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‚Äôs 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


Cost: S$136,536

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