Palawan, Philippines – May 16, 2018 — The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) together with the Provincial Government of Palawan and the Municipal Government of Dumaran conducted a “Community Needs Assessment and Direction Setting” from 24 to 26 April 2018 to support the implementation of the “Palawan Climate Resilient Green Growth Framework”, which was adopted through Provincial Ordinance 1865 and developed in collaboration with the GGGI and the Climate Change Commission under the Climate Resilient Green Growth (CRGG) Planning Project.
This participatory activity was held in the Municipality of Dumaran, a third income class municipality with a poverty incidence of around 50% and home to the thickest mangrove forest cover in Palawan. It involved consultations and workshops which were attended by around 400 fisherfolks, farmers, women, senior citizens and community leaders from Barangays Poblacion, Magsaysay, Danleg and Culasian.
Through the activity, the Municipal Government of Dumaran and the Provincial Government of Palawan successfully engaged in constructive dialogues and collectively determined development challenges and priority interventions which would address these. Done through a structured process, the community members shared their concerns and aspirations in light of climate change impacts; their emerging challenges and opportunities for local growth were also shared. More so, they noted the need to secure coastal areas against storm surges while ensuring that their livelihood, mainly from fishing, remains stable. Hence, the importance of preserving the “Dumaran Mangove Belt” is identified as a priority initiative.
“Families that live by the sea are most prone to storm surges and flooding and I want to ensure their safety while also conserving our vast mangrove areas, which serve as habitat for marine species such as crabs, prawns and fishes and provide livelihood for our people. Through local programs we have re-planted around 25 hectares of mangrove area and I hope that our communities will remain cooperative in preserving this natural resource for their own good and that of the future generation even as the Municipal Government, in partnership with the Palawan Provincial Government and the GGGI, strives to address the other challenges that we face such as poverty, access to basic services and power, and mobility,” said Mayor Medwin Pablico of Dumaran.
The Provincial Government recognizes the importance not only of protecting Dumaran’s mangrove belt but in implementing livelihood programs. “The Provincial Government of Palawan prioritizes inclusive development and poverty alleviation. We have a robust economy – Palawan’s economy grew from 4.2 to 5.6% and it contributes 50% of MIMAROPA’s GDP – but still there are many poor people and pockets of poverty especially in the geographically isolated areas of the province. We want to lift people out of poverty and this is also parallel with the CRGG approach. Our vision for Dumaran is for the municipality to be the ‘Mangrove Capital of Palawan’, where mangroves provide sufficient livelihood and income for coastal dwellers, and the coastal dwellers are stewards of the mangroves,” said Ms. Ninfa Rubio, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator.
Apart from the need to protect its mangrove forests and have livelihood opportunities, access to energy was also identified as key development challenges for Dumaran. “We are committed to help promote access to energy as this empowers people to break from the cycle of poverty. This extends working hours for community-based livelihood; enables children to study at night; and allows communities to remain attuned to local and global developments. Accessible and affordable energy is a key aspect of inclusive growth and we intend to continue working with the Municipality of Dumaran and the Province of Palawan to explore possible solutions such as solar energy, among others,” said Ms. Gilda Garibay, GGGI Provincial Coordinator for Palawan.