Why JICA is deploying sensors in Laguna Lake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2015 08:11 PM | Updated as of Apr 22 2015 04:11 AM

MANILA – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has deployed sensors in Laguna Lake to monitor the lake's water quality and address issues of lake conservation and management.

JICA said the sensors will help collect data on the lake’s water current, water levels, salinity, water temperature, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a and turbidity, among others.

Seven monitoring instruments are being used as part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Monitoring System (CCMS) provided by the Japanese government.

The CCMS is part of the 5-year research cooperation between Japanese and Filipino scientists called Integrated Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management (CECAM).

“By working with LGUs, and Japanese and Filipino experts, JICA hopes that we will have common solutions based on scientific research to sustain the Philippines’ natural resources and coastal environment,” said JICA Philippines senior representative Takahiro Morita.

CECAM has identified Laguna Lake as one of the pilot sites being studied due to the natural and human activities affecting its biodiversity condition.

According to studies, pollution is one of the threats affecting the condition of the lake. The lake’s poor water quality was also found to be caused by unsustainable aquaculture practices, and discharges from nearby polluted creeks and rivers.

“Scientists believe that the first step to address the lake’s sustainability is to determine the causes and sources of pollution. Through the CCMS, scientific evidence-based analysis and policy recommendations could be generated and proposed to local policymakers,” said Morita.

CECAM scientists also provided training to staff of the Laguna Lake and Development Authority (LLDA) in utilizing the data collected through the monitoring instruments.

The CECAM project promotes the integration of the science community in policymaking through the introduction of science-based technologies and techniques in addressing coastal environment issues.

It is part of the “Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development” (SATREPS), which was established by JICA and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). It aims to address global issues through international research by Japanese researchers collaborating with their counterparts in developing countries.