USAID/Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program - Communications and Capacity Building of Two Sites
Haribon began work in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) which holds the country’s largest primary forest area, located in Isabela province, & Naujan Lake National Park (NLNP) which holds the country’s 5th largest lake, located in Oriental Mindoro. Haribon conducted communication and capacity building activities in these two target sites.
The key driver in this project was to “teach the teachers” and empower community youth to take the lead in conservation actions. The youth took the name “Eco-Rangers” while the teachers were coined “Eco-Guardians”.
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29 teachers from 8 municipalities in the province of Isabela in NSMNP were mobilized while 28 students were mentored as they led conservation efforts in their communities. Teachers also crafted lesson plans that incorporated threatened species living nearby, such as the Philippine Eagle, Humpback whale, and the Isabela Oriole.
Meanwhile in NLNP, 26 teachers mobilized communities in 4 municipalities while 27 students were mentored as they engaged in conservation actions with their peers. Teachers there continue to give biodiversity education on the Critically Endangered Mindoro bleeding-heart pigeon and Black-hooded coucal, as well as the Vulnerable Philippine Duck (locally known as Papan), among many other species that live in the area.
By the end of the project, a total of 107 conservation activities had taken place, all initiated by the newly-trained Eco-Guardians and Eco-Rangers. Actions ranged from tree plantings to biodiversity symposia, clean-up drives to scientific studies.
By increasing a community’s understanding of biodiversity and their links to health and wealth, it minimizes destructive actions and encourages them to take part in conservation actions. With an astonishing 99% of threatened species at risk due to human activities, everyone from government to the community must be involved.
A total of 7,911 people participated in tree plantings, clean-ups, awareness raising activities and more. To help magnify their work and raise further awareness in both areas, local media professionals and students were trained by Haribon. 43 journalists, media students, and other professionals partook in special biodiversity trainings, encouraging them to produce more stories or features in their respective protected areas.
To conserve biodiversity in forest areas, reduce forest degradation in targeted watersheds, build capacity to improve natural resource management and contribute in the reduction of disaster risks at the subnational level.
USAID/Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program
April 2014 to March 2015
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