Linking mangrove conservation with sustainable livelihood
As part of its continuing efforts to provide livelihood opportunities, the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) conducted a coastal assessment in the municipalities of Roxas and San Vicente, Palawan on January 7-9, 2020 to explore possible projects for the fisherfolk communities.
Led by Roberto Ballon, a fisherfolk leader known for building sustainable livelihood for coastal communities in Zamboanga Sibugay, PEF and local partner Palawan Center for Appropriate Technology (PCART) met with different fisherfolk organizations and scoped the mangrove forests within the area where a variety of fish such lapu-lapu, stonefish, maya-maya, and tanigue, lobsters, crabs, and octopus can be caught.
Based on the team’s assessment, Ballon recommended equipping the fisherfolks with knowledge on mangrove conservation and fishery policies and providing technical assistance in setting-up appropriate aquaculture production.
According to PEF Program Officer Alfred Escaño, there should be more support for production as the area is already gifted with abundant marine resources.
"Market is also large and accessible. If fisherfolks can utilize their area for aquaculture production and sell it to establishments in tourist areas, they can improve their income significantly," he said.
PEF is part of the convergence initiative of four funding organizations for a project to protect the environment and provide livelihood opportunities for the people in Palawan.
PEF, together with the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc., handles the social enterprise component of the project, while the Foundation for the Philippine Environment and Forest Foundation Philippines support the environmental protection efforts of partner communities.