Sustainable Business for Low-Income Communities in the Watershed

Today I went around with some of the leaders of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board – Technical Working Group (TAWMB-TWG).  Our mission, to pick-up the Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP) in half of the bioregion along with any other environmental data and management plans that would fit in either this or the next stage of

'Making Wealth from Waste!'

the inventory.  Of course things never go so straight-forward as just going to the municipal halls, saying – hey! where’s those docs I was asking for? – and than just bounce out.  This process is coated with story-telling, meeting people, randomly being asked to give awkward speeches in front of crowds, and touring sights.

Today’s trip was really cool in that there was a common theme in these side-trips – sustainable businesses for low-income communities.  The first being a program facilitated by the Environment and Natural Resource Office of the Municipality of Pavia where disadvantaged citizens are recycling discarded textiles into really cool goods.  Another project is being facilitated by a civic-group in the Municipality of Maasin and is being suppervized by the Region 6 Department of Environment and Natural Resources where people are learning how to take fallen banana leaves and instead of letting them go to waste they turn it into twine.

The MENRO (Municipal Environment and Natural Resource Officer) and leaders from the TAWMB-TWG discussing Pavia's program to include the elderly, handicapped, and other disadvantaged citizens to make new materials out from discarded textiles.

Pier One? Nope, citizens of Pavia!

coin purses and cell phone slips 

This was waiting for us when we arrived at the citizen group in Maasin - a big pile of banana leaf fiber!

Leader of civic group, KAPAWA, and TAWMB member, talks about the importance of the work being done by the sessions students and now potential banana twine producers

DENR officers, KAPAWA director, and myself after our awesome speeches / my incredibly awkward ramblings

after a lot of elbow grease and 'riti-riti' here is the end result of today's session - banana twine!

It was a fascinating day that ended with a journal full of stories of communities pulling themselves into stable jobs while sustaining the health of the watershed and five thick stacks of Comprehensive Land Use Plans.  Time to hit the books!


About GBC

I am a student at the Clinton School of Public Service, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, where I am earning my Masters degree in public service, focusing on environmental urban planning administration. This summer I am working with the Canadian Urban Institute's Urban Partnership Program (UPP) Philippines in Iloilo, which brings us to the purpose of this blog - to expand on the adventures and lessons from my life and work with CUI here in the Philippines. I am also interested in building social bridges between the divisions of social class, gender and sexuality, developed and developing nations, and civic, government, and corporate bodies. I am also a lover of espresso, microbrews, public parks, books, travel via CouchSurfing, languages, and meeting new people. On that note, please feel free to message me if the content of this blog perks your interest. Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear from you soon!
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One Response to Sustainable Business for Low-Income Communities in the Watershed

  1. Ruth Cooper says:

    Banana fibers, interesting. Will we see some things that are being produced at Ten Thousand Villages?

    Link for your speeches on CUI TV via YouTube?

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