Palawan, Samar and Upper Sierra Madre hubs hold site conferences to enhance capacity buildingTo address the need to integrate the skill sets of project managers and implementers and provide a venue for capacity-building, four site conferences were held from September to November, organized by the respective SGP hubs:
- Samar: held in Catbalogan, Samar, from November 15-17, and organized by the Center for Empowerment and Resource Development, Inc. (CERD).
- Upper Sierra Madre: held in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, from October 27-28, and organized by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM).
- Palawan: held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, on October 14, and was organized by the Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI).
- Lower Sierra Madre: held in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, from 7-9 September, and organized by Tanggol Kalikasan.
- Multi-stakeholder participation is very important during project implementation and even beyond the project term (i.e., involvement of LGUs and other partners).
- Use of local language during training sessions facilitates easier understanding of topics. The use of visual aids and presentations such as videos also helps in better understanding.
- Participants appreciate theoretical concepts coupled with hands-on trainings.
- Community integration helps build trust among project implementers and partner communities.
- Each SGP grantee has their own unique expertise and field of specialization, which can be pooled to optimize resources and expand learning and project results.
- Tasks of the Hubs are important to consolidate individual efforts and initiatives and to facilitate the implementation of a common advocacy agenda of CSOs.
- Grantees need to reach out to other CSOs to have a stronger advocacy on issues affecting biodiversity resources.
- Interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration and cooperation are needed to support capacity building for various stakeholders, i.e., Barangay officials,
- Funding can be sourced from LGUs (municipal and provincial), and the even the private sector.
The hub conferences provided a venue for stocktaking and surfacing of emerging lessons by SGP5 grantees and selected CSOs in the different site hubs. The participants were able to share their experiences and lessons in project implementation. The hubs facilitated the joint planning among grantees to allow synergy among their projects in terms of policy advocacy work, engagement with national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), academe and the private sector, and sustainability of initiatives, knowledge management and Monitoring & Evaluation.
Some of the early and emerging lessons pointed out by the grantees include:
The site hubs shared their experiences and activities on topics such as policy advocacy, IEC campaigns, law enforcement, environmental governance, social enterprise and sustainable tourism during the other conferences.
Significantly, the Upper Sierra Madre granted signed a Policy Agenda/Manifesto for the caring of the Upper Sierra Madre (Link: image of Upper SM manifesto).
The site conferences shall culminate with the SGP National Conference to be held in early 2017. The National Conference is expected to synthesize the progress of project implementation, their possible contributions to national and global conservation goals, policies that can be advocated at the national level. It is also hoped to sow the seeds for a nationwide CSO hub in biodiversity conservation.
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