The Buruanga Peninsula, Panay Coastal Resources: An initial Vulnerability Assessment to Sea Level Rise


M.G.S. Asio-Montes1*, E.J. Marquez2, C.B. Dimalanta1, L.R. Zamoras3, J.A.S. Gabo1, B.D. Payot1, L.T. Armada1, E.G.L. Ramos1, D.E.L. Riguer1, C.U. Carranza1, K.L. Queaño4 and G.P. Yumul, Jr.1,5

1Tectonics and Geodynamics Group, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
2Graduate School, University of the East, Manila, Philippines
3Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics,
University of the Philippines-Manila, Manila, Philippines
4Mines and Geosciences Bureau, North Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
5Also with: Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig, Philippines


The sea level survey conducted in the Buruanga Peninsula, Panay in April 29 - May 14, 2006 led to: (1) the recognition of the coastal resources of the area, and (2) to the consideration of its vulnerability upon rise in global mean sea level. Ground truth measurements were gathered by profiling, i.e. taking measurements of spot heights at selected sites (Figure 1). The exact global positions were recorded and plotted on the 1;50,000 base map using the boundary conditions recommended by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (1990) and Perez et al. (1999). These include the 0.3m level as low estimate, 1m level as high estimate and 2m level as worst case scenario. Results show that upon 0.3m-rise in sea level, approximately 534 sq. km of Buruanga Peninsula will be inundated (Figure 2). Furthermore, about 1,082 sq. km and 2,848 sq. km land will be affected if sea level rises to 1m and 2m, respectively. Based on the 1995 population estimate of the five covered municipalities, about 56,758 people reside along the coasts and it is safe to say that these will be affected by any increase in sea level. This emphasizes the importance of an adaptive coastal zone management plan that will address issues such as proper utilization and protection of coastal resources and responses to flooding due to increase in global mean sea level. However, proper understanding should be attained initially among coastal inhabitants and policy-makers about global climate issues and their effects on coastal resources before appropriate plans, policies and responses be formulated. Appreciation of coastal biomorphic features like coral reefs and mangrove forests and their importance to the coastal ecosystem will result to a better and effective land use and resource planning of the area or anywhere else in the world. The presence and/or absence of coral reefs and mangroves is a significant gauge on the condition, rise or fall of sea level as affected by global climate change, local tectonics or anthropogenic influence. In the study area, coral reefs and mangrove forests appear to be in good shape. They are not under pressure in sustaining the needs of the inhabitants within and around them as opposed to other Philippine coastal ecosystems (e.g. Manila Bay).


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