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Conservation and Biodiversity Program

Rationale and Objectives

Philippine laws concerning biodiversity conservation are one of the most progressive in the world. However, there is a need to assess the policy impact of biodiversity and whether biodiversity policy meets principles of ecological integrity and sustainability, and whether outcomes are realized. This will inform the country to take on its international obligations in biodiversity conservation to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals 13,14 and 15.

As biodiversity is essential in providing the sustainable base for agriculture and fisheries and its strategic dimensions, three foci of policy research in this program include assessing 1) the nexus between fisheries, aquaculture, and environmental sustainability, 2) the effectivity of protected areas governance and ecological outcomes in the context of resiliency in global anthropogenic climate change and, 3) Policy and strategic dimensions in marine science research (MSR). These areas have all relevance to food, environment, and national security

The program framework is under the postnormal science paradigm which is what the International Science Council (ISC) and the International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA) promote.

Focal Research Areas

01 Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Food Security 

This area will focus on assessing outcomes of fisheries policy on food security informed by scientific evidence on climate and environmental changes, economic prospects, social change, and gender issues. A suggested area is to relate aquaculture and fisheries innovation and how this impacts coastal nutrition profiles, geographies, logistics, disaster risk reduction, fisheries stock management, economics, ecological risks such as biological invasion, and the issue of genetically modified fish (GM FISH).

02 Effectiveness of protected areas in the context of resiliency in environmental change

This area will focus on assessing the impact of protected areas policies and legislation on impacts such as on financial sustainability of protected areas, ecological and biodiversity outcomes, community stakeholder participation, employment, and small and medium enterprise investment in communities that host protected areas.

03 Strategic policy dimensions of marine science research

This area focuses on the nexus between geopolitics and marine science research in the context of national priorities in developing the Blue Economy and transboundary issues. This area highlights the role of governmental science advice, non-governmental marine environment advocacy, and science diplomacy. The role of defense-related and sponsored research in informing public policy is an area that needs to be explored here. For national defense and security, the doctrine of technologically superior knowledge-gathering and storage platforms is key for securing national interests in territorial waters and the EEZ.


At least three policy papers will be published in the second half of 2024 at the earliest.


The Team

Benjamin M. Vallejo, Ph.D.

Professor, Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology
College of Science, University of the Philippines Diliman