Social-ecological Transitions in a Cattle-based Silvopastoral System in Southern Luzon, Philippines

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Elson Ian Nyl Galang Agricultural Systems Institute, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños 4031, Laguna, Philippines
  • Blesilda Calub
Keywords: social-ecological system, agroforestry, cattle farming, ecosystem services, resilience


Social-ecological transitions in the silvopastoral system of San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas, Philippines were analyzed using land cover trends and community perceptions. A combination of remote sensing processing, randomized survey, and participatory approaches were conducted. Four of six land cover categories (forests/orchards, grasslands, crop fields and water bodies) were identified to be sources of ecosystem services in the landscape which are essential for cattle farming. In 2000, the landscape became an on-farm research site on cattle farming. Coupled with other social factors such as land privatization and infrastructure development, this has reshaped land cover changes over time. In response, cattle farming dynamics, especially during critical dry periods, have adapted through measures such as switching to greater supplementation of commercial feeds. Despite social-ecological transitions, the cattle-based silvopastoral system in the landscape has persisted by exhibiting key principles of resilience such as diversity, connectivity, and feedback management. However, concerns on further impacts of key issues (e.g., land privatization) should be addressed to sustain the cattle-based silvopastoral system in the landscape. This study provides critical insights on how natural resource management by communities and policies by decision makers should carefully consider their potential impacts in sustaining locally important ecosystem services in the face of rapidly transitioning social-ecological systems.