ICLEI-ACCCRN ‘small grant’ projects launched in the Philippines
Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan (right) and Mr. Jose Mabulay of the Eastern Visayas Network of NGOs and POs address the local media at the launch of the project, ‘A Resilient and Resilience-Enhancing Danggit Farming’ on January 30 at the Catbalogan City Hall.

Two projects financed by the ICLEI-Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Engagement Building Small Grants Fund, provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, were recently launched in the cities of Baguio and Catbalogan, Philippines, as part of resilience-building efforts in ACCCRN project cities.

The project, ‘Engaging Communities and the City Government in Addressing Water Security, Sanitation, and Urban Resilience Challenges in Baguio City’ by the University of the Philippines (UP) Baguio Educational Foundation was launched on December 11, 2015 at the UP Baguio campus before representatives of the Baguio City Government, pilot barangays, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS), and UP Baguio Chancellor Dr. Raymundo Rovillos.

The project was based on the Foundation’s findings from a recently-concluded project funded by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) on the over-extraction of water, which points out the need for Baguio City to pay greater attention to ecological and institutional resilience. The focus of the project is the propagation of community- and city-centric initiatives on water security, including the promotion of water harvesting and water purification practices, improving implementation of water quality and sanitation standards, and strengthening the regulation of water extraction activities in Baguio City.

Meanwhile, the project ‘A Resilient and Resilience-Enhancing Danggit Farming’ by the Eastern Visayas Network of NGOs and POs (EVnet), in collaboration with the Catbalogan Local Government Unit and the Samar State University (SSU) Outreach Program, was launched on January 30 at the Catbalogan City Hall in a ceremony led by Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan and EVnet representative Mr. Jose Mabulay.

Mayor Tan noted that the project is a ‘big opportunity’ for the city’s fisherfolk to enhance the production of danggit, a popular food fish in the Philippines, of market quality “and at the same time less likely to be affected by extreme environmental events.” The project ties together with the city’s larger program of moving from fish hunting to fish farming, and with Mayor Tan’s goal of making ‘every aspect of the city’ adaptive or resilient to environmental and climatic changes.

The launch was also attended by City Councilors Ernesto Arcales, Beethoven Bermejo, and Renante Aquino, Dr. Rene Diokton of the SSU Outreach Program, and local media.

The ICLEI-ACCCRN Engagement Building Small Grants Fund seeks to “encourage the formation of genuine and sustained partnerships between the cities and key external stakeholders” by supporting specific stakeholder engagement activities or small innovative projects to test the feasibility of resilience-building strategies. In addition to these first two projects, the Fund shall support four to six more projects endorsed by ACCCRN project cities in the Philippines and Indonesia this year.

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