Seacology Awards ₱ 1.725M Grant for the Anayan-Rumangrap Watershed Conservation Project

Mr. Marcelo shared the works and advocacies of Seacology as well as the importance of a strengthened community in ensuring sustainable management and protection of natural resources and threatened ecosystems.

The CFC members together with Seacology Field Representative Ferdinand C. Marcelo (seated, center) and the MNWD representatives headed by BOD Chairman Jorge T. Palma (seated, 4th from left) during the consultation session held last March 23, 2019.

On June 12, 2019, Field Representative Ferdinand C. Marcelo announced the grant approval of Seacology for the Anayan-Rumangrap Watershed Conservation project. In a recent update, the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) has now received the first installment amounting to $23,198 or approximately ₱1,207,500.00 to initialize the implementation of the project.

The said amount will be utilized to fund the livelihood development particularly, the capitalization of micro enterprises, natural farming system, and construction of the shared service facility necessary for the common use of business-related activities by the members of the Conservation Farming Community (CFC), in exchange for the protection and maintenance of the 317 hectares Anayan-Rumangrap Watershed.

(1) Seacology is a non-profit organization that works to preserve both island habitats and cultures by exchanging services for local assistance and cooperation with conservation efforts. Their head office is in Berkeley, California, with networks working as part-time field representatives around the world. Seacology have affiliates in England, Germany, Japan, and Sweden and their network of field representatives stretches across the globe.

Some of the projects that Seacology has helped in the Philippines includes Tingloy Municipality in Batangas, construction of Nature Conservation Center for the protection of a 50-acre marine area; Lobo Municipality also in Batangas, installation of Solar-powered visitors center, guest huts, and gear for ecotourism initiative for the protection of 118 acres of forest for 10 years and support of three fish reserves with 78 acres in total; and the Manamoc Island in Sulu Sea, construction of the Multipurpose Community Center for the protection of 272-acre Caseledan Lagoon for 25 years.

In light of the grant received for the Anayan-Rumangrap Watershed Conservation Project, CFC members are given the capitalization to sustain their livelihood, become self-sufficient families, and more financially confident communities, thereby, supporting the ultimate goal of the project that is, the maintenance and protection of the Anayan-Rumangrap watershed through the commitment of the recipient communities while improving their environmental ethics and economic well-being.

As defined in the proposal through the efforts of the Engineering and Environment Department (EED), the CFC shall be the MNWD’s partner in the watershed protection through responsible and sustainable farming and business practices including effective information dissemination with all the potential visitors of the area. They shall sustainably manage the capital awarded to them from Seacology to generate income until their economic status improve, worthy of replicating in other areas and communities around the Mt. Isarog Natural Park (MINP).

Apart from the support of Seacology, MNWD as the lead agency and proponent of this project, will be the overall in-charge in the implementation of the project ensuring proper and timely disbursement of funds according to the development phases; identification and screening of recipients; coordination with other agencies involved; monitoring of developments; and management of sustainable efforts towards watershed protection.

Specifically, MNWD shall coordinate with other partner agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the academe. Said agencies will be instrumental in the capacity-building of the CFC members. Trainings will involve Tourist Reception and Guiding Techniques, Financial Literacy Training/Micro Enterprise Management, and Mentoring, Natural Farming, Organic Agriculture and Agroforestry.

This multi-party collaboration by and among MNWD, Seacology, and the CFC sought to bring the ultimate good for our environment and the watersheds. MNWD has come a long way in this battle to protect our water resources and ensure abundance of water for future generations as first seen in the effective implementation of the Integrated Watershed Management Plan. However, the challenge is still there confronting us and reminding everyone how serious this matter has become.

Water is life. No matter how cliché it may sound, the truth remains that we cannot live without water. The Anayan-Rumangrap Watershed Conservation Project is another endeavour showing us that solutions to water issues can no longer be resolved single-handedly. The formula is all about collaboration and collective effort from various sectors, agencies, and the community. (Auria S. Gonzales)

Source: (1)