Denise Margaret Matias

Research themes
  • Land use and food security
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Sustainable use of biological resources
Research countries
  • Philippines
Professional experience

2012: TMP Systems (formerly The Munden Project)

2012: REDD+ Safeguards Technical Working Group, Conservation International Philippines

2010-11: International Climate Policy Team, Germanwatch via Alexander von Humboldt Foundation International Climate Protection Fellowship

2010: Emergency Response Team, Handicap International Philippines

2008-09: The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman

2006-13: Sub-Terra, Gaia Exploration Club

2006: Direct Dialogue and Climate Campaigns, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

2005: Department of Biology, Ateneo de Manila University


2012: MSc Environmental Sciences and Policy (Central European University, Hungary)

2010: Graduate Diploma Environmental Science (University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines)

2005: BS Biology (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines)

Thesis title

Assessing the decline of wild honey production in Palawan, Philippines

Thesis abstract

Wild and managed honey bee populations are declining in large parts of the world such as in the US and Europe. Protected forest areas in the Philippines are no exception. According to indigenous Tagbanua wild honey hunters interviewed in the first quarter of 2013, there is also a decline in wild honey bee population in their area of Aborlan in Palawan. This is worrying, as wild honey gathering is an important part of their livelihood as well as their culture. The proposed research would like to explore whether there are dramatic changes in wild honey production in Aborlan, Palawan and how these come about using the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) framework which looks at the ecological and socio-economic aspects of wild honey production. A transdisciplinary approach has allowed the research design to incorporate hypotheses from local stakeholders, such as wild honey hunters and non-government organizations such as the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) working in the area. They believe that a changing climate is causing the decline or there is a cycle of three years before the target species (Apis dorsata) produce copious amounts of honey. Additionally, NTFP-EP considers an increasing demand for honey as creating a false impression that supply is in the decline. The research proponent also deems pests and pathogens as a probable cause of the decline. Mixed methods of bee and honey sampling, field surveys, key informant interviews, participant observation, and spatial analysis will be used. Through the SES framework, it is expected that several interacting drivers are causing the decline of wild honey production in the area.

Cooperation partners

Nagkakaisang mga Tribu ng Palawan (NATRIPAL), Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia (NTFP-EP), and the Philippine Forest Honey Network (PFHN)

Supervisors of
doctoral work
Advisor at ZEF


Matias, Denise Margaret and Mosuela, Cleovi. 2016. International migration opportunities as post-disaster humanitarian intervention. Further Information


Matias, Denise Margaret. 2015. Local adaptation to climate change: a case study among the indigenous Palaw’ans in the Philippines. In: Filho, Walter Leal (eds.): Climate change in the Asia-­Pacific region. Springer International Publishing. 173 -­ 187. Further Information
Mosuela, Cleovi and Matias, Denise Margaret. 2015. The role of a priori cross-border migration after extreme climate events: the case of the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. In: Hillmann, Felicitas; Pahl, Marie; Rafflenbeul, Birte and Sterly, Harald (eds.): Environmental change, adaptation and migration: bringing in the region. Palgrave Macmillan. 98 - 116. Further Information


Matias, Denise Margaret and Tabangay, Jeanne. 2014. The role of conservation agreements in disaster risk reduction: the case of Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) in the Philippines. In: Murti, Radhika and Buyck, Camille (eds.): Safe havens: protected areas for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 104 - 115. (Open Acess) Further Information
Mosuela, Cleovi and Matias, Denise Margaret. 2014. The role of a priori cross-border migration after extreme climate events: The case of the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. Further Information


Alforte, Andrea, Matias, Denise, Munden, Lou and Perron, Jennifer. 2013. Financing sustainable agriculture and mitigation: Smallholders and the Landscape Fund. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Copenhagen, Denmark. Further Information
Matias, Denise Margaret. 2013. Electric public transport in Puerto Princesa City: Enabling factors for institutionalizing low-carbon transport. In: Muga, Helen E. and Thomas, Ken D. (eds.): Cases on the diffusion and adoption of sustainable development practices. IGI Global. pp. 287-311. Further Information


Matias, Denise Margaret. 2012. Assessing adaptive capacity of indigenous Palaw’ans in Mount Mantalingahan, Palawan, Philippines. MSc thesis, Central European University. Further Information


Matias, Denise Margaret. 2011. Low-carbon development in Southeast Asia: energy perspectives for Denpasar, Indonesia and Puerto Princesa, Philippines. Germanwatch. Bonn, Germany. Further Information

Denise Margaret Matias

Junior Researcher