Archive for the Agri Tourism Category

Rapha Valley, your health and wellness destiny

Posted in Agri Tourism, Ecotourism, Environment, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Sustainable Living, Travel with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by Sustainability Guru

Rapha Valley Farm, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental

Step back to nature and wellness country in Rapha Valley. Located amidst the unspoiled (well, almost) verdant highlands of Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) in Philippine’s southern province of Negros Occidental, but for some spatter of garish, contrasting houses, visit this organic farm and return home a health and fitness buff! After a few hours of organic plants & garden orientation,  wholesome food talk and tasting with no less than its owners, medical doctor-turned-organic chef health guru, Dr. Albert Jo and wife Marilou (a Pharmacy Degree holder herself) regaling you with stories on toxic, GMO filled crappy cooking, you will swear off all processed and artificially enhanced supermarket and fast food!

 Getting there.It is a smooth, well-paved countryside, 75-minute drive from Bacolod City up to Barangay Kaliskis,  DSB Highway. A few meters past KM 48, you have to turn to an “off-road” drive (about two kilometers) as organic farms should be located away from the main road. Then after some almost interminable minutes wondering if you’ll ever get there, you reach the gate to paradise on this part of the planet!

 Rapha Valley Welcome

Organic Welcome. You will be met with hearty reception by shorts-and- apron clad waiters, with a fresh organic welcome drink along with Citronella infused ice-cold towels. Well thought out detail, especially after a long drive and to ward off mosquitoes. Sit back and soak in the natural beauty and greenery, as you will be offered cordial snacks of Black Rice Cakes with native and organic dips.

 Dr. Albert Jo, Proprietor, Health & Wellness Guru

Crops and herbs. Dr. Jo starts by giving a pre-farm tour talk on the basics of healthy eating as opposed to toxic, GMO-filled and artificially enhanced everyday food we buy from supermarkets, fast food and convenience stores. It was shocking to know that some foods that we eat can be downright horrifyingly deadly. Then we proceed with the personalized tour by Dr. Jo himself, first going down the valley as he points out the different crops, herbs and vegetables that can be grown at such an elevation. He shows, cuts some pieces and lets you smell or taste the different flowers, herbs and crops. Most important of all he explains the nutritional and/or medicinal value of each plant.

Rapha Valley Healthy Cuisine 

The Cuisine is medicine.  As your appetite is whetted up again with all the uphill and downhill exercise, you will be ready to relish the food served directly from their vast garden. This is no pig-out for typical freeloading foodies. This is a real deal, hale and hearty, mostly vegetarian, honey-sweetened (sugar free), low salt, low fat (even fat free) and no MSG gastronomy. At its healthiest & most original locavorism.   One of its culinary “open” secret is that they are cooked in clay pots, the old fashioned way, slow and correctly prepared. Another attention to detail is their menu system for first time visitors and fare choices for second or multi-visiting guests! Scrumptious pesco vegan and vegan choices include Herbs & Flowers Salad with choice of Dressing. We’ll reserve the rest of the gastronomy fare for you to discover!

Rapha Valley Casita 

Your casita in the Valley. Rapha Valley now boasts of simple cottages for an overnight or extended getaway from the city. Log cabin or country style casitas, landscaped for serenity and solitude, your comfy abode overlooks the southern country side and possibly even Guimaras Island across which can be seen on a clear day. The casitas offers you a relaxing space for retreat and repose atop the hinterlands of haciendas and sugarcane plantations!

RaphaValley DSB Repose 

Word of MouthRapha Valley is fast gaining popularity, not only for its scenic, cool location, lush greenery, and organic gardens, but also for its unique nutritious and all natural cuisine. It is an exquisite surprise not only for the senses and palate but also for your well-being!  On the Valley grounds, soak in the organic garden trails winding past water irrigations and humming birds; your Health & Wellness Guru will explain the fascinating unaffected garden ecosystem. Learn old world remedies and discover an all natural pharmacy (take note, the root word is “farm-acy”) within the gardens. What could be more delightful than relishing colorful edible flowers and vibrant pink hibiscus for a refreshing drink?

 Don Salvador Benedicto Waterfalls

Visit DSB nowRest and relax for a serene retreat in DSB or wander off to a nature adventure and exploration, before it’s proliferated with utterly hideous structures of vacation houses with no respect for character or sense of place. In our Sustainable Tourism advocacy for this town, we urge everyone who is going to build or develop a house or lodging facility to maintain the geographical character of the mountainous ecosystems, its natural topography, heritage, aesthetics and culture. By all means, we highly recommend observing our Green Hotels & Zero Carbon Resorts best practices!

Keep DSB green as Rapha Valley does to keep all guests hale and hearty! It’s not only for our good but also for our future generations’!

 For more information and Green Travel tips, visit our Green Travel Exchange. 

 

Green Buying Guide

Posted in Agri Tourism, Coron, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Sustainable Living with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2013 by Sustainability Guru
Tokyo Midtown Champagne Illumination

Tokyo Midtown Champagne Illumination

Note: First published in December 2010, we have updated this blog with some news and great green items! Enjoy!

For a non-Christian country, Japan celebrates Christmas to the max, but not for traditional or religious reasons. Not to mention that most Christmas trees and decor are depressing blue color lights! Singapore inaugurated the Orchard Christmas light up with no less than their President, a national event to herald shopping hoarders.   Ti’s the season of extreme enterprise just like everywhere in the globe. In the Philippines, they put up the Yuletide trimmings as early as September, to bring the holiday cheers early amidst typhoon time. It’s simply a silly spell of trash and bash for profitable purposes. So before your Christmas becomes just a blur of stress and duress, get guided by these holiday eco ethos and lighten your impact to the environment.

eco-friendly-green-gifts

1. Buy green gifts.  Consider eco-friendly and socially-conscious products and think about impact and environment when buying gifts. Remember the environmental effort and message gives more meaning, so look for a green approach for each gift: i.e. organic products, reusable, recyclable and really useful.

2. Reuse, reduce & recycle. Be creative in practicing these principles: reuse gift wrappers, reduce waste, recycle unused gift items and give them off. These 3Rs in gift giving is not only economical but less stressful!

Echo Store Gift Bag

3. Eco shopping bags. Bring your reusable shopping bags when heading out to your gift buying spree this season and avoid plastic bags abound. Check out these ideas from Echo Store, Serendra, Philippines.

Reusable gift box from Echo Store

Reusable gift box from Echo Store

Reusable Gift basket from Echo Store

Reusable Gift basket from Echo Store

4. Shop online. Save fuel and energy. Instead of charging out in traffic and lining up kilometric queues in stores, shop online instead! Items purchased online can be delivered straight to your recipient, so it can also cut down effort in personal delivery and again, fuel in driving around to give those gifts!

Save energy, avoid rush crowds!

5. Cool gift certificates. Instead of buying ordinary gifts, buy something special like a concert ticket, spa certificate, book club or gym trial and the like.  Your friend will think of you as a cool and considerate giver.

Green Gift-GCs

Green Gift-GCs

6. Gift of charity. As a great alternative to buying another picture frame, mug or socks for the person who may not need more of the same, give them the gift of charity, a donation to an environmental project or to any other organization for the needy. Donate to these charities or purchase gift cards in their name- donation for a community devastated by typhoon, solar power for grassroots families,  or reconstruction of a school in ruins, etc. There are so many humanitarian and environmental organizations in need of support where you can contribute, in the name of a friend.

Donate for Green Reconstruction

Donate for Green Reconstruction

7. Christmas cards from recycled paper. Thousands of cards each year are bought every yuletide season. Consider the alternative E-greeting card and if you must, buy Christmas cards from recycled paper. Think Amazon Forest and deforestation before you buy that Christmas card.

Macrame Bags made by Aeta Community

Macrame Bags made by Aeta Community

8. Biodegradable wrappers and bows.  Use recycled paper and natural materials instead of plastic or metallic wrappers and bows. Needless to say, they’re easier to dispose and less harmful to the environment. These calls again for creativity: reuse materials, or make the wrapping part of the gift, such as scarves, baskets and or reusable decorative boxes.

9. Re-chargeable batteries. When buying battery operated toys, encourage use of re-chargeable batteries; educate children as early as tots about the proper use of recharging – they’re not only eco friendly but also economical.

Going (green with) banana xmas tree!

11. Live instead of plastic Xmas tree. Purchase a live tree to use as Christmas tree and it doesn’t have to be a traditional fir. Santa will not scold you if you use other foliage as Christmas tree as you can re-plant them in your yard after the holidays. Besides, it serves a natural indoor air purifier. Use natural décor non-plastic, non-hazardous materials and low consumption lights.

12. Avoid wasteful consumption. Think.Eat.Save. as UNEP campaign goes. Christmas is a garbage fest. Before the gift opening and feasting begins, set up your garbage disposals accordingly – for cans, bottles, paper etc. Again, practice the pre- and post party 3Rs. Remember to be thankful, not wasteful.

Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your footprint Campaign by UNEP.

13. Last but not the least, if you are planning to spend Christmas holidays elswhere, travel green and make your vacation more meaningful with our Green Travel ideas. Support our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. – SSTDI campaign for Green Reconstruction of Typhoon Haiyan devastated Coron, Palawan, in the Philippines. Help our grassroot communities recover their livelihood, with sustainable reconstruction and green energy. 

Support Green Reconstruction for Coron

 Christmas has almost lost its essence due to over- commercialization and excessive hype. Make your Yuletide more meaningful and less stressful. Think outside the gift box a little and you can have greener Holidays that may benefit the environment and humanity. Is your Christmas green? Share your eco holiday season tips, please add them to the comments section!

Photo Credits: Echo Store for the Reusable Gift Packs, Gift Bags. Tokyo Midtown for its Champagne Illumination.

Sustainable Tourism Development and Stewardship

Posted in Agri Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , on June 7, 2013 by Sustainability Guru

Welcome!

The Coron Initiative- Capacity Building Series Green Leaders Forum- Train the Trainers Conference Workshop July 1-2, 2013

Coron, Palawan, PhilippinesThe Calamianes Cultural Conservation Network Inc.(CCCNI) and  the Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc.(STTDI) jointly organize The Coron Initiative Capacity Building & Training Conference & Workshop Series in Environmental Conservation, Sustainability & Social Responsibility 2013, as a showcase program of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)- Asia Pacific & the Asia and the Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED).TCI CB-Series II July 2013

The Coron Initiative by the CCCNI embarks on Capacity Building (CB Series) & Training series to implement its program on Environmental Conservation, Social Responsbility & Sustainable Tourism Development and Stewardship, after the successful 1st Environmental Forum held last November 2011, wherein public and private stakeholders of Coron & Calamianes Islands forged a cooperation in environmental responsibilities, concerns and solutions.

To know more about the TCI-Capacity Building Objectives & details, click here.

TCI march 2013 CB Series

JOIN US. The Capacity Building & Training 2013 Series is open to ALL interested in Environment Conservation, Social Responsibility & Sustainable Tourism development & stewardship, triple bottom line businesses, and to concerned citizens and advocates of Sustainability & Climate Change mitigation. For participation and membership to the Green Leaders Forum, July 2013, click HERE.

WHO CAN JOIN:

  • Travel & tourism industry sector, tour operators, travel agents,
  • Public sector, Politicians/Statesmen, Public/civil servants: Government agencies, LGUs in charge of environment, governance, planning & development, tourism
  • Hospitality sector: hotels and resorts, restaurants, bars, (owners, managers, decision makers)
  • Tourism service & Eco/organic product providers: small and medium business owners, leisure (spa, beauty, food & health products/services)
  • Real estate & land owners, Developers, Contractors, Architects, Builders, Suppliers
  • Energy, Water, Organic farming & Recycling sectors
  • Land, water and air transport: Tour bus operators, Cruises/Ships; Airlines
  • Recreation and sports facilities: scuba, snorkeling, mountaineering, adventure, outdoor shops & gears
  • NGOs, cooperatives, People’s Organizations, Environmental, Conservation & Green Advocacy groups
  • Academe, educators, youth leaders
  • Concerned citizens and sustainability advocates

Kayangan Eco Center, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

SUPPORT US/CSR OPPORTUNITY. The Coron Initiative (TCI) is seeking the support and collaboration of the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Climate Change Commission, private companies, multinationals & international agencies to enable us to advance in Capacity Building & Training of locals and communities in ecological conservation of marine protected areas utilized for tourism and enhanced economic growth in sustainable way, while helping mitigate effects of climate change. For sponsorships and tailored CSR programs, please contact us.

FOR sponsorship, registration and SSTDI membership benefits, please email: contact SSTDI.

Green Travel Tips

Posted in Agri Tourism, Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Ecotourism, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Isla Dibatoc, Coron, Palawan

How to travel GREEN! Build lasting memories while protecting the communities/regions you’ve traveled to! These green travel tips will enhance your trip—and help you make a positive difference in the places you visit.

Before you travel

Find out as much as possible. The more you know about a World Heritage Site or Marine Protected Area, the more the site will come alive. Look into the site’s history, culture, natural environment, customs, legends, advisory notices, and more.

Learn a few words in the local language. Make an effort to speak the local language. Simple words like “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you” can go a long way to help you communicate with the people who know the site best—they’ll appreciate your efforts and your interest in learning.

Pack light. It’s tempting to pack everything you think you might need, but remember to be smart about your necessities.Packaging items like the plastic wrapping of your new toothbrush simply consume space in your bag and can create excess trash for the fragile sites.

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Choose lodging thoughtfully. Look for hotels that have written procedures for environmental impact, employment, and cultural policies.

Explore transportation options. Traveling affects the environment. Wherever possible, try to minimize your impact by looking to alternative transportation and off-setting your carbon emissions.

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

During your trip

Engage in local culture. The saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans” still applies today. Your trip provides a unique opportunity to explore a new culture and to see the world through a different perspective. Enjoying local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festivals are all part of experiencing the culture.

Buy local products and services. Choosing to support locally-owned businesses, community tour operators, and artisans means that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience and your money will go directly to the community. Before purchasing goods, ask about their origin. Avoid buying products made from threatened natural resources and report poaching and other illegal activities to the local authorities.

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Refrain from aggressive bargaining. It’s often difficult to know your limits in bargaining, so if you’re not sure, ask your hotel for tips. Remember that the purchases you make directly affect vendors’ livelihoods, so decide if you really need to hang onto that extra dollar.

Hire local guides. Enrich your experience by choosing local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination. Ask local tour operators and hotels for recommendations.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Tread lightly. These destinations are World Heritage sites because of their exceptional natural or cultural splendor. Do your part to keep them that way by following designated trails, respecting caretakers, and not removing archaeological or biological treasures from sites.

Respect the natural environment. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Even though you are just visiting and not paying the utility bill, disposing of your garbage properly and minimizing your consumption of water and energy will benefit the overall destination.

Think of the Big Picture. While it is important to support local economy, certain tourist activities and souvenirs can damage a fragile World Heritage site. Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself, and to tourist activities that may be harmful to a site’s longevity.

Say “no” to a souvenir that's a piece of the site itself!

Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself!

After returning home

Share tips about responsible travel. In addition to telling family and friends about the wonderful memories you made, also consider sharing tips on how they too can positively impact these destinations while having an amazing journey.

Explore more. Travel is just the start of learning. Once you return home, continue exploring and being involved with the issues or region that captured your attention. Build your knowledge.

Give back. Traveling often opens our eyes and our hearts. Help to preserve these inspirational destinations for generations to come by making a donation to programs that give back and benefit the local community.

Adopted_a_village_Coron Ecotours

Adopt a village by Coron Ecotours

Source: http://www.expedia.com/daily/sustainable_travel/world_heritage/tips.asp

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE is taking its toll on the planet, wrecking havoc and destruction to our natural environment, rural communities and even big cities! We have to do our part in leaving less impact to the environment. The message is RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: let us protect the environment, care about local communities and respect their culture as we explore, experience and enjoy.

Zero Carbon Resorts, helping SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint

 The Coron Initiative, The Negros Initiative & The Boracay Initiative are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Negros Occidental & Boracay with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Photos of Coron by Al Linsangan of Al3Photography.

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Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) taking up the Eco Challenge

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cultural Scenes, Environment, Good Governance, Responsible Travel with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Don Salvador Benedicto’s Malatan-og Falls

Villa Ica Garden, Don Salvador Benedicto

The youngest municipality of Negros Occidental, Don Salvador Benedicto more popularly know for its acronym “DSB” is situated 2,495 feet above sea level at the mid-center of the province, 47 kilometers of good highway from capital city, Bacolod.  Its composite jurisdiction  includes two barangays (barrios) from Murcia town, three from San Carlos City and two of Calatrava. Established as a town in 1983, it was intended to consolidate the area into a separate and independent local government unit to counter the insurgency concentrated here.  The town got its name in honor of the late Vice-Governor Salvador Benedicto, who was part in setting the Revolutionary Government of Negros Island and Siquijor during the Japanese occupation last World War II. Today, this newfound town has surpassed geographical, economic and social challenges, with its 10-year strategic master plan for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural & fishery development zones and because of this became a budding eco attraction in the province, albeit raw and emergent.

Rice Terraces at DSB, Agricultural showcase

Though DSB is still pretty much rural, almost like a big barrio, it has already literally paved the way for bigger things to come, such as its infrastructure: impeccable picturesque highway that is the envy and adjudged “most beautiful” in the country. Its climate is moderate; cool for Philippine tropical standards with an even rainfall distribution throughout the year. Among its rural attractions are historical Barangay Igmaya-an, one of the strongholds of the province’s Revolutionary Government during the Japanese Occupation; the Monument in honor of its namesake, Don Salvador Benedicto; the picturesque mountain ranges of Mt. Mandalagan and Mt. Canla-on;  the remarkable Rice Terraces, a mini-replica of Banaue’s; attractive Malatan-og Falls amidst the lush green forest, ideal for mountain trekking; the 45-meter Hanging Bridge at Barangay Igmaya-an and of course the Zigzag Road leading to the town and the impressive scenic freeway which provided the shortest route between San Carlos, the farthest city of the province to Bacolod, as well as network links to the rest of the Northern towns and cities. DSB prides itself with indigenous tribes still existing in the area and its folkloric fiesta “Kali-kalihan” commemorating the Feast of the Kali, a long lost culture of a genuine Filipino heritage and the oldest form of weaponry, the “Arnis or Escrima.”

DSB’s Kali-kalihan Festival. Photo courtesy of Maeng Java

With DSB Cultural Consultant Ismael Java, Writer-Director of “Anagas”

DSB officials are working towards providing the town with careful and conscientious advancement, slow but sure steps towards Sustainable development with its community based rural and agro tourism. In no time, it will be the country’s next green getaway hotspot.

with Tourism Officers, Cultural Consultant, Maeng Java

Last March 5, 2011, I re-visited DSB and gave a talk and presentation on Sustainable Tourism & Best Green Hospitality Practices, emphasizing the need to conserve its natural resources, with careful consideration for the local community while it embarks on new tourism development to ensure its sustainability for future generations.  Attended by DSB’s town officials and educators, invited guests from neighboring First District of the province comprised of councilors, tourism officers and civic leaders were also present.

Act from “Anagas” the musical, original Hiligaynon musical written & directed by Ismael Java.

I was happy to see several acts from “Anagas” which was especially presented by DSB’s Cultural Consultant, play director and writer, Ismael Java. Anagas is an original Hiligaynon (regional dialect) theatrical presentation with a profound message about the environment.

With these inspiring simple townsfolk and sincere officials dedicating their lives on the preservation of their town, we will be working together for The Negros Initiative framework of Conservation, Community Social Responsibility & Sustainable Tourism.

The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is leading the greening of  Negros Occidental and espousing Sustainable Tourism:  experience culture, cuisine, conservation and meaningful visits to Don Salvador Benedicto and other local communities. 

Don Salvador Benedicto is a proponent of The Negros Initiative led by SSTDI,  a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework to be implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels, The Clean Blue & Zero Carbon Resorts. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for destinations, cities and communities include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

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Eco Agri Sustainable Farm Showcase

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Negros Occidental, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , on February 20, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Eco Agri Sustainable Farm Showcase

I first got connected with Organic farmer & social entrepreneur Ramon “Chin-Chin” Uy, Jr. via Facebook, who organized the Organic Farmers Festival in Negros Occidental last November 2010 with Organic Na! Negros Producers and Retailers Association (ONOPRA).

with Eco Agri’s Nonoy Moraca, Chin-chin & Francine Uy of Fresh Start Organics

When I presented at The Negros Initiative Conference, Chin-chin, a young, dynamic Sustainable Farming advocate immediately signified his support as our partner NGO, and we couldn’t ask for a more genuine green and Sustainability proponent who will spearhead the Community Based Rural & Agro Tourism in Negros.

The family owned business RU Foundry and Machine Shop established Eco-Agri Development Foundation Inc. (EcoAgri) their NGO arm which was formed to handle all activities related to Sustainable Farming initiatives.

Negros Initiative partner, Eco Agri Foundation

EcoAgri manages the interactive showcase farm in Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City, to include exhibit or demonstration of Vermiculture and Vermicomposting, Biogas System, Lemon Grass Oil production, Hydraulic Ram Pump for drinking water and irrigation without using fossil fuel driven engine or electric motor, the Windmill (pumping water for drinking and irrigation), among other technologies to support organic farming activities.

Vermicomposting, Biogas System, Lemon Grass Oil extractor, Hydraulic Ram Pump, Windmill

Eco-friendly Fresh Start Organic products, ideal for Eco hotels & resorts

Chin-chin with his wife Francine, ownFresh Start Organics, which offers a whole array organic products, fertilizer, produce, natural personal care products, ideal as eco-friendly hotel amenities, such as soaps, shampoos and lotions and of course, superb organic food produce and deli. A new green (organic) revolution in the making!

Negros Initiative partners with EcoAgri in their PURO program

As part of their mission and vision, EcoAgri with Fresh Start Organics will implement its tasks in partnership with the Negros Initiative in empowering communities for sustainable development to achieve food and environmental security, providing support services to the beneficiary communities, not only in Negros but the whole Philippines and beyond. Under its Skills Enhancement and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) Program, they will assist out of school youths, individuals and community organizations in the fabrication of equipments and other technologies and develop them into entrepreneurs by providing additional capital and support facilities. Through their Ecological Management Program (EMP) they will assist in Waste management in partnership with the LGUs, Communities, Private Sector, Academe and NGOs; in Rain forestation, Biodiversity Protection and Conservation.

EcoAgri services include PURO (Produce UR Own- Organic), Research and development, manufacturing and installation of technologies to support organic farming activities of the partners and beneficiaries; Promotion and marketing of farmers organic products under Fair Trade conditions; Establishment of community-based organic fertilizer production and Community-based seed banking, collection and propagation of indigenous varieties of rice and vegetable and other crops.

These activities will be shared not only with the local communities but also with all like-minded visitors to Negros who seek a holistic, rustic-chic holiday experience. Interactive Organic Farm guided tour with sumptious organic meals are offered as well as pre-scheduled presentations of the EcoAgri Showcase Farm for interested local government units (LGUs), small and medium entreprises ( SMEs)  and social entrepreneurs worldwide.  Aside from these, several activities throughout the year will be organized such as Organic Farmer’s Market, Food Festivals and Organic Farming Exhibitions, of course incorporating Green Events ethos! Watch out for more yummy details!

Eco Agri Park & Fresh Start Organic Farm Tour with organic meals

Eco Agri Farm is a proponent of The Negros Initiative : a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework to be implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels, The Clean Blue & Zero Carbon Resorts. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for destinations, cities and communities include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

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Sustainable Ethos for Occidental Negros

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Environment, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Sustainable Tourism, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is a newly formed not-for-profit, non-government organization (NGO) to lead & implement the Negros Occidental’s Sustainable Tourism capacity building and training, promoting green travel experiences of culture, cuisine, conservation and meaningful visits to local communities.    

While working on The Boracay & Coron Initiatives I took a side trip to my home province sugar land Negros Occidental in southern Philippines. Upon request of Tita Sonia Sarrosa, energetic CEO of 2010 ASEAN Green Hotel Awardee Nature’s Village Resort, I did a stopover to give a talk and presentation on Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism.   I was happy to learn that in fact, Negros Occidental became the first organic province and aims to be the organic bowl of Asia.

Private farm of Bonnin family

A select group of Provincial officials and private tourism stakeholders were waiting patiently for my delayed flight to listen to my presentation, gleaned from my first hand experience with Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer and Conservation Leader since 1975.

With children-guides at the Museo Sang Bata Negros in Sagay

Next day, we visited Sagay City, south of the province, home of Museo sang Bata Sa Negros (Children’s Interactive Marine Museum).  The Museum size, design and exhibits were originally intended for children but it is an attraction for visitors of all ages, too. Its focus is to educate primarily, children  on Coastal Marine resources especially of nearby Carbin Reef Marine Reserve. However the Museum also serves as a Welcome Center for all guests, offering a brief intro about Sagay’s marine biodiversity, conservation programs and a small hall dedicated to Sagay’s son, the late Governor Joseph Maranon. Several children act as guides in each mini-exhibit and their spiels are heartwarming and interesting not only for kids but also for adultsCarbin Reef Marine Sanctuary, a coral-reef restoration site

Just a quick motor boat ride from the pier across the water, we island-hopped to Carbin Reef Sandbar, the visitors’ base to the 200 hectare Marine Sanctuary. The tongue shaped white sand bar is open for day visitors on a limited capacity for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving.From Carbin Reef, we took a brief ride to Barangay Vito, where we took the motorboat to Molocaboc Island. We were graciously welcomed by the Barangay Captain and residents who offered us an exquisite lunch of native seafood, proudly produced by the island. Molocaboc has no fresh water resource, thus all residents make use of large earthen jars for rain water catchment to have water supply.

Sagay, Negros Occidental’s rich marine resources

Japanese NGO’s visit the island yearly to do their outreach programs to include mangrove reforestation and sea ranching (a sustainable way of aquaculture & fishing). We then took a quick visit to the farm of college-friend, Jojo Bonnin in Barangay Alangilan,  a mini green-hideaway, just 15 minutes from the city.

Jojo Bonnin’s farm, mini green getaway

From this visit, The Negros Initiative was born, to develop responsible travel to Negros with proponents to include: Eco Agri Sustainable Agri Farm  showcase, Don Salvador Benedicto, the next emerging eco hot spot in the Philippines, and Fresh Start Organic Sustainable Agri tours.

Agri Tourism Sustainable Farm Show Case

Agri Tourism Sustainable Farm Show Case

The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is formed to lead The Negros Initiative in the Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility development for Negros with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability

Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI)

Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI)

Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, municipalities and communities  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs will be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the grassroots community in general.

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs switch to renewal energy and green technology

ZERO CARBON RESORTS is our joint project with GrAt for the SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching from use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources especially solar energy and green technologies.

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

GREEN HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC is our network of the most reliable eco responsible hotels around the world. It works to help the hotel industry embrace sustainability by integrating innovation and added value with environmental actions in a vibrant global exchange of green hoteliers, operators and responsible clients.

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

CLEAN BLUE ASIA is thenew 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 information visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

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