is arguable that small island developing states and a province of an island country are not in equal standards to compare. Characteristics of continuously growing populations, limited natural resources, and remoteness or far from main lands, vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters, heavily dependence on international trade and fragile environments are very much common whether it is a state or province (Graci and Dodds 2010). For example in the list of small island developing states of United Nations countries like Anguilla is only consisting 15,000 population and British Virgin Island is only 27,800. Antigua and Barbuda is 81,800, Aruba 102,484; Saint Lucia is only 173,765 of population which is far below than Palawan Island as well as Puerto Princesa city. But many of the characteristics are seems equal.

Islands face enormous challenges. Islands are characterized as MIRAB societies (Migration, Remittances, Aid and Bureaucracy) especially in the Pacific and Caribbean (Yorghose and Dennis 2002). Island economies mostly depend on tourism and it provides economic welfare, increased foreign exchange and employment (Graci and Dodds 2010). Ecologically and economically sustainable development options are limited, human resources are scarce, infrastructure and public services are few, costly and further development options will be challenged by the size and the location of the islands (Yorghose and Danniel 2002).

3.5 Stakeholders

In achieving sustainable development, stakeholders are playing a major role except for policies, institutions and processes. Stakeholder involvement and their expectations are extremely important to achieve sustainable development. Stakeholders map of Puerto Princesa livelihoods and environment management projects are made based on tourism stakeholder map introduced by Sauter and Leiseen in 1999 as shown in Figure 3.3. Freeman (1984) defines a stakeholder as:

Any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of an organization’s objectives. Thus a group or individual qualifies as a stakeholder if it has a legitimate interest in aspect of the firm’s activities and has either the power to affect the firm’s performance or has a stake in the firm’s performance (p. 55).

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Figure 3.3: Stakeholder map

Source: Adopted from Sauter and Leiseen 1999

Stakeholders of the ongoing projects of the Puerto Princesa city are introduced in Table 3.3. All the cases introduced here are discussed in detail in the following chapters 4, 5 and 6.

Table 3.3: Stakeholders of ongoing community based projects

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Above table shows the stakeholders who have involved in initiating ongoing projects of the city and those who are managing them and also the ones who directly and indirectly participating in these activities. Figures 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 show the historical development of stake holders since 1980. It is complicated to distinguish stakeholders of each project hence many of them are common for various activities conducted in Puerto Princesa city. During 1980’s and earlier, Puerto Princesa is known for malaria and prisoners. City was an attractive destination for illegal loggers and fisherman (using dynamite). The local community was engaged in these illegal income generation activities and they were workers of those businessman came to city for illegal businesses. The development story begins in 1990’s when Mayor Hagedorn came in to power. Before winning the elections he was also among the illegal loggers. He shared his story during an informal discussion. Figure 3.4 shows the stakeholders during 1980’s.

In 1990, Pista Y Ang Kagueban – Feast of the Forest tree planting campaign was established by Palawan Council for Sustainable Development with the support of Mayor Hagedorn. During the decade of 2000, the golden era of Puerto Princesa City has begun with the implementation of various community based sustainable tourism activities, livelihood development programs and environmental projects. During that period, both local and foreign tourists were flooded in to the city and various development activities started taking place in the city. Stakeholders have been expanded and ABS-CBN media foundation played a key role in the city with implementing city’s sustainable development vision. Increasing of stakeholders can be seen in figure 3.6.

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Figure 3.4 : Stakeholders during 1980's

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Figure 3.5: Stakeholders during 1990's

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Figure 3.6: Stakeholders during 2000's

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Figure 3.7: Stakeholders during 2010's

By the year of 2002 there were several community based sustainable tourism activities together with Underground River tours gaining recognition. Love Affair with Nature mangroves plantation was unofficially launched by Scouts and people were paying attention on environment. By the year 2012 all the community based sustainable tourism activities were established and some projects have marked its tenth year. By 2000’s it is clearly distinguish that city is focusing on 3 types of major development projects. One is community based sustainable forest management and their stakeholder’s are shown in thick green line and second is Community Based Sustainable Tourism activities. Stakeholders of these projects are shown red thin lines of the map and discussed in chapter four of this dissertation. Bottom orange color box shows the stakeholders of livelihood development activities of the city. Livelihoods are discussed in chapter 6 of this dissertation. In 2013, Mayor Hagedorn has finished his term by conducting Love Affair with Nature as his last project and New Mayor Bayron has started his term by Continuing both Feast of the Forest in July 2013, June 2014 and Love Affair with Nature in February 2014. A summary of the situation change in the city is introduced in Table 3.4.

Table 3.4: Situation change in Puerto Princesa City

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3.6 Community

All case studies introduced in next chapters are mainly managed by local community. Community is the key stakeholder in the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa. Before describing the exceptional community of Puerto Princesa, introducing the definition of community is important. Macqueen et al., (2001) define community as:

A group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings. The participants differed in the emphasis they placed on particular elements of the definition. Community was defined similarly but experienced differently by people with diverse backgrounds (p. 1929).

When discussed about community in island destinations, rural area development and poverty elevation community capacity development are key concept of achieving development. Community capacity is defined by Chaskin et al., as:

The interaction of human capital, organizational resources, and social capital existing within a given community that can be leveraged to solve collective problems and improve or maintain the well-being of that community (2001, p. 7).

When establishing community capacity development, community policies are extremely important. It is influenced by historical and geographical context and decentralization of policies. Economic, social and cultural, environmental and political activities are the inputs. Community capacity development consists of three sections. These are influenced by community policies and vice versa. Functions consist of planning implementation and evaluation. Characteristics of community capacity consist of sense of community, commitment, ability to set and achieve objectives and ability to recognize and access resources. Strategic component consists of human resources, leadership, organizations and networks. Functions, characteristics and strategic components are interconnected in order to achieve community capacity. Following Figure 3.8 shows the community capacity development and community policy structure model. Community policy structure is always supporting the community capacity development and it works vice versa too.

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Figure 3.8: Community capacity development and community policy structure model

Source: Miyoshi 2010; Miyoshi and Stenning 2008

Community capacity development heavily depends upon the support of policies, institutions and processes. Policies, institutions and processes are needed to be in place and align with sustainable development goals to achieve environmental integration that will lead to achieve sustainable development. Figure 3.9 shows the components and the functions of policies, institutions and processes.

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Figure 3.9: Components of Policies, Institutions and Processes (PIP)

Source: FAO 2008

Policies of governments, of NGO’s and international bodies are keys in order to achieve community capacity. To back up or initiate the set policies of these organizations, institutions are needed to be in place and their objectives should be in line with set policies. The list of organizations that plays a vital role in any society is introduced in above figure. The functioning of these institutions processes are needed to be in line. The process consists of social norms & customs gender, caste, class and language.

3.7 Community Based Management

The objective of Community Based Environmental Management (CBEM) is multidimensional. It concerns not only with the environmental protection, but also social economic development; its goal is to empower local communities and to lead them to sustainable development (Tsung et al., 2002). FAO (2008) defines Community-Driven Development (CDD) as:

A way to facilitate sustainable socioeconomic development of rural communities through...promoting local governments and rural communities’ ability to integrally share responsibility and authority to plan, produce, and finance the goods and services they require (p. 16).

3.7.1 Community Based Forest Management

The community-based approach is introduced as a new framework of governance that involved the general public to have more meaningful and active involvement in decision making. Involving every sector (governments, industries, and communities) is the highlight of this approach, which works together towards a common vision of sustainability (Carandang et al., 2013). Sustainable forest management has 6 major components as shown in Figure 3.10. The description of each component is as follows:

Policy: Sustainable Forest Management requires clear, stable and sound policies. Both national and local level policies can help to a vast number of people depending on forest resources (Carandang et al., 2013).

Capable Institutions: Forest sector needs institutions that are armed with resources such as funds, technologies and equipments (Carandang et al., 2013). Also a well-trained human resource is important.

Capable Stakeholders: Stakeholders consisting of local community is the key for sustainable forest management. Indigenous people and their capacity is also very important with effective leadership.

Systems, Tools & Guidelines: Planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation need proper and sound systems. Forest certification, chain of custody and timber tracking tools should be localized and should have proper guidelines to implement proper sustainable forest management mechanism.

Enforcement and Management: Once forest policies are effectively and efficiently implemented and managed, it can prevent illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation. Proper management and protection of planted forest is a requirement to achieve the goals of sustainable forest management.

Good Governance: Transparency, accountability, participation, and equity are the components of good governance to appropriate implementation of sustainable forest management (Carandang et al., 2013).

Good governance is the key requirement to establish proper planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of different policies, programs and projects.

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Figure 3.10: Community Based Forest Management model

Source: Carandang et al 2013

3.7.2 Community Based Mangrove Forest Management

Community Based Mangrove Management is practically applied in many parts of the world including the Philippines as a solution to protect and rehabilitate mangroves by the local communities. Recent extreme natural disasters and the risk of sea level rise due to climate change, there is a positive interest in restoring mangroves for both livelihoods and disaster risk reduction (Buffle et al., 2011). Buffle et al., (2011) has discussed a case study conducted in Da Loc coastal community in Vietnam and introduced adaptation strategies for community based mangrove forest management. Improve awareness and capacity, improve quality and quantity of the mangroves, improve livelihoods to increase the adaptive capacity and institutional change are introduced as key strategies and each strategy consists of supportive components as introduced in Figure 3.11.

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Figure 3.11: Adaptation strategies of community based mangrove forest management

Source: Buffle et al., 2011

3.7.3 Community Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST)

Sustainable tourism concept is in place as a solution to unconscious use of natural, historical, social and cultural resources without leaving them to generations to come (Uğur and Nalan, 2013). Community based tourism is becoming a famous replacement to traditional tourism in many destinations because of the benefits it provides for the local community. Local communities are the key stakeholders in leisure and tourism management and all their interest are taken in to an account (Guyer and Pollard, 1997). Sustainable tourism generates employment and also alternative livelihoods especially to marginalized people. These includes, expanded market for agricultural forestry and marine products, local supplies are produced for local consumption, locally generated income is not leaked out of the society, all gaining of the projects can be allocated towards the development of society, surplus can be utilized as a capital to initiate new projects and opportunities for locals to engage in decision making (Gabito, 2012). Swarbrooke, (1999) defines “Sustainable tourism is tourism which is economically viable but does not destroy the resources on which the future of tourism will depend, notably the physical environment and the social fabric of the host community” (p. 13). World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as:

It is a development strategy that involves the sustaining of cultural integrity, ecological processes, biological diversity and systems that maintains life by conserving environment without causing its destruction with which humans are in interaction, the continuation of cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life systems and also governing all resources to meet the economic, social and aesthetic needs of people living at this region and tourists and to meet the same needs of future generations (Uğur and Nalan 2013, p. 78).

Based on Swaarokee, (1999), Uğur and Nalan (2013) mentioned following benefits of sustainable tourism that can be summarized as shown in following Figure 3.12.

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Figure 3.12: Benefits of Sustainable tourism

Source: Uğur and Nalan 2013

3.8 Chapter Summary

Historical incidents of sustainable development and its global recognition are discussed in this chapter. Importance of environmental integration and island sustainability related literature is introduced. Stakeholders consisting of community and the concept of community capacity development are also introduced in brief. Stakeholders of the sustainable development story of Puerto Princesa City engaged in each project is introduced in this chapter and a detailed explanation of them can be followed in chapters 4, 5 and 6. Community based forest management, mangrove forest management and sustainable tourism are also discussed concisely in this chapter. A detailed literature of the world, the Philippines and of Puerto Princesa’s condition will also be discussed in detail with case studies in the following chapters.

CHAPTER 4: Community Based Sustainable Tourism in Association with Mangrove Forest Case Studies

4.1 Introduction

The main objective of this chapter is to describe how community based sustainable tourism is best practiced with the association of mangroves, while protecting and rehabilitating mangroves in Puerto Princesa City through the use of selected case studies. This chapter will answer the research question of “what are the statuses and the trends of the world, the Philippines and Puerto Princesa city’s mangrove forest?” and “what is the unique development story of Puerto Princesa City and what are the components (ingredients) of such development?”

Community Based Sustainable Tourism activities are common occurrences in the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, the Philippines. Not only the local community is keen about alternative livelihood opportunities, but also they are very aware of sustainable tourism potential for the city while fully committed in protecting the environment. Before sharing the success story of community based sustainable tourism in association with mangroves in Puerto Princesa, it is essential to investigate the current global and country (Philippines) status of mangrove forests.

4.2 Dwindling mangroves around the world

World Atlas of Mangroves (2010) defines mangroves as "trees or large shrubs, including ferns and palms, which normally grow in or adjacent to the intertidal zone and which have developed a special adaptation in order to survive in this environment” (p. 1). Malena (2000) defines, “Mangrove is a type of forest growing along tidal mudflats and along shallow water coastal areas extending inland along rivers, streams and their tributaries where the water is generally brackish” (p. 1). Mangroves are unique species that is common within 25 degrees north and south to equator even though it can be found in latitudes as high as 32 degrees north (Maltby, 1986). Unfortunately in some parts of the world, tourism industry has seen this resource as an obstacle as Mangrove Action Project mentioned “Mangrove forests are often seen as obstructions to one's view from a bay-side hotel or obstacles to easy beach access. They are frequently looked at as mosquito infested muddy swamps holding back progress and hindering tourism development. They may be vilified by developers, lending agencies, and governments alike, and allowed to be rapidly cleared without thorough environmental impact studies in order to make way for the promise of great profits from industrial-scale developments” (MAP, 2013). Mangroves are ranging between 190,000 and 240,000 square kilometers globally and it counts for one quarter of the world’s tropical and sub-tropical coastlines (Kelleher, 1995). The World Atlas of Mangroves (2010) suggests that the total area of remaining mangroves in this millennium is only 150,000 square kilometers. Based on available national statistics, these calculations are given to show current availability, indicating mangroves to be a rare global habitat. Mangroves are counting only less than 0.4 percent of the global total forest, counts for 39,520,000 square kilometers and less than 1 percent of global tropical forest (FAO, 2006).


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Community and Environment Centered Sustainable Development: Case Studies from Puerto Princesa City of Island Palawan, the Philippines
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capacity development, community based forest management, environmental security livelihoods, leadership, sustainable development, sustainable tourism.
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Dr. Dimithri Jayagoda (Author), 2014, Community and Environment Centered Sustainable Development: Case Studies from Puerto Princesa City of Island Palawan, the Philippines, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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