Focused Sector(s): Livelihood, Education
Project: Empowering Communities through Community-based Ecotourism
Date and duration: March 2010 / 12 months
Location: Zambales, Municipality of Candelaria, Barangay Uacon and Barangay Sinabacan
Beneficiaries: 1,192 villagers from 298 households in 2 villages
- Communities and rich resources were threatened by rural development and unsustainable use of resources
- Approximately 70 hectares of old-growth mangroves were cleared and converted to fishponds, which are mostly owned by foreigners.
- There were also cases of untreated water discharge which caused fish kill in certain parts of the lake.
- Clearing of mangroves was causing erosion and threatening settlements
- Unsustainable aquaculture practices were affecting the quality of water from the Uacon Lake
- The community was polluting the lake by discharging untreated water and non-biodegradable materials into it, leading to degradation of the lake
- Livelihoods were threatened
Intervention and Impact
- Formed and trained committees in the village to raise environmental awareness and implement conservation efforts to protect the community’s natural resources
- Trained the faculty and students of a nearby fisheries school on resource monitoring, thereby empowering the community to manage the lake and to independently implement a local ecotourism project
- The lake has been transformed into an ecological park resulting in employment and economic opportunities; the fisheries school acts as a reserve for environmental and ecological education for visitors of the park
- The community has developed a sense of pride towards their environment as well as a source of alternative income
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