23 POs to receive livelihood grants from DENR

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MIndaNews/09 June) — Twenty three people’s organizations based in coastal or fishing communities in Region 12 are set to receive livelihood grants under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) sustainable coral reef ecosystem management program (SCREMP).

Hadja Didaw Piang-Brahim, DENR-12’s regional technical director for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service, said the 23 POs comprise the program’s initial beneficiaries in the region this year with the full rollout of the SCREMP’s sustainable livelihood component.

She said they are currently working on signing separate memorandum of agreements with the beneficiaries to facilitate the release of the livelihood grants.

The forging of the MOAs will formalize the ties between the DENR and the POs once the requirements for the livelihood proposals are properly complied, she said.

SCREMP is a national program for the rehabilitation of coral reef ecosystems through a strategic, sustainable and ecosystems-based approach.

The initiative, which runs until the year 2020, is mainly implemented by the Coastal and Marine Management Office of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (formerly the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau).

Part of the program’s components are sustainable livelihood interventions, which centers on the “identification and development of community-centered, community-driven, practical, sustainable and environmentally friendly livelihood projects directed towards the improvement of the socio-economic welfare of local communities in order to obtain public support in the conservation and protection of the coastal and marine environment.”

“The program mainly aims to uplift the lives of residents in our coastal communities so they can also properly support our conservation and protection for our critical coastal and marine resources,” Brahim said.

She said the livelihood projects proposed by the 23 POs will be implemented in various coastal communities in this city and in the municipalities of Glan, Maasim, Maitum and Alabel in Sarangani Province.

She said two of the beneficiary-organizations are based in this city, eight in Glan, seven in Maasim, four in Maitum and two in Alabel.

The proposed projects include a sari-sari store, mangrove nursery, fish processing, goat raising, poultry raising, sea turtle hatchery, mangrove planting, rice milling operation, buy-and-sell business, rice/fish store, mud crab fattening facility, mobile rice mill and rattan crafts production.

The official said the livelihood ventures underwent final review late last month through the SCREMP’s 11-man regional technical working group.

Brahim said the review focused on the viability of the ventures and the capability of the beneficiaries in terms of sustaining them.

“Our main consideration is to make sure that these projects will have long term impact on people’s lives,” she added. (MindaNews)