BUSUANGA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) and C3 Philippines are working together to develop a program for a community-led conservation of mangroves and their related resources in barangays Sagrada and Bogtong in Busuanga Municipality, Palawan. The partnership aims to develop a conservation program and at the same time improve the economic condition of the communities.
Realizing the socioeconomic consequences of mangrove degradation, which can range from an increased risk of flooding to the loss of fish stocks for daily living of families living in the area, C3 and PTFCF combined their resources for the project. The project will include the conduct of socioeconomic and habitat evaluations in close collaboration with the local communities. The project also aims to come-up with good and effective management strategies for the mangrove forest of both barangays.
Through the project, PTFCF and C3 hope to help communities in their efforts to protect the environment of Busuanga while helping them find options for sustainable livelihood opportunities.
In the Philippines, mangroves play a critical role in the protection of coastlines from storms erosion and floods. They also purify water and are important feeding and nursery grounds for many fish species. The mangrove ecosystem is a very diverse one and is home to many birds, fish, mammals, crustaceans and other animals.
In a survey of mangrove forests conducted by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) in 2003, it was found that the Sagrada and Bogtong mangrove forests were already in need of serious conservation and restoration efforts. The new mangrove initiative is the latest step forward in C3’s work to conserve the rich biodiversity of Busuanga Island.
The C3 Philippines Field Team recently participated in a series of workshops conducted by the Busuanga Municipality which aimed to consult stakeholders on the priorities of the legislative and executive local government units.
The series of workshops was led by Ms. Leny Escaro of the Department of Interior and Local Governance, and was conducted over a 3-day period from 30-31 July and 10 September 2013.
The workshop aimed to 1) Review and amend Busuanga’s mission-vision statement as needed; 2) Create a 3-year Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA); and 3) Create a 6-year Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP).
The workshop began by assessing the current status of Busuanga Municipality through the standardized Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS) in different areas of concern such as governance, economic services, social services and environmental management. Areas of need were then identified, as well as what their goals for improvement would be. Participants also listed down what projects needed to be done in order to meet these goals, set which projects would be prioritized, created timetables for these projects, and identified persons-in-charge and possible sources of funding.
C3 Philippines was then invited to give feedback on these priorities of the local government for the next 3-6 years. Areas of possible collaboration with the local government were also identified in order to strengthen coordination and Public-Private Partnership.
C3 Madagascar 2009-2013 activity report now available
Depuis 2009, C3 a apporté son expertise sur la conservation des espèces marines en danger et la gestion de l’écosystème en développant plusieurs initiatives de conservation des ressources naturelles dans la région Nord de Madagascar. Par ailleurs, nous avons collaboré au projet régional initié dans l’Océan Indien occidental sur la conservation des espèces en danger (dugongs, tortues et requins).
Des recherches ont été planifiées pour répondre aux besoins de conservation et de gestion des espèces et ressources marines et pour identifier aux besoins de développement des communautés locales dans les zones côtières du Nord-ouest. Plusieurs méthodes ont été utilisées pour étudier ces espèces en danger : interviews, observations directes des zones de nidification des tortues marines et cartographie des habitats et zones d’utilisation des ressources naturelles. Les études socio-économiques, d’exploitation des requins et les stratégies de gestion des ressources naturelles ont été faites grâce à des interviews dans six villages de la Commune de Mangaoka.
Un total de 586 pêcheurs ont participé aux sessions d’interviews sur les espèces en danger durant les deux années de recherches; en plus, 38 ménages ont été impliqués dans les études socio-économiques au Nord-ouest. Les pêcheurs qui ont participé aux études sur les dugongs révèlent une diminution significative du nombre de dugongs durant les années 1990 dans la zone maritime du Nord. Par ailleurs, les communautés suggèrent le besoin d’efforts de conservation du dugong menacé par les pressions anthropiques. Les informations recueillies, particulièrement entre la zone d’Ambilobe et Vohémar montrent l’importance de la région du nord de Madagascar pour les espèces de tortues marines qui y migrent et y nidifient. L’exploitation des tortues marines est très étendue sur la côte Nord-est. Les populations de tortues marines ont augmenté suite à l’interdiction de leur capture dans le Parc marin de Nosy Hara. La surexploitation des requins pour leurs ailerons constitue la raison principale de leur vulnérabilité dans la zone Nord de Madagascar. La valeur économique des requins, en plus d’être une source d’alimentation pour les pêcheurs, est la raison principale de leur capture ciblée.
Reconnaissant que l’éducation peut affecter la perception des communautés locales sur l’environnement et conduire à leur participation à la gestion et à la conservation, C3 a intégré l’aspect éducation, formation et sensibilisation dans son projet. C3 a établi des collaborations de formations avec les institutions nationales Centre National de Recherche Océanographique (CNRO), Madagascar National Parks (MNP) de Nosy Hara et de Sahamalaza et l’Université d’Antsiranana.
L’aire protégée marine et côtière de l’Archipel de Nosy Hara a été mise en place en 2007 pour assurer la gestion durable des ressources naturelles de la zone. L’entière dépendance des communautés locales à ces ressources comme seule source de revenus constitue une menace potentielle pour la biodiversité du parc. Les communautés locales dépendent entièrement de l’élevage, de l’exploitation des ressources marines (concombre de mer, poissons récifaux), et de l’agriculture (riz et maïs) pour subvenir à leurs besoins. C3 met en place un projet de développement qui consiste à intégrer le programme environnemental dans le développement du bien-être humain et la pérennisation financière.
Danica Lopez of C3 Philippines reports on a recent workshop to integrate local communities into the enforcement of regulations against illegal fishing methods on coral reefs such as dynamite fishing in Palawan. C3 Philippines focuses on involving local people in coastal management in the Municipality of Busuanga.
We are working with Dr Joanna Murray of CEFAS UK to investigate ways to make the trade in aquarium fishes on Busuanga more environmentally sustainable while maintaining local livelihoods. Check out this video where we interview the ‘Percula Queen’ of New Busuanga, a very experienced live aquarium fish collector to find out more about this trade and how we can work to reduce its impact on local coral reef communities.
From the palm-lined postcard pretty shores of the tropical isles to the big, bustling city skyscrapers of the second largest city in Sweden, five young Reef Rangers had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Gothenburg City in June this year.
Facilitated by Community Centred Conservation (C3) Fiji and supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme and Kate Stokes Memorial Award, the Reef Rangers are comprised of 70+ youths of Kia Island aged 5-15 years who are part of a programme developed for coastal communities to empower and educate them about the threats facing their natural resources. In this fishing community, sitting on the third longest barrier reef system in the world, human induced threats driven by intense commercial demand and pressures of an exploding population are of great significance. Lessons and activities offered through this programme feature a variety of interactive and engaging learning tools where children are given the opportunity to harness their creativity in a fun and educational way with underlying conservation messages and the overall community benefits in the education and outreach component of the Reef Rangers programme that works to broaden scientific knowledge at the local level and mold attitudinal changes.
Exceptional conservation work and community outreach earned the Reef Rangers international recognition and a spot in the finals of the 2013 United Nations Environment Programme/ Volvo Adventure Awards held annually in Sweden. Selected as one of eight finalists from over 400 applicants worlwide, the Fijian Reef Rangers competed with other youth groups ages 13-16 from the US, UK, Bangalore, Indonesia, Turkey, Peru and Bulgaria for the top three places at the awards. An eye-opening experience for these first time travellers who presented to an international jury and treated to various tours around Gothenburg including a visit to Volvo headquarters and factory and family exchanges. The Fijian youngsters relished the opportunity to interact and build networks with other environmental youth groups from around the world and contribute to statements about the environment and calls to action. The Reef Rangers were the first group from Fiji and the South Pacific to ever be represented at the awards and were placed fourth overall.
As the next generation of stewards; the youth have the greatest potential to change attitudes and behavior of local communities in managing their environment effectively.” John W Whitehead rightly put it “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see” - the Reef Rangers of Kia have proven through their commitment and zeal that they truly are-Guardians of the Great Sea Reef.
Danica Lopez interviews Dr Joanna Murray, a C3 Postdoctoral Fellow in Busuanga and marine ecologist with CEFAS, who is studying sabellid (feather duster) worms and their potential as a source of alternative income for fishing communities on in the municipality. her study sites include the Concepcion Marine reserve, a hotspot of coral reef biodiversity in Palawan.
Welcome to Rey Ramilo - new head of C3 Philippines
I have worked for more than 15 years in the field of community development and environment. Working with communities in the Philippine countryside — farmers, indigenous peoples, fisher folks and others having different cultures, views and languages — is very challenging yet fulfilling for me.
I decided to join C3 carrying the enthusiasm and inspirations of the local communities I worked with. In C3, I found the uniqueness of environmental work with a focus on conservation and community as the center of success in development. This is also a learning experience for me, from upland ecosystems to coastal and marine ecosystems. This is the realization of the landscape approach of development and environmental management.
Whenever there is time, I travel and go out with my family, spend the weekend in farms and parks. Love talking to ordinary people in the streets and markets.
Spreading the word for marine conservation in Macuata
The Reef Rangers is a marine education/outreach programme that aims to improve environmental stewardship through youth education and raising awareness on Kia Island and beyond. The programme targets youths from the ages of 5-15 years who attend the local school on Kia Island, a small isolated island in Northern Fiji surrounded by marine environment of local, regional and global significance being the third largest barrier reef system in the world. The island has three villages and is home to under 300 people with the fishing industry being the number one source of income for over 80% of the local population. Community Centred Conservation (C3) has a field office based in Yaro Village on Kia and has been instrumental in driving marine conservation projects on the island.
With recent generous funding from the Kate Stokes Memorial Award, we have the following activities in the pipeline to spread the Reef Rangers project to other communities in Macuata over the coming months!
Each Conservation Ambassador will be assessed in terms of their current knowledge and their ability to impart that knowledge to the Reef Rangers. The project team will then deliver remedial training to eliminate any shortfalls or gaps in knowledge. We plan to select four Conservation Ambassadors to deliver the training to other communities.
We already have a wide range of activities and materials developed, so we plan to select the most successful of these and provide detailed guidelines and training on their delivery. Activities so far have included: snorkeling sessions, mangrove tree planting, beach cleanups, painting competitions, costume design and classroom sessions.
Using the Reef Rangers toolbox, the Conservation Ambassadors will be responsible for the majority of hands-on training for other communities. We will focus on schoolteachers, because they already have educational skills and can quickly rally their pupils to participate in the Reef Rangers. We will also set up a knowledge exchange system so that each Reef Rangers team can update the others on activities and ideas. Ideally we hope that an annual Reef Rangers jamboree can be arranged.
Bula vinaka and hello friends, my name is Akosita Rokomate and I am from the Fiji Islands which are located in the South Pacific. Fiji is made up of over 300 isles and 90% of teh local population is comprised of coastal communities, reliant heavily on their marine resources for survival. I am currently working with a small, isolated island community in the northern province of Macuata, an island called Kia. On Kia, people depend on fishing as their number one source of income. However, increasing fishing pressure, caused by a number of factors such as commercialisation of the resource, better fishing technology and an increase in population is damaging the marine ecosystem and resulting in lower catches. This has serious implications, not only for the local community’s livelihoods but also for the species diversity in a marine environment of global significance; as Kia island sits on the Great Sea Reef, which is the third largest barrier reef system in the world. Our surveys revealed a lack of knowledge and awareness amongst Kians as a main contributory cause of unsustainable resource use and a lack of compliance with fishing rules and regulations. And so the title: Building Blocks for Youth Empowerment in Marine Conservation in Fiji was born - to improve marine environmental stewardship through youth education and recognizing the vital role they play in addressing these issues. The purpose of this project is to build on themes and concepts already established and develop the capacity of voluntary environment youth groups called the Reef Rangers and Conservation Ambassadors of Kia Island. For the foreseeable future, our team will continue to build the capacity of individuals, explore partnerships and expand the network of youth groups to other communities outside of Kia, ensuring the widespread reach and the sustainability of this work. This approach is preferred becasue it is community-driven, fostering the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the name of marine conservation for generations to come.
This work is funded by the Kate Stokes Memorial Award and Melinda Gray Ardia Foundation