SANREM book wins honors in the Philippines

A SANREM CRSP publication, Winning the Water War: Watersheds, Water Policies and Water Institutions, won the Outstanding Book Award for 2007 from the Philippines' National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) at an awards ceremony July 12 in Manila.

The book, co-edited by Agnes C. Rola, Herminia A. Francisco and Jennifer P.T. Liguton, comprises papers presented at the Water Resource Management Policy Forum, sponsored and organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) in August 2002. The aim of the policy conference was to apply results of community-based SANREM research to a national water agenda, thus scaling up the lessons learned, Co-editor Rola said. Four additional papers were solicited after the forum.

According to its foreword, the book addresses serious threats to the Philippines’ water resources from rapid population growth and corresponding increases in water demand for domestic, agricultural, industrial and commercial use. The resulting scarcity, degradation, depletion, waste and mismanagement are elements of the water war. The book espouses winning the war with a watershed-based approach to resource management in an ecosystem setting. The book is being used as a reference on the graduate and undergraduate levels at Los Baños, Rola said, and is being considered for adoption at other universities.

Rola, also a contributing writer for the book, is professor and director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Policy Studies, College of Public Affairs, University of the Philippines, Los Baños. From 1994 to 2004, she served as Principal Investigator for the SANREM CRSP in Southeast Asia.

Co-editor Francisco is deputy director of the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) and an associate professor in the Economics Department at Los Baños. A resource and environment economist, she has experience in soil erosion and conservation forestry, agriculture, watershed and water-supply projects, and economic instruments for natural resource management.

Co-editor Liguton is director for Research Information at PIDS and project director for the series of SANREM-PIDS projects on water resource management. She is also managing editor of the Philippine Journal of Development and editor-in-chief of the Development Research News.

The book was published by PIDS in 2004 with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through SANREM CRSP Southeast Asia. Among its acknowledgments are special thanks to Cristina C. David of PIDS; Ian Coxhead of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and the management and staff of PIDS and PCARRD.