Biological Sciences faculty members Dr. Nikki Heherson Dagamac, Dr. Cecilia Banag-Moran, and Dr. Reuel Bennett are commencing the two-year program entitled Integrated Floristic Assessment (INFLORAS), which will assess the comprehensive floral composition of the vulnerable coastal vegetation in San Fernando City, La Union. The partnership between UST and the San Fernando City government was formalized on May 18, 2021, in an online event that also signified the adoption of the Memorandum of Agreement.
Three program aims to produce an objective and comprehensive assessment of true mangroves, invasive plants, native trees, and protists (myxomycetes and oomycetes). According to Dagamac, who leads the team, the plant-based assessments that they will perform “would help build policy recommendations [for] sustainable resource development for mangroves and its associates, native trees, and protists.” The project may also lead to the crafting of conservation and risk communication plans and the implementation of related strategies by the local government units. Among the communication tools targeted for creation are educational info materials and local seminars.
The team will engage in field work, laboratory work, herbarium work, mapping/modeling, and diversity analysis in order to generate physic-chemical data, sampling protocols, risk perceptions, and economic valuation questionnaires.
The project will officially commence in January 2022 and end in December 2023 and is funded by the National Research Council of the Philippines. Technical support was provided by the CENRO-San Fernando City, La Union.