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Managing Local Plastic Pollution, Tools and Lessons from the ASEANO Project

Lined with beautiful, swaying trees, the Imus River gives life to a community in Cavite. Millions of Asian villages are situated along similar rivers and streams

The ASEAN-Norwegian Cooperation Project on Local Capacity Building for Reducing Plastic Pollution in the ASEAN Region (ASEANO Project) is a regional capacity building project. The pilot site in the Philippines was the Imus River Basin in Cavite, which is one of the major tributaries of Manila Bay.

Funded by the Government of Norway, Project ASEANO is led by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Indonesia in close collaboration with the PEMSEA Resource Facility and ASEAN Secretariat under the purview of the endorsing ASEAN sectoral body, the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME).

The Imus River Watershed is one of six river systems located in the Philippine province of Cavite, south of Manila.

The main goal of the ASEANO project is to build capacity to tackle plastic pollution from key sources in the ASEAN region through improved knowledge on sources, releases, transport, plus the ultimate fate of plastic pollution. The project promotes the development of sound and sustainable measures to reduce the impacts of plastic pollution and their implications on socioeconomic development and the environment. It focuses on the local level, with the Philippines’ Imus River and Indonesia’s Citarum River as its two Southeast Asian project sites.

The results of the project will be synthesized into knowledge products (LGU toolkit, policy best practices handbook, monitoring tools and technologies for plastics management, etc.) that can be used as a reference by local governments across the ASEAN region with similar priority management concerns.

Please have fun with our interactive map to understand the challenges and solutions needed to clean up Asia’s rivers.

Parts of the Imus River in Cavite are still in relatively good condition, with ample vegetation and aquatic life. Shown is a lush upland riverscape in Silang, where fish and small crabs still abound.

It flows into Manila Bay, a known pollution hotspot. Rivers like it often act as major pathways to transport waste, particularly non-biodegradable plastics. Most of the land-based waste which enters rivers inevitably end up in the ocean.

The watershed is comprised of 36 main river segments and 56 perennial or permanent streams with a total length of 186.15 kilometers. Its total drainage area spans 11,259.80 hectares. A a total of 222 barangay communities are fully or partially situated within the boundaries of the watershed, which as of 2015 hosted at least 1,351,057 people.

Its elevation ranges from zero to 655 meters above sea level, dividing it into three sub-watersheds, each with its own unique characteristics.

The river system begins in the cooler upland area covering parts of Silang, Amadeo and Tagaytay. A central hilly area covers parts of Imus, Bacoor and the majority of communities in Dasmariñas and Silang. Near the humid coastline are lowland portions covering parts of Kawit, Imus and Bacoor.

Normal mean temperatures ranged from 26.20°C to 28.53°C, while average total annual rainfall ranged from 2,265.69 mm to 2,483.05 mm. The average water flow during wet season was 1,601.84 liters per second, while the average water flow during dry season was 1,337.42 liters per second. 90.67% of Cavite, the province hosting the Imus River,  is classified as alienable and disposable land, divided into production land (55.24%) and built-up areas (44.76%).

For more detailed and technical information, please check out MAPS and PUBLICATIONS.

Written by Village Connect

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