Davao City’s Upland Watersheds

January 29th, 2011 by

Why are Davao’s upland watersheds important?

Water. They provide the present and future sources of drinking water for the city.

Mountains. Homes of Mts. Apo, Talomo and Tipolog, mountain towers crucial in the production of freshwater for Davao. It is where a significant amount of rainwater seeps in to fill the City’s underground sources of water.

Diversity. Home of the Philippine Eagle, tarsier, rare birds and exotic flora. The Philippine Eagle reflects the biodiversity of the area, important in maintaining ecological balance.

People. The uplands are home to the Bagobo-Obo tribe and their descendants who have lived side by side with nature and have for so long played a major role in conserving our water sources.

What is happening to the watersheds today?

Massive deforestation due to illegal logging and years of neglect endanger the Davao mountain’s capacity to continue serving its function as large water reservoirs.

The expansion of agricultural plantations is dramatically changing the landscape of the uplands resulting in soil erosion, landslides, and flashfloods, threatening our water sources.

With intensive agriculture is heavy pesticide use. The use of aerial spraying as a method to apply pesticide in plantations further exacerbates the amount of pesticide the small farmer is exposed to.

Policies that aim to protect our uplands are routinely ignored worsening our environmental problems and marginalizing upland peoples.

Poverty in the uplands. As large plantations encroach upland areas, small farmers are driven up higher into the mountain doing subsistence farming.