Eleven months after the eruption of Taal Volcano, a team of biology and earth scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) will trek Taal Volcano Island and visit the lakeshore communities of Taal Lake under the Agham ng Bulkang Taal program on December 5.
The findings of the teams, which will conduct a scoping and research expedition, can help landowners, lakeshore communities, and local government units sustainably manage the lake and volcano resources.
An initiative of the FAITH Botanic Gardens Foundation, Incorporated and FAITH Colleges (First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities), this expedition is envisioned as an initial step in mobilizing the academe to work with local stakeholders in understanding how to nurture and develop local resources.
FAITH Colleges, a donee of about 176 hectares of titled land within Taal Volcano Island, is preparing a management plan that will gradually develop this property as a nature conservancy area. Among the components of this plan is a living laboratory of ecological and diversity conservation for local students and researchers.
The Taal Volcano Island Conservancy Science Expedition will be led by Dr Lillian Rodriguez of the UP Terrestrial Research of Ecology and Evolution Laboratory (TREE Lab); Dr Mario Aurelio, Director of the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS); Dr Alexander Young, Professorial Fellow of the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (IESM); and UST College of Science Dean Dr Rey Donne Papa.
The participating scientists have been involved in various research efforts covering conservation ecology, wildlife biology, insect conservation and diversity, Philippine mollusks, freshwater pollution, human genome project, and the discovery of the Philippine Rise or Benham Rise.
In particular, the UST Freshwater Biology scientists have been working with Taal Lake communities over the past couple of decades on studying and monitoring the condition of lake waters. – Rappler.com