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Environmental Summit


AQ Programs on Environmental Protection and Management

 

ANDUYOG IN THE 21 CENTURY ABAKA REHABILITATION PROJECT

Status: Continuing

A six-year integrated abaka rehabilitation project designed to rehabilitate and re-establish 300 hectares of disease-free abaka farms in priority areas in Albay, promote sustainable farming systems and encourage cooperativism and entrepreneurship among farmer-cooperators. It aims to increase incomes, improve the employment situation and quality of life of abaka farmers and farm workers, promote equity among industry actors and help revitalize the abaka industry in the region.

As of April 2007, the project has benefited 101 families covering 196 hectares of the total target located in 10 barangays in the municipalities of Tiwi, Malinao, Tabaco, Polangui and Manito, in Albay.

 

AUL INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT TO MULTI-SECTORAL ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE MINING

Status: Continuing

Community education and advocacy and capacity building for affected communities’ self-defense on the ill-effects of large-scale, open pit mining, and promotion of community-based initiatives for sound resource management and alternative, sustainable development.

 

RAPU-RAPU WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT AND MICRO HYDRO PROJECT

Status: Continuing

A community-based natural resource management and renewable energy project in the island municipality of Rapu-Rapu, Albay assisted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)and the United Kingdom Embassy in partnership with the community organization Sagip Isla, Sta. Florentina Parish, and Sibat, a national science and technology Non-Government Organization (NGO). The project demonstrates one of the many development alternatives to mining in the fragile ecosystem of the island municipalty.

 

JOVELLAR RAMPUMP WATER PROJECT

Status: Ongoing

With support from the US Peace Corps and other NGOs, Aquinas University of Legazpi brings potable water to households in Jovellar, Albay through the use of alternative technologies (eg., rampump, ferrocement tank) that do not use fuel, thus making no damage to the environment.

 

FISHERIES RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECT

Status: Completed

A completed collaborative project with the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources implemented from October 2003 to July 2005 in the area of community organizing, livelihood development, natural resource enhancement, fishery laws enforcement, program mainstreaming in LGUs, linkaging and resource mobilization.

 

LIKAS YAMAN, KABUHAYAN PROJECT (Coastal Resource Management Project)

Status: Continuing

Location: Bolo, Baybay (Corangon CARE, MFARMC)

It is an ongoing Coastal Resource Management project. It supports the UNDP-funded CRM project. It serves as a platform for the Tiwi Eco-Tourism Program. It was conceptualized to help alleviate the status of living of the fisherfolk-volunteers who serve as stewards of the marine resources of the municipality and improve the state of the environment, particularly the coastal marine zone of the barangays of Bolo and Baybay, Tiwi, Albay The fund provided to implement the project was a grant from the UNDP after winning the Panibagong Paraan 2006. Other stakeholders such as CGPHI, AECI and BFAR provide additional resources. The project currently implements the rehabilitation of the mangrove areas, establishment of the fish sanctuary and marine reserve, capacity building for fisherfolk volunteers and increased awareness and advocacies on coastal resource management.

The staff as the NGO grantee and the former FRMP contracted NGO serves as the key implementor of the project. They utilize the staffs’ expertise in the realization of the project. Other entities such as the US Peace Corps support the implementation of the project.

 

PROVINCIAL WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Status: Completed

A collaborative water resources and development and management project of the Albay Provincial Government and Aquinas University in partnership with other local government units and stakeholders. The water situation assessment report was being prepared when successive calamities struck last year, radically altering the province’s water situation and prompting all stakeholders to shift to relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Complementary to such efforts, Aquinas University, in partnership with US Peace Corps Volunteers and other NGOs promoted and initiated the production and use of Biosand water filters in schools, workplaces, households, and communities for safe, affordable and simple way of ensuring potable water.

 

ENHANCEMENT OF SEAWEEDS AND PANCIT TIWI PRODUCTION

Status: Ongoing

Location: Bolo, Baybay (Corangon CARE, MFARMC)

The project was conceptualized to address the increasing occurrences of illegal fishing in the municipal waters destroying the reefs around the Corangon Shoal despite the enactment of a Municipal Ordinance protecting the shoal. The fisherfolk volunteers organized to enforce fishery laws were inactive due to the absence of an income that could augment to their living.

The project provides alternative livelihood for MFARMC/FLET, Bantay Dagat Volunteers and fisherfolk members who are involved in guarding the Corangon Shoal. It also involves other fisherfolks in the lower coastal barangays of Tiwi and seeks to complement the new funds generated by CGPHI-LGU Team from Agencia Espanola Cooperacion Internacional and the United Nations Development Programme.

The engagement is a community based small scale seaweed production aimed to help increase the income and income opportunities of the 36 fisherfolk volunteers and decrease fish pressure on marine resources. The produce dried seaweeds serves as raw materials in the production of the Tiwi Seaweed Pansit, a women organization which is largely composed of the wives of the fisherfolk volunteers.

On another hand, the provision of improved packaging material for the seaweed pansit is yet another concern of the project. The growing production of the enterprise is expected to hit wider market, even export only if the product had been provided with an attractive and informative packaging material. Assistance from the DOST and the BCARRD were sought to realize the matter.

On the duration of the conceptualization to implementation, the staffs have been extending assistance on the conduct of study, equipment upgrading, marketing, monitoring and evaluation and other concerns.

 

INTEGRATED COCONUT PROCESSING CENTER (ICPC)

Status: Continuing

A community-based social enterprise for job creation and income augmentation of small coconut farmers and farm workers through the projects’ initial component of processing of coconut husk, regarded for so long as an agricultural waste, into soil bio-engineering materials and functional fiber crafts.

The processing plant, located in Banquerohan, Legazpi City, has a capacity of 10,000 husks or 1.2 metric tons of fiber per day. The successive typhoons last year hit the project in the midst of test runs. The operations have now been relocated to Bolos, Irosin, Sorsogon where coconut trees were only slightly affected by the typhoons Milenyo and Reming.

 

COCOBIND INTEGRATED COCOFIBER PROCESSING CENTER

Status: Continuing

Another community-based social enterprise which converts coconut husk into soil bio-engineering commodities and fiber crafts which have export markets. The Center manufactures geotextile or geonet, which is used in soil rehabilitation. The processing plant, located in Monbon, Irosin, Sorsogon generates jobs for 180 workers per day. The project earned P2.0 Million net in 2006.

 

UPSURGE PROJECT

Legazpi City Community Renewal Project (Anduyog Pagrugaring)

Status: Continuing

Aquinas University of Legazpi is an implementing partner in the The Urban Partnerships for Sustainable Upliftment, Renewal, Governance and Empowerment (UPSURGE) project by the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies, Inc. (PHILSSA) through funding from the World Bank’s Japan Social Development Fund.

The project has an environment conservation component which the University oversees. Aquinas University is responsible for the rehabilitation of the environment at the CARESS relocation site in Purok 5, Sitio Malindang, Buraguis, Legazpi City.

 

ANDUYOG SA LAMBA

Status: Continuing

Aquinas University is an implementing partner of the Anduyog sa Lamba Project in partnership with Heifer International. The project provides livestock and seedlings to an appointed community in Lamba, Legazpi City, which has a component on environment conservation, one of which is mangrove rehabilitation.

 

COCOFIBER TWINING AND WEAVING

Status: Continuing

Aquinas University provides alternative livelihood to some 80 families that burn wood for charcoal, which is now considered illegal, through twining and weaving of coconut fiber in barangays Baybay and Bariis in Tiwi, Albay.

 

SMOKE-FREE CAMPAIGN

Status: Continuing

Since 1997, Aquinas University has institutionalized its advocacy against cigarette smoking. Prior to that, the College of Engineering has been a smoke-free college since 1995. Until now, the two campuses remain smoke-free areas.

 

WASTE SEGREGATION PROGRAM

Status: Continuing

The Waste Segregation Program of the University was started in November 15, 2002 with the aim of making the University a model for waste segregation, to encourage the production and use of organic fertilizer, to provide topics for the University’s researchers, and to provide janitors additional income.

It also aims to provide safe, sanitary and healthy services to students, develop their talents, sense of responsibility, awareness on issues and community problems, leadership, sense of organization and belonging, and awareness of self.

 

AUL CSTP PROGRAMS ON ENVIRONMENT

Status: Continuing

The Aquinas University of Legazpi Anduyog Community Service Training Program (CSTP) has been developed from the National Service Training Program (NSTP) being implemented since 2002. Seeing the potential of the program, the Aquinas University Center for Community Extension Services expanded the concept through the development of the areas of specialization for the students, namely: Disaster Management, Entrepreneurship, Health and Environment, Governance and Culture, and Functional Literacy Numeracy.

During the current semester, some 315 CSTP students cleanup drives in five barangays in Legazpi City, including coastal cleanups as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day in September this year.

 

Climate Change

In the previous years, mankind has experienced their dose of own medicine. Conferences and seminars have been held to tackle the issue. Even politicians are now showing deep concern on looking for possible solutions that would arm the society with the proper knowledge on how to combat this impending challenge. Even scientists have conducted studies and disclosed the harmful consequences of this worldwide phenomenon. The prevailing issue that everyone must be familiar about is the climate change. Today, there is now a growing awareness among people on the different causes and effects of climate change.

Effects of climate change:

Philippines, particularly the Province of Albay, has also experienced the wrath of Mother Nature through the super typhoon “Reming”. Albay has suffered from severe destruction as “Reming” destroyed most of the livelihood of the people as well as their houses. The typhoon also caused thousands of lives, making it one of the worst catastrophes to hit the province. For this, we have to act now to be able to adapt to climate change and lessen the risk by contributing less to the causes. Saving Mother Earth is actually a step to survival. While we are in this together, the younger generation must also be involved so they can have a clear idea in saving the planet. And what better way to teach the youth on the proper information in climate change than in schools.

 

Quick facts on the Lafayette mine tailing spills

The people of Rapu-Rapu lost their income from fishing as well as their food supply from the sea that was once bountiful. On November 6, 2007 they started the first Kampong Bayan in front of the Municipal Hall to condemn Lafayette Mining. Every Wednesday (when the Sangguniang Bayan held regular sessions) thereafter they assembled in front of the Municipal Hall. They asked for action from the municipal government proved useless.

Meanwhile, their second Kampong Bayan was harassed by police. Two of the participants and supporters in the Kampong Bayan on November 14, Mr. Antonio Casitas of Sagip-Isla and Mr. Stephen Prestado of Ateneo de Naga University, were detained.

Answering to the cries of Rapu-Rapu citizens, the Sanggunian Bayan passed a resolution allotting calamity funds for an investigation of the said fishkill. However, the Mayor vetoed the resolution. In this matter, the Mayor can use the reason for his veto what the investigation is supposed to verify. He claimed that the “resolution was done in haste by declaring without any established facts that the alleged fishkill was due to the “unscrupulous and irresponsible disposal of toxic waste from Lafayette Phils. Inc.”

The Mayor further said that the “actual quantity of the dead fish has not been fully confirmed.” The investigation is precisely intended to know the actual quantity of the dead fish. And finally, the Mayor alludes to the “presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”

The Mayor has a point in this issue if the investigation is criminal in nature. In a criminal investigation, when reasonable doubt remains the accused is pronounced innocent. However, investigation to be done in Lafayette Mining is scientific hence the principle to abide by is continuation of the study for as long as doubt remains. The investigation can only be stopped once a definite proof or disproof is established.

Hence the fishkill in Rapu-Rapu requires a scientific investigation. Even Albay Governor Joey Salceda issued a statement regarding the investigation on the fishkill in Rapu-Rapu. On November 7, 2007, he said, “let science prevail.”

On December 5 to 12, 2007, the third Kampong Bayan was staged by Sagip-Isla and UMALPAS KA in front of the Provincial Capitol after marching from the Port of Legazpi. The activity was supported by SARA, BAYAN, SAC and offices of the Governor and Vice-Governor.

Lafayette, DENR, and BFAR have cited the following as caused of the fishkill on October 26 to 29, 2007.

Lafayette and its apologists deny responsibility for the fishkill on the following grounds:



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