Land Cover Change in Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan, Philippines

Leo Kris M Palao, Wolfram H Dressler, Rex Victor O Cruz, Juan M Pulhin, Nathaniel C Bantayan, Leonardo M Florece
Vol 13 No 2 (2010), pp. 1-13




This paper examines the land use and land cover change in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Cabayugan in Palawan. With the overlap of various environmental policies, managers have divided much of Palawan’s landscape into different management zones affecting the land use systems of the local people, especially swidden agriculture (kaingin) which is considered threat to forest conservation. Spatial data were processed using GIS and used to analyze land use transformation. Aside from secondary data, livelihood survey was also conducted to assess land use change. Spatio-temporal analysis revealed that there is a marked difference in the rate of forest loss between first and second time step covering the periods of 1972 and 1989, and 1989 and 2005, respectively. On the onset of environmental policies, shift in management practice, and project interventions from government and non-government organizations have effectively pushed indigenous peoples to adopt more intensified land use, which has likely reduced overall loss of forest cover. Land cover change analysis emphasizes the complementarity between GIS and socio-political analyses, enabling the researcher to explain and analyze the complex web of cause and effect in land use changes over time and space.


Keywords: Land cover change, environmental policies, swidden agriculture

Download Article