Archive for Sustainability

Green Hotels in Asia and the Pacific

Posted in Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

“Green is not a movement, it is an imperative. Sustainability is not just a philosophy, it is good business.” ~ GMIC 2011

Green Hotels Asia Pacific

Every day, more and more hotels worldwide are embracing Green and Sustainable Tourism.

Introducing Green Hotels Asia Pacific, our network of Eco-friendly hotels committed to environment-friendly operations management which aims for ecological protection and best Green Hotels practices to include:

  • Energy Management & Saving
  • Water Management & Saving
  • Waste Management – Reuse, Reduce & Recycle Policies & Practices
  • Minimizing  Carbon Footprint (i.e. the amount of carbon dioxide which is emitted at the atmosphere by everyday activities)
  • Offering Natural and Local-sourced products to their guests
  • Building an Environmental-friendly Culture and communicating it to staff and guests
Green Hotels program: Waste Mangement

Green Hotels program: Ecological Waste Mangement

 OUR VISION

• Our vision is our network to be the most reliable eco hotels network around Globe.

OUR COMMITMENT

• To promote sustainability to hotel sector

• To integrate innovation in our environmental actions

• To network hoteliers, operators, costumers and guests

• To promote Greenhotels around the world

• To integrate environmental customer satisfaction and needs to our “culture”

• To bring added value to the hotel industry

Green Hotels Training: Energy saving

Green Hotels Training: Energy Efficiency

OUR BUSINESS MODEL

• Full committment to our Sustainability policy

• Ecological knowledge & experience

• Use of state-of-the-art technology

• Promotion via social media, internet and other technologies

• Green collaboration with all business sectors

Green Hotel member, Kea Villas, Greece

A Green Hotels member, Kea Villas, Greece

BASIC SERVICES

• Auditing and sustainability action plans

• Waste management focusing in minimization and 3R’s Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

• Water management & saving

• Energy management & saving

• Purchasing management – procuring sustainability

• Certification – Travelife or other schemes

• CSR Management & Reporting Guest Engagement in Sustainability

• Promotion through Google add words

• Customized Training & Capacity Building for Managers & Staff

• Social media marketing

• Green marketing

• Online consulting services

• The Clean Blue Sustainable Beach Management

Green Hotels: Mitigating Climate Change

Green Hotels: Mitigating Climate Change

OUR GREEN HOTELS NETWORK

Green Hotels network consists of hotels that have implemented operational systems and methods that are eco-oriented, work towards the protection of environment and have applied principles of environmental management.

Through Green Hotels portal, the hotel itself is being promoted,  its ecological character, its environmental actions and other related activities – if available- which take place in the surrounding area. Moreover, great attention is given to the presentation of the personality of hotel’s manager, as he/she is considered to be the key person behind the development and establishment of the eco-character of the described hotel.

Green Hotels member Aristi Mountain Resort

Green Hotels member Aristi Mountain Resort

Green Hotels network aims to promote not only the hotels through descriptive texts and photos, but also their owners and managers. Our network consists of hotels that offer guests a unique and holistic experience throughout their stay from check-in to check-out, in hospitable and eco-friendly atmosphere, with eco-knowledgeable staff ready to serve and inform them about the environment-friendly practices of the hotel which enhance the guest experience..

YOUR GREEN ADVANTAGE

  • Fulfill Legislation standards
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce of energy, waste, water use and water waste
  • Fulfill shareholders, employees, guests and public expectations of eco-friendly standards
  • Enhance company’s image and reputation
  • 93% prefer a green hotel compared to another one without environmental policy
  • 70% would like to practice environmental actions during their stay
Economic + Ecological_your Cutting Edge Advantage

Economic + Ecological = your Green Hotels Cutting Edge Advantage

YOUR CUTTING EDGE BENEFITS

  • Your hotel/resort will be included in our Green Hotels, listed in most eco travel pages.
  • Green Hotels is the first Eco hotels network in Asia Pacific
  • Green Hotels principal in the Mediterranean has an experienced team within the fields of environmental management systems, marketing, lobbying.
  • By becoming a member of our network you become a member of a global network.
Green Hotels committed to Sustainability and innovation

Green Hotels committed to Sustainability and innovation

We, the *Green Hotels team,  are COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY and INNOVATION. For more information on how to green your hotel/s and become a pioneering GREEN HOTELS member in Asia and the Pacific, contact our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. – SSTDI. 

 * Green Hotels is not a certification or award

The Coron, Boracay & Negros Initiatives are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels & The Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for cities, communities and destinations  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. 

Photo credits: greenhotel.com.gr

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WTTC 2012 Report: Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan and elsewhere

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , on April 30, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be part of the invite-only World Travel & Tourism Council -WTTC- Global Summit Japan in Sendai & Tokyo. Summit reports started with the Tourism for Tomorrow 2012 Awards & Winners. The following is a re-post from the WTTC 2012 News & updates starting with the First Session in Sendai, Japan.

Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan- keynote by Norifumi Idee-Japan Tourism Agency

“We are here to hear what we have learnt from the crisis,” said Mr Takamatsu, CEO, Japan Tourism Marketing Company, and session moderator. “The objective of this session is to look at the best ways to manage a crisis with case studies from Japan, but also other countries and the Travel & Tourism industry,” he added.

WTTC Sendai:Disaster Recovery Lessons Moderator Mr. Masako Takamatsu

Given the events of the last decade – from America on September 11 2001 to Japan on 11 March 2011, dealing with the unusual is increasingly becoming business as usual in the Travel & Tourism industry.

According to the Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report published by Impact Forecasting, 2011 was one of the most active years on record in terms of instances of natural catastrophes, so there has never been a more pressing time to consider crisis management and disaster recovery.

WTTC Global Summit Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan

Japan has learnt a lot since March 2011, Mr Idee, Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism told delegates. “I can tell you that [after the earthquake and tsunami], the government immediately took measures to ensure that the region was safe from radiation and that there was total security regarding food safety.

We have also undertaken a wide range of measures to try encourage a recovery in demand, using high-profile visitors like Lady Gaga to help us in our promotions. And we are grateful to UNWTO and the United Nations generally for issuing reassurances to the world that Japan is open for business. I would like to express my gratitude to them for these measures.

We were delighted to see that WTTC’s latest report suggests that Japan’s Travel & Tourism recovery will be better than expected, with the percentage drop in inbound tourism in 2012 projected to be down in single digits over Japan’s peak tourism year in 2010”.

“Destination Tohoku” campaigns in foreign countries such as the United States help, and we are focusing on the travel trade – tour operator and travel agents – to communicate our messages. But we are promoting domestic as well as inbound tourism.

Disaster Lessons from Japan Railway - infrastructure and transport sector

Mr Ogata, Vice Chairman,  East Japan Railway Company told the Summit that in 50 years of operating the Shinkansen (Japanese “bullet-train”) there had never been an associated fatal casualty. JR East is the largest railway company in Japan – with 4,700 miles of network and 17 million passengers a day on 13,000 trains. Its top priority is safety.

Many lessons from past experiences of earthquakes, e.g. the use of reinforced pillars, early earthquake detection systems, seismometers, preventing trains from large-scale deviations, plus the education and training of its staff have secured a dramatic decrease in accidents. But in addition to taking countermeasures, it is essential to utilise innovative risk assessments. As a result, on 11 March 2011, there were no customer fatalities or injuries – though because of aftershocks, it took 50 days to restore full operation.

There were lots of lessons learned: e.g. even more early detection systems needed – plus better evacuation systems, and a strengthening of electrification masts.

Bert van Walbeek, Chairman of PATA’s Rapid Recovery Taskforce, and Managing Director, The Winning Edge gave the Summit “Five Points in Five Minutes”:

Educate and train all stakeholders • Accept joint responsibility

Respect and understand ‘Mother Nature’

Co-operate on travel advisories

• We all need to work together to address the problem, in terms of crisis management and prevention.

UNWTO Risk and Crisis Management Coordinator Dirk Glaesser

Dirk Glaesser, Coordinator, Risk and Crisis Management, UNWTO reminded the Summit that whilst crises do occur, it’s the way we prepare for them and manage them that is critical. UNWTO works not just through United Nations systems but also through TERN – the Tourism Emergency Research Network, which groups together public and private sector organisations and associations involved in tourism. “The whole purpose of TERN is sharing knowledge and best practice, and communicating between partner organisations/associations and the outside world, through media,.

It’s all about planning and preparedness,” said Glaesser, “the importance of correct assumptions and strategic contingency planning.”

WTTC Sendai Summit Disaster Recovery Panel Discussion

In the Panel Discussion which followed, Raymond N Bickson, Managing Director & CEO, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, said: “ Whether natural disaster or terrorist attack or other man-made disasters, including health concerns like H1N1 and bird flu, the crisis management tools are all very similar across the board. What helps recovery is the public and private sectors working together – plus India has its own national chapter of WTTC and this has helped us enormously.”

Robert Laurence Noddin, CEO and Representative in Japan, AIU Insurance Company, Japan Branch, told the story of the Japanese crisis from the insurance industry standpoint: “ We had to overcome or deal with three major issues: impact on transportation, getting support to customers and staff; and the availability of data and how to use, control and communicate it. The sheer scale of the disaster meant that there was huge damage, so we needed to call on an unprecedented number of support staff to assess the damages”.

The Summit then listened attentively to the story as told by Mrs. Noriko Abe, the “Okami” of Minami-Sanriku Hotel Kanyo.  Her story was a wonderful example of a member of the Travel & Tourism industry taking the initiative to help the community – in the aftermath some people had no accommodation, no food, no clothes. How to help them? “We had to help them. There was total confusion and incomprehension as to why this had happened to them. We offered support to 600 citizens – we started a school inside the hotel. Without help, we risked some of the younger Japanese leaving the community to go and live elsewhere. Or even committing suicide out of desperation, especially young mothers. So our help in fact was a way of rebuilding the community and giving people a reason for living”. On the basis of this closing presentation, the first session of the first day of the Sendai Forum drew the conclusion that Tourism is not often seen as the cement of community solidarity, but it should be. It’s something very human, and can really help when crises strike.

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative  , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI for assistance.

Disaster Preparedness: Before a calamity occurs

Posted in Coron, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by Sustainability Guru
Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

“Do we have to wait until a disaster overwhelms us before we make the radical changes necessary to protect our world for future generations? If we act now there is much that can be saved which will otherwise disappear forever.” ~ John Gummer

In these times of global warming and climate change, one is never prepared enough for the mighty forces of nature or in some cases, man-made disasters, such as the Fukushima Nuclear Plant or in Southern Philippines’ Cagayan de Oro flash flood tragedy caused by illegal logging. For those especially in vulnerable and hazard zones like Japan & Philippines, every one must be aware and be prepared.

Here are the six basic disaster preparedness at home that you must ensure:

1. Check safety around your house

  • Organize flowerpots and propane tanks to prevent toppling, and check the intensity of block walls and roof tiles.Before disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

Before a disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

The DOST- PHIVOLCS call for compliance to building code after the earthquakes in the Philippines. Read article here. 

2. Discuss with your family and household member about disaster measures:

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. (These may be  expensive to purchase all on you own, but you can discuss and share with your neighbors to prepare these. At least you have a set of equipments ready!)

3. Prevent injuries caused by broken glasses.

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand. For a blackout at night, keep them in place.

Be ready with rescue equipments

4. Prepare rescue equipments. Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. These might be expensive, so share with your neighbors the cost and the use.

5. Prepare an emergency packAfter a disaster, supply of essentials may stop for a few days. Plan for quantity of stockpiles and storage for essentials to be taken out in case of emergency.

Essential emergency supplies list

  • Food and water (roughly 3 days of food for entire family and 3 liters
    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    of water per person a day)

  • First-aid kit, medicine, etc.
  • Portable radio, flashlight, batteries
  • Cash and valuables
  • Clothes

6.  Join Disaster Prevention drills

Ain't done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

Ain’t done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

In preparation for an emergency, create a cooperative structure with neighborhoods on a routine basis.

  1. Discussion
  2. Join disaster prevention resident groups
  3. Join disaster prevention drills

If you don’t have, organize one with your neighborhood or community pronto!

“We are now running out of time, and the question now is not what is happening to the climate, but how bad will it be before the world starts doing enough?”  ~ Jonathon Porritt

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Disater Prevention Information.

“First, climate change is the greatest long-term threat faced by humanity… All countries will be affected, but the poorest countries will be hit hardest. Secondly, the costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action.” ~ David Miliband

The Philippines is situated along two major tectonic plates of the world – the EURASIAN and PACIFIC Plates. Aside from this, it has 300 volcanoes – 22 as active, an average of 20 quakes per day, 20 typhoons a year, five (5) of these destructive and 36,289 kilometers of coastline vulnerable to tsunami.  The responsibility for leadership rests on the provincial governor, city and town mayors and Barangay chairmen in their respective areas.

Know more about the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Center and how it should work for you and your community!

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons.

Learn the lessons of past disasters. The Philippines is not short of earlier numerous grants, programs and initiatives in disaster education and management. Share the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Framework and how it should serve your community better. Be mindful and demand from your public officials on the information and skills. Seek the mass media support and use social media in raising awareness, care and vigilance.

The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative  are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Calamianes Islands & Western Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations  include Good Governance and Disaster Prevention and Management. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Sustainable beaches, green economy in a blue world

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Boracay's White Beach circa 80s and in 2009

I have been working for “beaches”, most of my tourism career for almost three decades in various resorts in the Philippines. I pioneered in Boracay Island managing a small resort when there was only a handful then. Then, rapid, unsustainable development and environmental degradation just burgeoned. It was fate that brought me back full circle to the eco-depleted island after twenty years and I decided to do my part to form The Boracay Initiative, if only to enlighten public and private stakeholders to preserve their invaluable source of tourism livelihood!

The Coron Initiative, towards Sustainable Coron & Calamianes in the next millenium

The Coron Initiative, towards Sustainable Coron & Calamianes in the next millenium

I also had a chance to visit Coron, Palawan an emerging tourist destination, and I foresaw that without a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework, it will suffer the same destruction as Boracay. Thus, we also organized The Coron Initiative with Lead Advocate-NGO, Calamianes Cultural Conservation Network. Next, I was invited to home-province Negros Occidental, and visited marine conservation sites in Sagay’s Carbin Reef as well as Danjugan Island, where illegal fishing is rampant aside from mining threat. From then, I proposed The Negros Initiative, to set up a similar greening guideline for the province.

Museo Sang Bata Negros- Children's Museum on Marine Conservation in Sagay, Negros Occidental

Museo Sang Bata Negros- Children’s Museum on Marine Conservation in Sagay, Negros Occidental

With my hands-on knowledge and experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer, Carbon Negative and Conservation Leader, I shared the best practices in Sustainability and protection of our ecosystems and heritage, while sharing it with the world.

At a recent UNEP conference (January 2012), 65 countries adopted the “Manila Declaration – Global Protection Agreement (GPA)” – to strengthen the protection of global marine environment from land-based activities, emphasizing coastal eco resources as a key factor in the shift to a green economy.  This GPA made in the Philippines is very relevant as its 7,107 islands are rapidly losing rich natural resources due to marine-related commercial activities, such as fisheries, inter-island transport, tourism, mining, etc. These massive businesses leave destruction and escalate environmental degradation, loss of vital coastal habitats, marine biodiversity and shore water quality as it did to Boracay Island, the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs for Philippine Tourism. If not sustainably planned, Coron, Palawan, the next vulnerable tourism hot-spot will follow suit.

Coastal and Mangroves Destruction, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Coastal and Mangroves Destruction, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources has implemented an Integrated Coastal Resource Management Program (ICRMP) and the Coral Triangle Initiative  (CTI) to “promote the sustainable development and ensure the long term productivity of coastal resources while providing social services, lessening poverty in coastal communities as well as delivering basic infrastructure.”

Our Sustainable Tourism frameworks are being implemented in Coron and West Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and Clean Blue Asia Sustainable Beach Management. These “Triple Bottom Line” initiatives are crucial for destination planning and development strategies towards the greening of tourism.  With the Manila Declaration’s commitment to develop policies to reduce and control wastewater, marine litter and pollution, the ICMP and CTI as guidelines, we will work towards a green economy for the Philippines, seeking green investments in tourism that can contribute to economically viable and robust growth, provide decent jobs, poverty alleviation and reduced environmental impacts. Our Capacity Building programs for cities and communities include Good Governance for LGUs, Waste Management, Resilience, and Disaster Prevention & Management among others. With our partner experts, we will work on SMEs in the tourism industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy sources and develop a network of most reliable eco responsible hotels and lodgings.

Coron Environmental Forum by The Coron Initiative, a public-private sector cooperation

Coron Environmental Forum by The Coron Initiative, a public-private sector cooperation

Our Sustainable Tourism initiatives in the Philippines require multi-sector cooperation and action. Indeed these include all of us to work towards a green economy!

Waste not, want not – Know and follow 3Rs; Greening your garbage

Posted in Good Governance, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Living with tags , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

ECO series on Sustainability: Solid Waste and Climate change

 According to a new U.N. report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet.” –Jay Leno

 

Climate Change & Solid Waste photo by KingCountySolidWasteDivision

Garbage = GreenHouseGas emissions. Photo from King County Solid Waste Division.

Let’s start in our homes. Much had been reported, blogged, FB posted and twitted about  the worsening problem of solid waste in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the Philippines. There had been scores of seminars, conferences and fora  conducted to “discuss” ways of solving the problem but not fully implementing them. For how long will it take the country to attain a zero waste economy, no one knows. But, one thing is sure – time is running out and WE need to act. NOW.

Bag-O Plastics recycling plastic into crocheted bags

Bag-O Collecting Plastic from Bago City dumpsite. Photo from Bag-O Plastics

 

Why WE?

The answer is simple, but at the same time, tricky. Consider this: Metro Manila’s solid waste based on studies made by the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), is estimated that per capita waste production daily is 0.5 kg; meaning every person living in the metropolis generates half a kilo of garbage a day. With an estimated population of 10.5 million, total waste generated in Metro Manila alone could run up to 5,250 metric tons per day, or 162,750 metric tons per month, a total of 1.95 million metric tons per year. Definitely, a whole lotta waste!

House Rules: Meguro-Ku Solid Waste Segregation

Let’s start in our HOMES. WE must be part of the SOLUTION by reducing our waste. In Tokyo, if our garbage is not segregated, they will NOT be collected AND we will be fined!

 

Our daily waste, our daily RESPONSIBILITY. Based on the EMB study, only about 73% of the 5,250 metric tons of waste generated daily are collected by dump trucks hired by our respective local government units – that is assuming our LGUs are dedicated to their duties to taxpayers. The remaining 27% of daily waste or about 1,417.5 metric tons end up in canals, vacant spaces, street corners, market places, rivers and prohibited places!

Garbage = bad health!

We deserve to live in a cleaner environment, a healthy family, neighborhood, city.

This explains why WE need to act. As we produce garbage ourselves, we are part of the problem. But, we can also be part of the solution by reducing our contribution to the worsening waste crisis and help mitigate climate change effects.

 Why NOW?

This measure is in fact 1o years too late. However, at the rate we are producing waste we will soon be having more of our human-made mountains of garbage amidst us or worse, find ourselves buried in our own trash!

Bacolod City - cleanest & greenest city? NOT!

Bacolod City has 19 dumps like this – cleanest & greenest? NOT!

The catastrophic disasters and major typhoons that brought about tragedy and casualties not to mention filthy garbage in its course, should strengthen our resolve to do something about our wasteful lifestyles.

Talks about landfill as an alternative engineering solution to the garbage problem for the so-called residual waste, is fine. But where to site the landfill is another issue.

We all deserve a cleaner & greener environment

Mandatory SEGREGATION & 3RS should be done primarily at the SOURCE: household, institutional, industrial, commercial and agricultural sources.

 The most important reason why we have to act now on the worsening solid waste problem is their impact on human health and climate change. Health is a basic human right. We all deserve to live in a cleaner environment- a healthy family, neighborhood and nation. The only way to satisfy these needs is to do away with garbage that spreads diseases in our homes and communities.

Landfills and rudimentary incinerators contribute to global climate change by destroying resources. Methane produced from decomposing garbage in landfill is one of the most powerful greenhouse gasses and is 23 times stronger than CO2 in capturing heat. The less we throw away, the less garbage ends up in landfills, the less methane they produce.

Take ACTION. Get your public officials DO THEIR JOB on implementing Eco Solid Waste Management as mandated by RA 9003!

Take ACTION. Get your public officials DO THEIR JOB on implementing Eco Solid Waste Management as had been mandated by RA 9003!

Republic Act No. 9003 Revisited.  RA 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act” provided the legal framework for the Philippines’ systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that should ensure protection of public health and the environment more than 10 years ago. It underscored, the need to create the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, as well as imposes penalties for acts in violation of any of its provisions.

 How R.A. No. 9003 should HAVE worked for your community:

  • Creation of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), the National Ecology Center (NEC) and the Solid Waste Management Board in every province, city and municipality in the country.
  • The Solid Waste Management Board of provinces, cities and municipalities shall be responsible for the development of their respective solid waste management plans.
  • Mandatory segregation of solid waste to be conducted primarily at the source such as household, institutional, industrial, commercial and agricultural sources;
  • Setting of minimum requirements to ensure systematic collection and transport of wastes;
  • Establishment of reclamation programs and buy-back centers for recyclable and toxic materials;
  • Promotion of eco-labeling in local products and services;
  • Prohibition on non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging;
  • Establishment of Materials Recovery Facility in every barangay or cluster of barangays;
  • Prohibition against the use of open dumps;
  • Setting of guidelines/criteria for the establishment of controlled dumps and sanitary landfills;
  • Provision of rewards, incentives both fiscal and non-fiscal, financial assistance, grants and the like to encourage LGUs and the general public to undertake effective solid waste management.

How can we help solve the solid waste problem? Are you doing it now?

adopt the 3Rs of Ecological Waste Management: REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.

Reduce, reuse, recover, dispose at the minimum.

 There are many ways to do it. A highly recommended formula is to adopt the 3Rs of Ecological Waste Management: REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.

In addition, let us avoid doing these PROHIBITED ACTS under the law:

Littering, throwing, dumping of waste materials in public places like roads, sidewalks, canals, parks and vacant lots;
Open burning of solid waste;
– Allowing the collection of non-segregated or unsorted waste;
Open dumping or burying of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials in flood-prone areas;
Mixing of source-separated recyclable material with other solid waste in any vehicle, box, container or receptacle used in solid waste collection or disposal;
Manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials;
– Establishment or operation of open dumps; and
Importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmentally acceptable materials.

Last but not the least, do positive. Again we emphasize the need for 3RS- REDUCE, REUSE, & RECYCLE and waste segregation in our own homes. Take Action. Demand from your political representatives and public officials to provide the basic services as mandated by RA 9003.

Waste not, want not. Prov. Cliché If you do not waste anything, you will always have enough.

SOURCE & FURTHER INFORMATION:

The National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat -ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU, DENR Philippines; King County Solid Waste Division. Meguro Solid Waste Managment, Tokyo, Japan.

The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative have requested for a formal tie up with the Department of Environment & Natural Resources & Environmental Management Bureau Environmental Education & Information Division in our Greening & Sustainability educational programs for public and private sector proponents in Coron, Calamianes Islands, Boracay, Negros Occidental & West Visayas in the Philippines to work with international partners Green Hotels, Clean Blue & Zero Carbon Resorts. For info and assistance in your destination or locality, email: sustainabilityg@sonixnet.jp

 

Five signs of a healthy beach

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , on September 16, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Boracay Island before and lately, the over-crowded White Beach

There is enough on earth for everybody’s need, but not for everybody’s greed ~ Mahatma Gandhi

With the recent ruckus about a mega development  in Boracay Island, Philippines side by side its latest accolades, voted as 2012 World’s Best Islands by Travel+Leisure and Best Beach in the World, Number 1 in Asia by TripAdvisor, all the more this island’s authorities and stakeholders should protect and conserve it for future generations. IF they wish to see it thriving  in the next 30 years yet.

The Boracay Initiative Presentation at the First Environmental Forum

In our efforts to organize The Boracay Initiative, where we have sought the institutional support from international organizations in marine and coastal ecological systems conservation, we learned these five signs of a healthy beach from Nature Conservancy. Likewise, the Philippines’ concerned agencies as well as citizens in general should take action to protect their 7,107 islands!

Lack of development is just one sign of a HEALTHY beach. I’ll take an undeveloped beach anytime than one that is teeming with people (and consequently  trash and heavy footprints) without regard for ecological balance, so, if you care enough about your favorite beach, make sure it has these top five signs in keeping it healthy and ensure its sustainability!

Postcard photo by Rene Thalman of Boracay White Beach circa late 80s

1) Shells and Wildlife

In the late 80s, in my first time to Boracay, a stroll along White Beach as well as uninhabited Puka Beach will reveal a sparkling assortment of seashells and abundance of green moss or algae that turn ultimately turns into white dust when dried,washed up by the gentle waves and also after the monsoon season. From surf clams to ghost crabs, the treasures that  surface after this season reveal the diversity of life hidden in the water.

The line of marine debris (NOT trash) left over after high tide is a source of food and an important breeding ground for fish and other aqua species.

 

2) Natural Sand banks

Sand banks are a coastal community’s lifeguards. These sandy mounds — and their  low-growing plants (not to be confused with weeds!) — protect the beaches in  front of them and the land behind them. Running parallel to the shoreline, gentle sloping sand dunes provide a buffer for our roads and protect infrastructure from floods. They also provide nesting habitat and a sand reserve, which comes in andy after sand shifts as a result of a storm or moonsoon rains.

How could Boracay stakeholders let this happen to the "World's Best Island"?

Zoning and carrying capacity limits should be observed in order to maintain natural natural cycles in marine-coastal eco systems and their influence in global warming and climate change.

There must be enough room behind the beach for the dunes to move landward  in the face of storms and sea-level rise”.  Zoning and carrying capacity limits should be observed in order to maintain natural natural cycles in marine-coastal eco systems and their influence in global warming and climate change.

3) Good Water Quality

After a heavy rainfall, storm water can overwhelm sewage systems. That yucky runoff also picks up fertilizer and trash as it flows into the streams and rivers that ultimately spill into our oceans. Needless to say, whatever limited water source is available needs to be conserved and maintained.

Diminising and deteriorating Boracay White Beach

4) No Garbage

It is disappointing to see a beautiful beach littered with plastic bags, soda cans and cigarette butts, but that’s the reality of many recreational beaches. Not only is trash an eyesore, but it also kills marine animals when they ingest it or become entangled.

Littering on the beach is just one part of the problem; people are also dumping trash directly into our waters. In many cases, ships are still illegally dumping into our oceans. “People throw trash overboard on ships and guess what? A lot of it washes up on the beach.”

Littering on the beach is just one part of the problem; people are also dumping trash directly into our waters.

What goes round, comes round. The garbage you throw, goes back to you.  Use less. Act more.

5) Beachscapes, marshlands and swamps

Tidal mudflats, marshlands, ponds, lagoons, swamps and upland forests all help guard our beaches in the face of severe storms. Thus, mangroves are being reforested in Coron, Palawan. They run parallel to the coast and provide a first line of defense for beaches when a storm hits. In addition to shielding the coast, many beach landscapes shelter a variety of fauna as well as flora that protects the beaches.

Our greatest concern for our beaches must go beyond the beyond beaches and must encompass, more holistically, the entire beachscapes, marshes, swamps and wetlands complex. They are all linked, and necessarily in the so called “balance of nature”.

Everything is connected, and it’s important to remember to protect the entire dynamic ecosystem to maintain hope and health along our beaches and coasts. Environmental awareness AND education is critical for all to find ways to go forward with development, while ensuring that the planet’s life support systems are protected, preserved, and conserved. This is the idea behind the concept of sustainable development especially in Philippine TOURISM where livelihoods and attractions are mainly based on the NATURAL RESOURCES and the ENVIRONMENT. It seems odd that people have to be taught how to correctly develop, but there are reasons to believe many people still do not understand the impact that human actions have had and continue to have on the environment and our one and only planet!

Good environmentalism
is good economics ~ B. Conable

According to Ocean Conservancy,  cleanups alone can’t solve the marine debris problem; we need to stop it at the source. “Armed with knowledge about the most prevalent components of marine debris, elected officials can make informed policy decisions, and community leaders can more effectively tailor and expand recycling and other waste reduction programs. Corporations can see the need for improved technology and reduced packaging, and individuals are inspired to properly dispose of trash to keep it out of the ocean.”

We know the problems...and we know the solution. Sustainable development. The issue is the political will ~ Tony Blair

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better. It’s not. ~Dr. Seuss

The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Occidental Initiative  are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron,Calamianes and West Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & The Clean Blue.

THE CLEAN BLUE ASIA is the new bespoke beach standards to help provide sustainable future to the industry – the public and private beach operators – to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific. Sustainability Capacity Building programs for destinations and communities and include Good Governance in the implementation of UNEP’s Manila Declaration,  DENR-EMB’s Integrated Coastal Management and the Coral Triangle Initiative to promote sustainable development and ensure the long term productivity of coastal resources while providing social services, increasing resilience and lessening poverty in coastal communities.

Education & training  can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general.

For more information visit: http://sstdi.org/services/the-clean-blue/ or contact SSTDI.

Sustainable beaches: All resorts and islands should be managed this way.

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Good Governance, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Living with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Since I worked for Boracay Island, Philippines in the early 90s I already started my personal crusade on “saving our seas”, if only to pick up the trash daily along the famed White Beach. This was twenty years ago when there were only a handful of resorts on the island. Since then, rapid, unsustainable development and environmental degradation in and around the island just burgeoned before our eyes. After 10 years since I left, I was brought back full circle to the environmentally deteriorated island, and I had to do my part, with The Boracay Initiative, if only to enlighten stakeholders about conservation of their invaluable source of tourism livelihood!

Banol Beach Photo by Al Linsangan III

I was also given an opportunity to visit Coron, which is still a developing island tourist destination, however, I can foresee, that without a Sustainable Tourism development framework in place, it will go the way of Boracay too. Thus, we also organized The Coron Initiative with our Lead Advocate and partner NGOs in the Coron & Calamianes islands. I was also invited to visit home-province Negros Occidental, and experienced firsthand their marine conservation efforts in Sagay’s Carbin Reef as well as Danjugan Island in Cauayan town. From then, I have proposed The Negros Initiative, mainly to organize the framework on Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism for the province.

Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer, Carbon Neutral & Conservation Leader since 1975

With my work experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer, Carbon Negative and Conservation Leader, I had hands-on knowledge and experience to share the best practices in Sustainability and protection of our ecosystems and heritage, while sharing it with the world.

Experience and enlightenment found along the Philippine learning curve are:

1.  Each Filipino citizen is a stakeholder in this archipelago of 7,107 islands. Each one lives in one of these islands, therefore, is accountable for its marine and coastal resources, one of our richest natural heritage.

You as a stakeholder, are accountable…

2. All businesses and local government units (LGUs) in these respective islands must be accountable as well – they, along with the local community are the so-called private and public stakeholders.

3. In the conservation, protection and safeguarding of our environmental and natural resources, the following multi- stakeholders are responsible:

Local Government Units (LGUs), to which the place and jurisdiction of the natural resources are located and entrusted

Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) the government agency and its operations arm, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) with its Integrated Coastal Management Project & Coral Triangle Initiative! 

Businesses or enterprises which are directly or indirectly engaged in the trade of environmental resources, such as resorts/ lodgings /restaurants, manufacturing, aqua culture & fisheries, production of coastal and marine products, etc.  are responsible for the triple bottom line for their business: community, environment and profit.

NGOs – non-government organizations are the civil society leaders whose vision and mission are to ensure that Environmental laws and mandates to conserve the environment, protect all indigenous inhabitants and the future generations.

Local communities
–   Awareness and participation of the local community in conservation efforts are keys to saving our seas. Getstarted at home to be eco-friendly, be pro-active and report delinquents. Not only we at the present, are the direct beneficiaries, it is also for the future generations too! As the African saying goes, “we did not inherit the earth; it is just loaned to us by our grandchildren”.

Be pro-active, report delinquents

Going beyond the key stakeholders mentioned, cooperation and collaborative work  are critically needed from other government agencies to implement and enforce Environmental Laws and Acts:

Department of Education – to teach and show school children how to conserve and protect. A good example is from Negros Occidental, where an environmental-award winning Iliranan Elementary School involved its community in embracing Sustainability & Eco-friendly practices.

Department of Justice – in most areas, the DENR & the EMB are ill-equipped and powerless to go after corrupt pundits, poachers and environmental law violators. This is where the DOJ should step in and assist. Together with the LGU, Police and  community, they should apprehend and punish these criminals immediately.

Mangroves destructed caused flooding in Coron coasts

We ALL have to do our part.  “No man is an island”, no pun intended. Together, we can protect our coral reefs and seas, which provide basic livelihood from tourism,  elemental compounds for crucial medicines, health products, save lives and ensure the future generations’ opportunities from our precious Philippine marine ecosystems and resources!

Photos above courtesy of BayanMoPatrolMo & Al Linsangan III of The Coron Initiative.

Sustainable Beach Management by Clean Blue Asia towards green economy

Sustainable Beach Management by CLEAN BLUE Asia towards green economy

The Coron Initiative with Clean Blue Asia will be working on Sustainable Beach Management as well as the UNEP’s Manila declaration to protect the world’s oceans from land-based activities, educating public and private stakeholders on the conservation of marine environment towards a GREEN ECONOMY. For more info visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.