January 2009

Volume 5 Number 1, First Quarter 2000

By H. Marcos C. Mordeno, M. Easterluna S. Canoy, Roy S. Magbanua


All projects and programs meant for the welfare of society in general, or of certain groups and communities in particular, whether by government or private institutions, start with a vision. Such vision may be attained, in whole or in part, within a project’s lifetime especially if the desired outcome is tangible and measurable in quantitative terms. In other cases, it is realized beyond the project term as may be gleaned from a qualitative change in people’s values, attitudes, and even in their overall situation as a result of this change. In many instances, the vision fails.

In Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP), the Conservation of Priority Protected Areas Project (CPPAP) envisions to strengthen protected area management by enhancing the role of various stakeholders. This finds expression in the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), a multi-sectoral body which is mandated by the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act to manage the PA with technical guidance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The PAMB, in turn, seeks to broaden the management regime by drawing the participation of non-member entities and other stakeholders in formulating and implementing plans and policies–academe, government and private institutions, law enforcerment agencies, and local communities within the PA.

Comparatively speaking, the local communities play a most crucial role among the stakeholders. Given their proximity to the PA and their critical dependence on the resources therein, their response could spell the difference.

The CPPAP addressesn this reality through the non-destructive livelihood activities (NDLA), which rest on the principle of balancing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. These endeavors are meant to uplift the socio-economic conditions of local communities in order to mitigate human pressure on the PA.

At present, there are 76 ongoing NDLA projects in the buffer zone sitios of MKRNP. These projects are receiving grant assistance. Its implementation is of critical import because the CPPAP ends in 2001. Hence, the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN) undertook initiatives so that its community beneficiaries could avail of the support program due them as PA occupants and primary stakeholders of MKRNP.

The ongoing NDLA projects were preceded in 1997 by pre-livelihood trials, albeit with limited scope and funding. The trials provided KIN with valuable experiences and lessons in designing methodologies and interventions.

The Social, Economic and Cultural Profile of MKRNP

Household size. There are 451 households of actual occupants in the buffer zone of Mt. Kitanglad. These have a total of 2,512 members or an average of 5.57 members per household. The average household size may reflect the average household size in most rural areas of the Philippines. There is a general trend though toward a medium-sized household due to economic difficulties, e.g. scarcity of resources like arable land.

Age distribution. The mean age of the actual occupants is only 19.6 years old. The main reason for this very low average is the high frequencies of ages less than 4 years old (19.2 percent) and ages five to nine years old (18.2 percent). These data suggest a high fertility rate among the actual occupants in the buffer zone. Ages of adults have low frequencies suggesting high mortality rate and short life span.

Ethnic composition. More than half (60.1 percent) of the actual occupants identified themselves as Talaandig and 23.5 percent said they are Higaonon. Only 7.7 percent claimed that they are Bukidnon. Immigrants comprised less than nine percent of the occupants.

It was difficult to identify the ethnicity of children. Most of them are of mixed parentage. Thus they are considered to have a mixed ethnicity.

Educational attainment. The buffer zone occupants have an average of 2.7 elementary education. This average is consistent with the frequency distribution of their formal education. The majority of school-aged occupants (66.6 percent) only have elementary education. In fact, a substantial number of school-aged occupants (28.5 percent) have high scool (4.4 percent), vocational (.3 percent) and four-year college (.2) education.

The date do not mean that the buffer zone occupants are not educated. Anthropological studies show that IPs and other rural occupants are very knowledgeable about their immediate environment. Anthropologists often suggest, in fact, that any development programs should be anchored on what the local people know, what they consider important, and what they consider as their needs and priorities.

Size of cultivated farm lot. The average size of farm lot cultivated by the actual occupants is 1.6 hectares. But 45 percent cultivated less than one hectare of land, while 36.6 cultivated one to two hectares. The small sizes of cultivation indicate that most buffer zone occupants are subsistence farmers. They grow primarily root crops, corn, coffee, fruit trees, spices, sugarcan and abaca. A small number grow rice, tobacco and coconut.

Water Sources. Only .4 percent of the occupants get drinking water from water faucets. The rest derive it from rivers (24.8 percent), streams (20.6 percent), springs (11.8 percent), deep wells (4.4 percent) and flowing creeks (2 percent)

Schools. A big majority or 81.6 percent of the occupants said there are no schools in their area. Only 7.3 percent said they have elementary schools and 11.1 percent said there are nursery of preparatory schools. There are no high schools, which explains in part the virtual absence of teenagers in the buffer zone communities.

Health services. Health services are almost non-existent, with 95.6 percent of the occupants saying there is no health center in their area. Those who said there is did not mention health personnel or supplies.


The CPPAP is a seven-year biodiversity conservation project which has a budget of US$20 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is administed by the World Bank (WB). The implementation of CPPAP strengthens the mandate of the NIPAS Law. Its major aims are: to protect 10 areas of high biodiversity; improve DENR PA management capabilities; incorporate local communities in the PA management structure; confirm the tenure of indigenous cultural communities and tenured migrants; establish a permanent mechanism for PA management and development; and develop sustainable forms of livelihood consistent with biodiversity conservation.

At the national level, the CPPAP is implemented under the supervision of the IPAS Project Coordinating Unit composed of staff from the DENR’s Protected Areas and Widllife Bureau (PAWB) and NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas (NIPA).

In MKRNP, the project is jointly undertaken by the DENR’s Protected Area Superintendent’s Office (PASu) and KIN.

The CPPAP has the following components:

1. PA Planning and Management. This includes organizing and mobilizing a critical mass of PA residents for effective and sustained participation in PA management, strengthening PAMB, and PIU staff in each site, community-oriented PA management plan preparation, PA gazetting and development of a sustainable PA fund system.

2. Biodiversity Conservation. This includes patrolling and apprehension and prosecution work by the PA staff with the communities, operationalizing a biodiversity monitoring system, construction and installation of basic infrastructure and equipment, information, education and communication in support of protection work, boundary delineation and demarcation,  resource assessment and rehabilitation activities.

3. Tenurial Security Improvement. This includes tenurial surveys, documentation and processing of ancestral domain claims, issuance of tenurial instruments, and IEC activities to enhance care and stewardship of the PA by tenurial instrument holders.

4. Livelihood Systems Development. This includes setting up capital savings and mobilization schemes for organized PA residents, provision of livelihood funds (grant and loan) to support the formulation and implementation of NDLAs; strengthening of recovery systems for loan funds; IEC and training to support livelihood development.

Livelihood Program Implementation

The Livelihood Framework. The two main goals of CPPAP are biodiversity conservation and sustainable development enjoyed by PA inhabitants. This is consistent with the NIPAS Act which safeguards the rights of indigenous peoples and tenured migrants. Hence, the project seeks to reconcile the livelihood interests of local communities with site protection and rehabilitation work. The provision of grants and loans for so-called alternative livelihood is seen as a way to wean them away from their dependence on forest resource extraction.

The fund allocated for livelihood is managed by NIPA and subject to the guidelines set by the Integrated Protected Area Fund-Governing Board (IPAF-GB). Loans and sub-grants will be extended for such projects as agroforestry, handicrafts, processing, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. These projects must generate non-degrading sources of livelihood and be self-sustaining since it aims to promote ecologically viable livelihood activities.

The implementation of livelihood program comes after “social preparation”, i.e. strengthening the people’s capability to manage their own projects. Primarily the role of the Host NGO (KIN), this phase entails a combination of organizing, human resource development, skills trainings and other activities necessary to foster cohesion and sense of responsibility among people’s organizations in the site.

The approval of the NDLA Guidelines in mid-1998 gave the green light for the start of livelihood projects. The communities in MKRNP though already had high expectations when KIN formally started its operations in 1996. This was due to the manner with which other agencies disseminated information on the role of the Host NGO. There was some difficulty in correcting the impression of the communities and explaining the need for social preparation. Moreover, local officials were eager to see livelihood in place for their constituents. This is apart from the long delay in coming up with the Guidelines.


The implementation of livelihood projects in MKRNP followed two strategies, namely: 1] pre-livelihood trials which took off in the last quarter of 1996 and winded up in September 1998 and are ongoing:

The Pre-Livelihood Trials

The pre-livelihood trials netted the following observations and lessons:

1. Community recognition of the harmful effects of inorganic farming on one hand, and the long-term benefits of organic farming on the other.

2. The prospect of receiving livelihood funds encouraged the people to organize themselves. However, only 50-60 percent of the original members remained active due to various reasons, e.g. accessibility of project sites, economic hardships, and other priorities.

3. Majority perception of the project as a collective responsibility thereby enhancing unity and cooperation as manifested in the pahina system or communal free labor.

4. Over-reliance on external institutions, such as KIN, affecting decisionmaking.

5. Assistance should go beyond the provision of capital. Establishing market linkages and outlets is a must.

6. Backward farming is the rule rather than the exception in the communities. They lack technology, draught animals and farm implements.

7. Communities view the livelihood project as the only alternative to their critical dependence on forest resources.

8. There is a need to develop local leaders who can handle decisionmaking and conflicts.

9. The project enhanced community interaction and participation.


In 1998, the WB approved the NDLA Guidelines. It set the following criteria for the availment of funds:

1. Location of the project is consistent with PA zoning regulations.

2. Project does not increase the extraction of natural resources.

3. Project does not displace or compete with biodiversity in the PA.

4. Project does not cause pollution.

5. Project does not open access to destructive activities.

Beneficiaries of the livelihood project must be registered PA occupants who are listed in the Census and Registration of MKRNP Occupants. Residents of adjacent barangays may qualify if KIN and the PASu endorse their organization. Other NGOs may also be considered if their proposed projects directly involve the PA communities as co-operators.

Issues and Concerns Affecting NDLA Implementation

On the Absence of Marketing Assistance and Support Logistics. A major flaw of the NDLA scheme is that it focuses only on production. There is hardly any mention of the establishment of market linkages and support logistics. Considering the nature of the projects (mostly producing perishable crops), this should have been a built-in component. As things stand, the communities would be left on their own during harvest.

Thus, KIN came up with marketing support plan (trading post operations) which will have a dry-run from August to December 2000, although it is programmed for implementation until at least December 2001. It aims to sustain the production investments of NDLA products in MKRNP by market stimulation of PA products through long- and medium-term support. This support is geared toward:

1. Instituting a system of marketing channels responsive to MK products

2. Providing an outlet for PA-NDLA products in Cagayan de Oro City, it being the region’s local demand center

3. Providing marketing assistance through market linkage and market information system to ensure that PA beneficiaries would have better deals for their surplus products

4. Training and exposure of PA-NDLA beneficiaries in the intricacies of marketing from post-harvest technologies, e.g. product transporting, classification and sorting, packaging, storage and selling operations

5. Setting up of a product database for integrated forecasting and production programming

The plan will use the following strategies:

1. Operationalize a market outlet and satellite office for market information

2. Link with a successful enterprise cooperative like FICCO owing to its credible track record in micro-credit, cooperative banking, marketing assistance, consumer servicing and cooperative building

3. Provision of adequate personnel and equipment (vehicle, logistics and communication facilities) for the trading post

4. “Market Development and Linkage Fund” as buffer for payment dues from POs. This is equivalent to at least 25 percent of the value of PO products for sale. Upon obtaining full payment of products sold, KIN can advise POs to deposit at least five to fifteen percent of their net profit in order to encourage the value of savings mobilization. Said fund can also be used by the Livelihood Team for their market linkage endeavors.

Responding to this need necessarily entails additional operational budget for the Host NGO.

On Community Organizing. At the start of KIN operations in MKRNP in 1996, the Host NGO only had seven community organizers covering 28 barangays and 47 sitios. In 1997, only five COs were left after two of them resigned. The few COs left had to be spread thinly across a wide area, making it difficult, if not impossible, to create an impact.

The goal of organizing work is to build community’s acceptance of and capability to manage envisioned projects and programs. This can be achieved if organizers practically live with the people, sharing and experiencing their daily woes and joys. It is through immersion that organizers get to understand the dynamics would prove useful to any  development interventions.

Still, even if there had been enough COs or the COs had focused on selected areas there was another vacuum to fill: the absence of an organizing framework suited to situations and complexities of the PAs.

Most, if not all, Philippine NGOs have had remarkable experiences in community organizing in the context of agrarian reform and other social issues. None, however, could boast of vast experiences in organizing work in the context of PA management and biodiversity conservation.

This handicap was compounded by the fact that PA occupants already had high expectations of the livelihood project even before the Host NGO came into the picture. To a certain degree, this preempted the organizing process because the target beneficiaries prematurely set their sight on when they could access the funds. The education component, the foundation for successful development projects, almost became an afterthought with more focus given on technical aspects.

In MKRNP, the Host NGO addressed this concern by firming up an IP- or culture-based organizing strategy. The strategy focuses on reviving and strengthening the cultural integrity of the local communities so as to mobilize them for the protection of MKRNP. This requires interrelated activities which include identification of genuine tribal experts, community mapping, promoting awareness on environment and biodiversity conservation, and recognition of the tenurial rights of indigenous occupants and tenured migrants.

However, it remains to be seen if the workability of this strategy as applied to protection work, would extent to socio-economic projects.

On Expectations. There was no leveling off of expectations with the POs, communities, PAMB and local government units so as to set realistic targets. There hardly was an evaluation of the POs’ organizational and technical capability to handle projects. Their level of skills, the appropriateness of introducing new technologies and cultural dimensions should have been considered.

Again it all boils down to the haphazard organizing process resulting from the absence of a clear framework from the national level down to the site level.

On Site Realities. Livelihood projects alone are not a sufficient response to the problem of rural impoverishment especially in a setting like MKRNP where grinding poverty manifests itself in the people’s critical dependence on forest resources, exacerbated by the absence of social services and support infrastructure, low literacy level, cultural disintegration and absence of tenurial security.

As such, livelihood should only be one component of an integrated package of services. It must be pointed out that the Host NGO is incapable of providing a comprehensive set of assistance because it lacks the human and material resources to do so. No single organization or agency can offer such assistance. Given the complexities and magnitude of the people’s problems, the best option is to pool together the resources and expertise of other groups. They can be tapped to invest in literacy, health and gender programs, for example, to complement the community’s economic endeavors.

An integrated program such as this needs huge financial requirements. However, external donors are not keen on investing in programs that have no direct economic returns. Most, if not all, funding agencies are biased toward concrete projects and not on integrated development programs.

The livelihood program of CPPAP itself fails to take into account the need for an integrated approach. With this shortcoming it would come as no surprise if the livelihood fund, no matter how big or small, fails to achieve its purpose.

It might help to ask if the framers of the NDLA Guidelines knew exactly the situation in the sites. Looking at the Guidelines gives the impression that it is a product of a corporate-oriented mind, concerned solely with procedures, technicalities and prospects of returns. In effect, the Guidelines have become a burden on the part of the beneficiaries instead of becoming a rational response to their situation.

On the Framework of the NDLA Guidelines. The good news was that the approval of the Livelihood Fund Guidelines meant POs could start processing projects for approval. The bad news was that, far from facilitating access to the Livelihood Fund, it caused enormous difficulties on the part of the beneficiaries.

The difficulties can be attributed to the Guidelines’ erroneous framework. Its framers put the cart before the horse by obliging beneficiaries to adapt to the Guidelines instead of formulating one that is attuned to site realities. They ignored the fact that the project deals with subsistence level communities who have had no experiences in complying with many formal requisites, such as accomplishing formal documents (grants, agreements, local policies and a resolution for signatories of their bank accounts) and doing bank transactions. The difficulties are pronounced among MKRNP’s IPs who comprise at least 90 percent of the PA’s populace.

In MKRNP, observance by the POs of the Guidelines notwithstanding, problems still cropped up. These were delayed releases of funds, climatic shifts, organizational and financial management capabilities, cultural factors, and those that stemmed from sheer unfamiliarity with the procedures involved.

Apparently, the Guidelines have in mind POs with a good track record in managing socio-economic projects. There is no explicit statement on this is said document. However, it is implied in the following requisites for POs that wish to avail of loans: credit worthiness, prospect of return of investments, savings mobilization experiences, and project, organizational and financial management capacities.

The Guidelines have similarly caused retail financing institutions to shy away from participating in the livelihood scheme. Stringent Land Bank accreditation requirements, high interest rates, and doubts on the ability of the POs to succeed in their projects production and marketing wise are among the reasons cited.

It looks like the livelihood program has become a purely economic venture with its emphasis of bringing local communities to a market economy even if no transitory measures are instituted to help them adapt to the new environ. With the introduction of the concept of joint ventures, where capitalists may invest, the further marginalization of PA communities is a forgone conclusion.

On the Disregard of the People’s Equity. As if the foregoing impositions are not enough, some “experts” at the national level view the NDLA’s grant component as a doleout. Here is concrete proof of the Guidelines’ or the or the experts’ bias toward a corporatist trend for CPPAP’s livelihood project. When the project winds up in 2001, the NDLA scheme’s success shall be measured in terms of its economic viability, i.e. how much accrues to lending institutions and the IPAF.

This view disregards the non-monetary, yet equally significant contributions of the communities. These are their demonstrated willingness to participate in site protection and rehabilitation work.

PA residents, individually or as members of the Kitanglad Guard Volunteers (KGV), a group of voluntary forest protection officers, have been active in patrolling and monitoring of illegal activities. During the 1997-98 El Nino phenomenon they took the lead in suppressing 79 forest fires that occurred inside and around MKRNP. They are also active in implementing anti-biopiracy measures, as well as, in guarding the park against visitors who have no permits.

On the other hand, the Council of Elders reinforces park management by applying customary law in dealing with violators especially if they are local residents. The offenders would be made to undergo ritual and sign an agreement to refrain from committing future violations, and rehabilitate areas which they destroy. The ritual, witnessed by the entire community, serves as a scarlet letter that could discourage would-be violators.

The more stubborn ones would be reported to the PASu/DENR for their appropriate action.

In recognition of these initiatives, the editorial of the July-December 1999 issue of Kitanglad Updates points out:

“…It’s no longer a question of whether the expectant beneficiaries deserve a slice of the cake. Like dutiful kids, to be consistent with out metaphors, they have done their home chores with little prodding from their elders by actively participating in site protection and rehabilitation work. The long-term impact of their contribution including the personal risks they’re taking, if given a monetary equivalent, might even exceed the amount that they would get from the livelihood fund. What’s a few thousand pesos compared to the intrisic value of a forest preserved or a denuded area restored through community efforts?

“As such, it would be the height of insensitivity to say that loosening up the guidelines on livelihood would engender a doleout mentality among beneficiaries. Some even said that the grant component itself is already a doleout. And how should we view the communities’ contribution to site protection and rehabilitation? Does it not deserve to be considered their equity to the whole project?

“It is disheartening that everything has to be done according to the whims of ‘experts’. The values of human labor for the sake of biodiversity conservation has been neglected. Isn’t it unfair to tell the PA occupants to sacrifice without giving them anything–even just crumbs–in return?

“The project is not only about forests and wildlife. It’s also about people. It’s not only about preserving ecosystems. It’s also about caring for people who should benefit therefrom.”


Volume 10 Number 1, First Quarter 2008

By H. Marcos C. Mordeno


This article attempts to gather some insights on ecotourism, in particular the contentious issues that have cropped up in relation to theory and actual practice. It proceeds from the framework that ecotourism is one potential area of investment whose larger benefits should accrue to the local communities in that, in the final analysis, they absorb the direct weight of hosting an industry that may exact adverse, long-term social costs. As such, it takes a critical view of state- or corporate-run ecotourism ventures for the simple reason that they have, for the most part, failed to live up to expectations.

To be fair, it could be that the shortcomings have resulted from a lack of introspection on what ecotourism should be. Aside from the change in name there has been no significant departure from the practices of conventional tourism. Profit remains the main obsession of government and corporate investors in ecotourism. The problem, however, is not profit per se but the overwhelming tendency to maximize it to the detriment of an area’s ecology and the welfare of local communities.

Local communities, on the other hand, bear the brunt of the negative impacts of ecotourism. Among these are environmental hazards and degradation, poorly implemented or nonexistent regulations, threats to indigenous cultures and displacement.

These realities spell doom for ecologically important areas which, ironically, ecotourism seeks to sustain, if not enhance. Hence, the need to implement community-based ecotourism, or a kind of ecotourism wherein the local community maintains full or major control over the project and the profits or benefits derived from it. The approach calls for community development and participation of the marginalized groups instead of regional or national development.

In a nutshell, therefore, ecotourism requires, at the minimum, [a] ecosystem conservation and [b] livelihood for local communities the sustainability of which rests on setting a balance between the two elements. Too much of conservation will deprive the people of sufficient economic benefits and force them to eventually use up the resource to make a living. Similarly, too much of livelihood will put a strain on the ecosystem and cause the disappearance of valuable species.

Problems with definition

Ecotourism is generally defined as a form of tourism that strives to minimize ecological or other damage to areas visited for their natural or cultural interest. It involves travel to destinations where biodiversity and cultural heritage are the primary attractions.

But while this definition sounds harmless the problem lies in the fact that different sectors have different interpretations on how it should be implemented. Environmentalists, corporations and governments view the same thing from divergent planes. The latter two simply append the prefix “eco” but continue doing activities that are environmentally destructive, economically exploitative, and culturally insensitive.

Some critics would call this “greenwashing”, a trend towards the “commercialization of tourism schemes disguised as sustainable, nature based, and environmentally friendly ecotourism.” This explains the emergence of such terms as nature tourism, low impact tourism, green tourism, bio-tourism, ecologically responsible tourism. These are used as marketing ploys for ventures that do not necessarily amount to ecotourism. If the erroneous labeling has achieved anything, it is the realization of profits by hoodwinking tourists into believing that they are patronizing things that benefit the environment.

In other words, nothing is basically new except for the admission that tourism is expected to result in some form of damage. And as the above definition suggests, damage is not only ecological. It could also be social and cultural (impact on local values and community life). What is new is that tourism has joined the environmental bandwagon by attaching the prefix “eco”.

Responsible ecotourism

Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.

Ideally, it should satisfy several criteria, such as conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection, sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities, minimal impact on the environment, and local culture, flora and fauna as the main attractions.

Meeting these standards would contribute to conservation not just in the ecotourism sites but also in other areas, as well-meaning tourists or visitors would likely try to ingrain in their own places the good ideas they have learned from their visits.

Mitigating the impact of tourism

The solution is not to do away with ecotourism altogether but to implement controls and restrictions, among others, so as to at least mitigate its adverse effects. For a start, the following measures are suggested:

  1. regulations and penalties for violations – e.g., waste disposal, number of visitors at a given time and space, checklist of prohibited acts (similar to those imposed in protected areas)
  2. environmental awareness for visitors/tourists
  3. enlisting local community support with clear, substantial benefits for them

Any program that does away with local people’s support is doomed to fail especially if it displaces them, which is the usual case. Discontent cause by the absence of a quid pro quo beneficial to the people results in environmental degradation, as the lack of livelihoods will force them to deplete the resources. This phenomenon explains the continuing degradation of the uplands and other resource base areas.

Moreover, the presence of ecotourists may even lead to worse forms of exploitation. For example, in Siargao Islands, a protected landscape and seascape in Surigao del Norte, residents have resorted to hunting the endangered marine turtle for sale to Japanese tourists who believe that its meat is a source of aphrodisiac.

Benefits for local communities: how much for what?

There are various ways through which host communities may be benefited by ecotourism projects. The benefits could either be direct or indirect. In most cases, the local people are able to get some benefits through indirect means in the form of trickledown opportunities – employment as porters and guides, sale of homegrown products, and other attendant gains. In this kind of arrangement, however, the amount of benefits the communities would get highly depends on the concessions the ecotourism operators (government or private) are willing to give.

This happens since most ecotourism ventures are owned or controlled by foreign investors and corporations. Local communities get but a few benefits while the super-profits line the pockets of investors instead of going to the local economy or environmental protection. Given the nature of the market being catered to and the usual services rendered by the industry, it is only able to employ a few local people who receive low wages.

Hence the ideal setup is one that enables the communities to reap direct benefits. This requires allowing them to have a wider control over a project. Control in this sense means the power over planning, management and other aspects.

It should be stressed that benefits are not only economic in nature. These could also mean the intangibles such as promotion of people’s culture or cultural significance of certain areas. Furthermore, allowing communities to manage ecotourism projects preempts conflicts over land use and profits and serve as incentive for local participation in biodiversity conservation.

On the other hand, the role of local governments in this setup is to provide technical and material assistance and come up with ordinances in support to ecotourism such as those pertaining to waste management, sanitation measures, zoning and the kind of infrastructures that may be allowed.