It is now generally agreed that we need to change our ways of thinking and doing things especially in regard to the exploitation of our natural wealth.
Whereas in the past we thought and acted as if our renewable natural resources were unlimited, now we realize that it is not so, and we have to make changes in our attitudes and behavior if we are to provide for our own needs and those of the coming generations.
It is also realized by many that while the conditions of these resources should be monitored at certain times by natural scientists, the effort to suggest the necessary adjustments in thought and action should be made by social scientists and economists.
Our research and extension work in coastal, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems since the 1980s have adhered to this integrated and holistic approach or framework of theory and action.
Whatever has been achieved successfully, thus far, in the protection and management of natural resources and biodiversity in central Philippines may be attributed in large part to this guiding framework.
These are the times when this approach is most needed to prevent our natural environments from total ecological collapse.
The challenge for natural and social scientists and practitioners to work together is more urgently felt today than ever before.
Consider the interesting findings of a recent survey on the attitudes of 465 fishers in six coastal towns facing the South China Sea as reported by R.N. Muallil et al. (2011). The study asked the fishers if they will quit fishing to allow the depleted fisheries to recover through time, if given financial incentives.
The results showed that 50 percent of the 465 fishers said they will continue fishing even if the catch is 0.5 kg/day (per trip), an equivalent to