Davao’s ‘Lunhaw Awards’ for the environment opens

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 Jan) – Dabawenyos who advocate for environment-friendly practices are encouraged to join the 4th Lunhaw Awards that “recognizes more exemplary environmental initiatives” by the people who heed the environmental policies implemented in Davao City.

In a statement, Interface Development Interventions, Inc. (IDIS) executive director Ann Fuentes said that she is hoping to receive more entries on the rainwater catchment systems (RCS) initiatives of the residents, communities, schools or businesses this year.

“Since 2013, the city government has implemented a number of new environmental ordinances like the Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance which mandates the construction of rainwater catchment systems (RCS) for new buildings and residences. This year, we hope to recognize successful and best practices of RCS initiatives in residences, communities, schools or business establishments,” she said.

IDIS is co-organizer of Lunhaw Awards along with the City Agriculturist’s Office (CAO), the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO), the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS), and the Davao City Water District (DCWD).

Fuentes added the RCS allows households and establishments re-use the water for domestic or industrial purposes.

“Even the simplest RCS can go a long way towards reducing our human footprint on the environment. Every small initiative that we take in protecting our environment is in fact a larger step towards realizing our collective dream for a Greener and Sustainable Davao City for our children and future generations,” she added.

“The Lunhaw Award is open to individuals, peoples organizations, schools, small and medium-sized enterprises, and civil society groups in Davao City. Entries will be selected along the following thematic categories: Energy & Water Conservation, Marine Resource Management, Green Building & Urban Greening, Forest-based initiatives, Pollution Control, Organic Agriculture and Environmental Education/Advocacy,” the statement read.

The criteria for judging will be 25 percent for environmental benefits, 20 percent for economic benefits, 20 percent for sustainability, 15 percent for replicability, 15 percent for innovation, and five percent for the number of years of existence/practice.

The deadline for submission of entries will be on February 19, 2016 while the winners will be announced during the Araw ng Dabaw celebration in March 2016.

Among the winners of Lunhaw include Jojo Rom (2012) under Organic Agriculture category, Ric Obenza (2015) under Forest-based initiatives category, and Noel Batario (2015) under Energy and Water Conservation Category.

Rom was recognized for his efforts to mainstream and democratize organic urban container gardening as a strategy for food security

Batario, who is an electrician, was recognized for efforts as an advocate for renewable energy. His eco-friendly house is equipped with full solar-powered lighting system.

Obenza, who is a long-time environmental steward, plants seeds on a daily basis and teaches communities about reforestation. He continues his advocacy to regenerate endemic and indigenous biodiversity.