Coral Triangle Preservation Project and the Verde Island Passage
The Coral Triangle is one of the most ecologically diverse reef systems in the world, primarily through the Verde Island Passage. Unfortunately, at the very same time, the Verde Island Passage is perhaps one of the most prevalent international shipping lanes between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea with an extremely large volume of shipping passing through at any given time.
While measures have been put in place including Philippine Executive Order 578, there is scant funding for any meaningful projects and virtually no means for enforcement. This even extends to emergency response efforts that need to be put in place in order to address any issues when ships develop problems within the Verde Island Passage.
Recent Defeats in Humanitarian and Environmental Projects
Given our recent defeats in efforts to actively engage in national projects that would have funded the majority of our projects, it is unlikely that we will be able to tackle everything all at once, so we are looking to establish either one (or both) of two projects specifically for the Verde Island Passage and the surrounding areas.
The original idea was to establish the waste to energy as a national level utility, ensuring a level of income sufficient to fund all of our operations here in the Philippines and some more international efforts. What has transpired is that monied interests have implemented these programs, moving through the local government units which presents two very challenging barriers for us to overcome.
The first challenge is establishing everything at the local level as opposed to creating a national utility. This decreases both efficiency and profitability of operations. The second challenge however, is perhaps the more daunting of the twain. The second obstacle created by this implementation is that the monied interests with established government connections will now be given priority, no matter the cost or who may be utilizing the best technologies. Thus, in some respects we are back to the proverbial square one, but we do foresee attempting a continuation of our efforts in a commercial endeavor at the same time as we pursue both humanitarian and environmental goals.
The Marriage of Commercial Operations With Humanitarian and Environmental Considerations
We believe that actively seeking out commercial ventures that can be pursued in a sustainable fashion and/or generate a sufficient level of proceeds to continue with gradual (but continuous) growth and expansion seem to be a more viable option for consideration.
Among our many pet peeves are those companies that continually seek to use donations in order to pursue further donations. Not only do we not wish to rely on donations as anything more than a direct and purposed approach for the expansion of projects, neither do we wish to engage in activities that will see us being actively forced to constantly seek out new sources for donations.
It seems much more prudent to actively seek out commercial ventures that will provide training and paying jobs to the formerly marginalized communities, while at the same time generating a sufficient level of proceeds to ensure foundational success and continued operations. If there are to be any financial cuts or restrictions, these should be limited to the foundation itself and not as a means to cut programs for those who are so desperately in need of assistance.
Potential Program Options for the Preservation of the Coral Triangle in the Verde Island Passage
Permaculture Institute of the Philippines
The first option we are considering is the establishment of a large-scale permacultural institute. This approach however, requires the purchase of a sufficient amount of land in order to ensure that the Permaculture Institute of the Philippines will be large enough to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability and be created using the principles of whole system sustainable development.
We prefer to purchase land consisting of at least seventy hectares for the purpose of growth within the permacultural institute. This growth includes large-scale food forests and large-scale livestock production.
The food forests will take approximately fifteen years to reach a full level of maturity but should be fairly well productive within eight years. Likewise the large-scale livestock herds will take time to establish. Among the largest concerns are the ability to pay for the costs of feeds while at the same time ensuring there is no negative cash flow.
Upon maturity, the livestock and the produce from the food forests can be used in order to create substantially more jobs in the forms of food carts, food trucks and even full-scale restaurants that can be financed for and on behalf of the formerly marginalized groups upon the completion of sufficient training.
In the meantime, the focus will be on the growth and production of Malungay or Moringa Oleifera and the creation of powder from the leaves. Other commercial ventures will include a construction company and other such options as will be capable of ensuring a continued and positive flow of proceeds in order to maintain operations, and ideally allow for at least limited growth and expansion.
Live Aboard Diving Vessel and/or Resort for the Verde Island Passage and the Coral Triangle
While this project would not likely be as profitable in the long-term, it would be much more economically sustainable in the opening phases of operations.
Furthermore, a targeted marketing effort, especially in cooperation with a partnering or foundation owned resort, would allow for the targeting of more financially secure clients in addition to catering to universities and other research-oriented markets, allowing for networking and the ability to establish the necessary relationships to build a more complete sustainable development.
Projected Scopes of Proposal
I will be putting together the projected scope of proposal for these two projects in the near future, in the event however, that you happen to know someone who may be interested, we are always here and easy to contact. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Let us know what you think please!