Advancing their goal to champion a green COVID-19 economic recovery, Mayors and business sector fellows from the Bridging Leaders’ Initiative for Climate Resilience (BLICR) Program prepared Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) project designs for their coastal communities and shared these to the public in a live event held via Zoom videoconferencing and broadcast on the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Facebook last April 21.
The BLICR Program is the AIM TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership’s (TEC-BL) pioneering fellowship that seeks to facilitate government and business sector collaboration for climate change solutions and generate sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities. It is supported by the Earth Security, UK through funding from the German government and the TeaM Energy Foundation Inc. (TEFI).
“Finally, after months of leadership development skills building, the fellows are ready to show to you the first iteration of their EbA projects that are all anchored on the Bridging Leadership Framework for sustainable ecosystems development,” AIM TEC-BL Executive Director Prof. Manuel De Vera said in his opening message.
Several fellow groups presented EbA projects that are focused on mangrove conservation and rehabilitation. Pagbilao, Quezon Mayor Shierre Ann Palicpic has partnered with Mr. Max Ventura of Philam Foundation and Ms. Cristina De Leon of Bechtel Corporation to build a Center of Excellence (CENTEX) for Mangrove Conservation where seedlings of the municipality’s 48 mangrove endemic species will be incubated and reproduced for plantation. Both the Barugo, Leyte group (Mayor Ma. Rosario Avestruz and Mr. Wesley Caballa) and the San Roque, Northern Samar group (Mayor Don Abalon and Ms. Camille Buenaventura from San Miguel Foundation) have designed Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation programs that seek to revive mangrove forests from damages caused by the Typhoon Haiyan.
Cagayancillo, Palawan is eyeing for a broader approach in climate change adaptation. Mayor Sergio Tapalla is working together with Ms. Maria Pamela Castro of Pilipinas Shell Foundation in developing a Community-Based Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Program for the island municipality’s nine (9) MPAs covering the Tubbataha Reef. Sipalay City, Negros Occidental Mayor Maria Gina Lizares, on the other hand, is collaborating with Mr. Bonar Laureto of Business for Sustainable Development to establish a Local Conservation Area (LCA) in the coastal city.
Del Carmen, Siargao Islands, Surigao Del Norte is targeting to develop sustainable financing mechanisms for the continuous implementation of its marine conservation programs. Vice Mayor Alfredo Coro II is working together with Ms. Maria Meliza Tuba-Principe of Ayala Corporation for the project called the Blue-Over Development Strategy. On the other side, Bayabas, Surigao Del Sur Mayor Mayor Maria Clarita Limbaro is collaborating with Ms. Janice Dugan of First Gen Corporation and Mr. Ryan Vidanes of RD Foundation for the Greensilient Program that seeks to cultivate aquaculture systems in the municipality’s mangrove forests.
Borongan City, Eastern Samar is taking a slightly different path. Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda is working with Mr. Rofil Sheldon Magto of Globe Telecom for an E-Waste Management Program that will protect the coastal city’s marine resources from water pollution.
“You can see how the Bridging Leadership process is at play. It is great to see how everyone has implemented this framework, and how important that is in ensuring that there is local buy-in to these programs, that all the different needs and views are met,” Dr. Margot Clarvis, PhD, Director of Programmes of the Earth Security, UK said after the end of the presentations.
Ms. Maria Teresa Lopez, Vice President of TEFI, expressed her appreciation of the synergy between the government and business leaders. “It is a dream come true. One of the things that we really look into Bridging Leadership is the environment… This program is not just about environmental protection, but about developing sustainable and vibrant communities as well,” she said in her closing remarks.
The next phase of the Fellowship will a involve a mix of on-site and online workshops for stakeholders within select communities as determined by the program.
For more information about the BLICR Program and other offerings of AIM TEC-BL, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at go.aim.edu/bridgingleadership.