Results from the 1995 strategic assessment and planning sessions highlighted the need for Haribon to identify and develop its niche in the environmental movement where its identified strengths and expertise can be magnified to provide greater impact in pursuing its vision, mission and goals. Biodiversity conservation, in both terrestrial and seascape ecosystems, will continue to be a major thrust of the organization for the next five years, with particular emphasis in the empowerment and participation of local communities in conservation. As a conservation tool, Integrated Protected Area Management under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) defines the landscape upon which Haribon will design and implement its programs on biodiversity conservation.
The last five years were characterized by model-building activities that resulted in tangible successes in our pilot sites in San Salvador Island and the Mt. Isarog National Park. Both projects were initiated in the early 1990ís during the Debt-for-Nature-Swap Program. These pilot sites owe their successes to strong local organizations with built-in capabilities and commitment in sustainable resource management. The San Salvador Island model on Community-Based Coastal Resource Management was replicated in other sites in Batangas, Pangasinan, and Quezon and has been the subject of visits -- and inspiration -- for fisherfolks yearning for similar changes and benefits in their own coastal environment. While in terrestrial protected area management, the experiences and lessons learned in the Mt. Isarog National Park Conservation Project drew wide interest and provided valuable lessons for NGOs working in protected areas.
In San Salvador Island, Zambales, an island-wide livelihood development program will be designed and implemented beginning 1997 that will provide for the sustainable development of the island. In Pangasinan, community organizing and formation of local organizations will expand beyond the four municipalities in Bolinao to bring the entire Western Lingayen Gulf and its rich marine resources under coastal management. In Mt. Isarog, Camarines Sur, Haribon field staff, in collaboration with the local federation, will organize communities in the remaining 19 municipalities surrounding Mt. Isarog to implement micro-projects to effectively conserve 10,000 hectares of tropical forests. In 1996, a micro-lending program to support small-scale livelihood projects that are compatible with conservation was launched for communities residing in the park. In Jetafe, Bohol, the seahorse project, which initially focused on seahorse research and conservation in 1994, will evolve into a municipal-wide coastal resource management program to address threats to its marine resources. In addressing the cyanide issue, the Aquarium Fish Gatherers Federation of the Philippines, a peoples federation organized by and affiliated with Haribon, will expand its net training activities to Visayas and Mindanao, and organize communities in their respective localities.Thus, as seen from the direction these projects have taken, there is evidence of expanding and disseminating the conservation agenda to a wider area and to a wider audience.
In February, 1996, Haribon developed and implemented an exceptionally rated capability-building program in protected area management for NGO partners of the Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE). A national course on Integrated Coastal Management developed and implemented by Haribon and its partners beginning 1996, will continue to be delivered to coastal managers throughout the regions.
Paralegal methods to enforce environmental laws to protect remaining natural resources and to assert community rights is a key to safeguarding areas of high conservation value through vigilant participation of local groups. The Tanggol-Kalikasan Program is tasked to implement the paralegal training activities (PLTs) for varied audiences - NGOs, Pos and Local government officials - in different provinces to increase awareness and improve enforcement of environmental laws and to assist communities in litigation proceedings. In 1997, Tanggol-Kalikasan will train DENR lawyers on alternative modes in resolving disputes to expedite resolution of cases outside the bureaucratic and red tape-prone court systems. These capability-building programs will be continued and improved upon in the long term.
These capability building efforts will be complemented by those of peoples organizations, organized and formed by Haribon, but are now independent and running projects on their own. For example, the Pederasyon ng Mag-aakwaryum ng Pilipinas (PMP), a federation of aquarium fish gatherers, will continue to provide training courses on alternatives to cyanide use for aquarium fishing using environment-friendly barrier nets to other fishermen in many remote parts of the Philippines. Similar initiatives were undertaken by local organizations in Mt. Isarog and Mabini, Batangas where locally conceived projects have been proposed, funded and undertaken on their own with minimal assistance from Haribon. Hence, we are proud to assert that in our sites, community empowerment has realized its full potential and is being utilized to benefit conservation.
Already, Haribon has provided substantial recommendations in the rules and regulations governing:
In the years ahead, Haribon will continue to be an active player in the NGO movement by participating in discussions pertaining to sustainable development and in issues with wide implications to the environment. Haribon will reach out to sectors that seek substantial participation in the discussions particularly on Agenda 21.
Initiatives by private groups to launch micro-projects on conservation were supported in 1996, and will continue to be encouraged by Haribon. A clam-seeding project initiated by former Haribon members to restock the sea with the endangered giant clams was supported by Haribon in collaboration with other institutions in a successful clam-deployment activity in Anilao, Batangas in November 15, 1996. In a separate activity, volunteer scuba divers and Haribon members assisted the local community in San Teodoro, Batangas in deploying marker buoys for their marine sanctuary in Nov. 24, 1996.
In November 1996, Haribon became a full partner of Birdlife International in signing ceremonies held in Coimbature, India commemorating the death anniversary of world-renowned bird conservationist Salim Ali. Birdwatching activities among members launched in 1985 will be continued to provide the venue for members to foster fellowship and nature appreciation. Birdwatching clubs in different schools will be formed to create local awareness on the state of Philippines birds. Student members will be gathered in Eco-camps to discuss and share ideas, philosophies and insights on the environmental movement.
Haribon chapters are located in the University of the Philippines - Diliman, Manila and Los Banos, Miriam College, Central State University, University of Santo Tomas, Philippine Christian University in Cavite, Mindanao State University - Iligan, and Haribon-Palawan.
|Board of Trustees|
|Dr. Reynaldo M. Lesaca|
|Mr. Edgardo Tongson|
|Atty. Ipat Luna-Severino
|Mr. Albert Salamanca
Science and Research Development
|Membership and Chapter Development||Mr. Albert Dizon
Community Organizing and Development Program