The Coron Initiative, towards sustainable Coron and Calamianes islands
Foreword. Coron, Palawan, Philippines (site of The Coron Initiative– UNEP APFED Sustainable Tourismshowcase program) welcomes visitors back on its way to recovery after the Typhoon Haiyan devastation. Linking Green Resconstruction for Sustainability & Resilience, restoration, protection and tourism while helping boost the grassroots cultural and natural heritage. Book with Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours or Coron Ecotours, our ground tour operator in Coron.
It was providential that I met Al Linsangan III, an Environmental photographer by passion and ecotourism operator by profession, Executive Director of the Coron & Calamianes Cultural Conservation Networks Inc., our lead NGO Advocate for The Coron Initiative, working towards sustainable Coron in the next millennium.
Soon after graduating from his Economics course, in what the Westerns would call their “gap year”, Al took off from his home town, Coron to venture across on the island next door of the same name and lived in the ancestral domain of the indigenous cultural communities of the Tagbanuas, immersing himself in its primitive living culture while wandering in its natural wonders. From then on, Al trained and worked his way to become Coron, Palawan’s Eco expert in the truest sense.
Trailblazing training. His training through the years boasts of a broad reach of Ecological awareness and Geotourism know-how: from Bird watching basics to Reef assessment course, from Environmental interpretation to Project Learning Tree & Water Education for Teachers (WET) workshops. To further his knowledge on the geological and environmental character of his native region, he trained in a Fisheries management & assessment workshop, under the USAID-F.I.S.H. project and the Sustainable environment management program for Northern Palawan. In the field of tourism, his groundwork is rock solid: a Product development workshop, Tour guide training, and Hotel and restaurant services, management and consultancy as well as his employment with environmental NGOs, natural parks & wildlife management, a cruise/dive company, among others.
To promote his hometown natural specialties and splendor, he took a Basic and Advanced Photography course, while doing actual research literally on the road about the local arts and crafts, criss-crossing his province. All these, plus various workshops in management, leadership, paralegal, emergency first response, solid and ecological waste management, as well as internship in a natural protected area management, Al has practically learned and earned veritable and valuable credentials as an innovative and trailblazing Conservation connoisseur.
Eco Entrepreneur. With all these up his sleeve and hard earned capital in his pocket, he set out to establish several creative and authentic SME operations, to include Coron Galeri, an arts and crafts shop and Palawan Outdoors, an adventure specialist and expanded to Calamianes Expeditions and Eco tours, a low-priced full serviced tours utilizing the local service groups such as tour guides, boat men, restaurants and caterers, his Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. He then sat as President of Calamianes Association of Tourism Establishment in 2008-2009. Aside from these, he set up the Calamianes Conservation & Cultural Networks Inc. (CCCN), an NGO that took part in the restoration and establishment of the Siete Pecados Marine Park, a coral reef sanctuary and the Calamian Geographic Society (a group of outdoor oriented youths supporting the programs of CCCN, Tribu Calamianen, a Palawan indigenous cultural music group (see, I told you he looked like a band member!), Calamian Planet Online Internet Café and ultimately Al3 Studios.
His current focus is on Environmental photography and videography (no pun intended) where he dramatically depicts images of people, arts & culture, underwater, landscapes, events, cultural and historical heritage, most were featured in brochures, calendars, magazines and coffee table books while some were award winning.
Now more than ever, Al has a new challenge in the Ecological call of duty, establishing The Coron Initiative©, a vanguard Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism model for Northern Palawan, with a comprehensive coverage to surpass all so-called paradigm of ecotourism practices.
The Coron Initiative by the Calamianes Conservation & Cultural Networks Inc. (CCCN) headed by Al Linsangan as Executive Director, will be working with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue Asia, Sustainable Beach Management.
Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for communities and destinations include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management with UNEP’s GPA Manila Declaration, DENR’s Integrated Coastal Management Program & Coral Triangle Initiative guidelines. Educational programs are customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general.
CLEAN BLUE ASIA is the new industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009 – the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.
For more info visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.
All photos of Coron are courtesy of Al3 Photography & Videography