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  • Managing Environmental Risks: Community Participatory Governance

    The PA3i Cebu Chapter’s thrust of promoting well-being is primarily anchored to risk management. Among the risks that have been identified are those generated to and from the environment. These risks have been found to particularly exist and persist in Binaliw, a mountain barangay in Cebu City. This situation provided the impetus for the Collaborative Intervention Project of the PA3i Cebu Chapter and Barangay Binaliw, Cebu City with the end of mainstreaming effective leadership through community participatory governance.

    A situational assessment of the locale reveals that most of the residents of Barangay Binaliw make a living out of utilisation of environmental resources such as subsistence farming, felling of trees for lumber and the legal or illegal quarrying of sand and gravel. It has been found that there continues to be a non-optimised use of agricultural spaces for the production of fruit and vegetable products. Non-sustainable resource utilisation also result to soil erosion and aggravate environmental hazards such as hardwood extinction, destruction of water sheds and the pollution and drying up of the river. Moreover, there is a problem with sanitation in the barangay due to a few number of toilets, inappropriate garbage disposal and limited and unsafe drinking water. Accordingly, the confluence of these factors poses serious threats upon the health and well-being of the barangay residents and the environment.

    With the theme “rebuilding local communities for a sustainable environment and development”, the chapter commenced it environmental advocacy on 26 February 2012. In particular, the chapter initiated a meeting with the barangay officials in view of the need to mitigate risks to and from the locale’s environment. In line with the proposed community nature park, consultations were undertaken for local residents’ training and documentation with the purpose of conserving endangered plants and bird species.

    This particular chapter project for the barangay has been dubbed as “resource conservation for a sustainable community development: local environmental knowledge and practices” with the end of proposing the Barangay Binaliw Community Intervention Development Model. It shall comprise the following components:

    Environmental advocacy, training and organizing

    This phase is intended to improve water sources, river rehabilitation, planting and growing of local trees and plant species, organize stewards and clean-up drives.

    Health and sanitation projects

    These projects shall include food education, waste management trainings and provision of public and private toilets.

    Poverty alleviation

    This component is aimed at introducing livelihood programs and trainings, improve agricultural production and offer alternative livelihood for men, women and youth.

    The environmental advocacy shall be pursued the chapter by the third week of September 2013. The PA3i Cebu Chapter is currently pursuing the means, particularly in terms of funding, to proceed with the next phases of this project and sustain it.

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