The sustainability of any
development project is largely dependent on
the active participation
and sense of ownership of the project by the
Among behavioral scientists,
it is common knowledge that the behavior and
any decision and actions an individual make
are shaped by the values, attitudes and practices
the individual learned as a child and developed
into adulthood. This behavioral theory is
the underlying guideline behind the holding
of a youth camp on coastal resource management
(CRM) initiated by the Bureau of Fisheries
and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as an information,
education and communicatin (IEC) strategy
in support of the implementation of the Bureau’s
Fisheries Resources Management Project (FRMP).
Through the youth camp, BFAR hopes to develop
a corps of concerned youth who will eventually
become responsible stewards of the coastal
resources, they, who represent the youth,
being the ultimate and future beneficiaries
of any development project today.
Anda as pilot
Some 30 junior and senior girls scouts and
their troop leaders from the Quezon City and
Pangasinan Chapters participated in the CRM
Youth Camp conducted by Bureau in June 2002
at Tondol Beach in Anda. The CRM Youth Camp
was the first of its kind ever held thoughout
the country. Learnings from the Anda experience
would be used as inputs for future similar
youth camps in other BFAR-FRMP sites all over
Anda is an island town
in the western part of the province. Because
of its proximity to the famous Hundred Islands
across Tambac Bay in Alaminos City to the
east of Lingayen Gulf, Anda is known as the
mother island of the famous island group.
Also across Tambac Bay to the southeast is
the town of Bani; and to the northwest across
the Caquipotan Channel is the town of Bolinao.
The local economy is largely dependent on
fishing and partly on agriculture.
The local government
has adopted eco-tourism as a long-term development
strategy. The twin objectives are to protect
and conserve its coastal resources and to
provide an alternative livelihood to people.
The bottomline is sustainable development
of Tondol Beach and its immediate environs
as eco-tourism site. Thus was the campsite
chosen for the first CRM youth camp.
on camp is fun
The week-long youth camp included seminars
on the state of the fishing industry and coastal
resources in the country for a macro view
with focus on Anda as a microcosm of the country.
These increased their awareness of the endangered
marine species as well as of the interrelationship
of the different ecosystems in the coastal
area. There were discussions on the current
issues, concerns and problems in CRM. The
participants were divided into groups and
each group formulated recommendations to address
said issues, problems. There were also lecture-demonstrations
on waste management. As participant-observers,
they learned the importance of the technology
and had hands-on application of the techniques
of waste segregation and composting.
To stress the importance
of the sea as a source of livelihood for the
people in the island municipality, the participants
were exposed to shellcraft making and fish
drying ventures in the neighboring barangays.
They also trekked to different beaches and
neighboring islets and sandbars for a first
hand information on the state of the areas.
Guided by the child
learning principle that children learn better
while having fun, the Anda experience included
games, poster making, and songs, where the
girl scouts expressed their appreciation and
commitment on their roles as future stewards
of the environment.
To reinforce the participants’
cognitive learning on the importance of mangroves
in the coastal ecosystem through lectures,
the girl scouts travelled by boat across Tambac
Bay to the town of Bani for a site visit to
the town’s Marine Protected Area. The
43-hectare Bani MPA is a mangrove forest rehabilitation
site recently declared a bird sanctuary which
is also being developed for eco-tourism. Back
in Tondol, the girl scouts applied their newly
acquired knowledge and skills in CRM by reforesting
a one-hectare area in front of the camp site
with 1,000 mangrove seedlings. A recent site
visit to the reforested area by this writer
with Tina Basco, FRMP-IEC National Coordinator,
showed a survival rate of the of 98 percent.
FRMP management has
lined up a follow-up site visit by the same
group to the mangrove reforestation area this
year. The activity is intended to enhance
the value of ownership of the mangrove area
among the youth who participated in the reforestation
effort, Basco explained.
The BFAR Region 1 intends to replicate the
Anda experience with another youth camp, this
time to be attended by selected elementary
and first year to third year high school students
from coastal schools in Region 1. The tentative
camp site is Alaminos City. This will be done
in cooperation with some local schools and
LGUs in the region. The activity is in recognition
of the importance of continuously molding
desirable CRM values among the youth and in
instilling in them a sense of responsibility
over their coastal resources.
Early this 2003, BFAR
has sponsored similar youth camps in the Visayas
and in Mindanao. Lessons and insights from
the Anda experience were inputted in the improvement
of the succeeding youth camp activities.