COSERAM helps improve cooperation of Gingoog Bay Alliance members

MEDINA, Misamis Oriental, PH, September 6-8 — The Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program facilitated a workshop of the Gingoog Bay Alliance aimed at improving and strengthening cooperation of the GBA member-local government units.

“Our support, which is in the form of a self-assessment workshop, is geared towards identifying options and strategies for a peace-promoting local development“ within and among the five LGUs comprising the alliance, said workshop anchor and facilitator Walter Alquisa, senior advisor for Peace Building and Development Needs of COSERAM.

GBA chairman and Talisayan Mayor Rommel Maslog (R) is shown here with COSERAM Principal Advisor Peter Hauschnik during the 3rd COSERAM Partners’ Forum at the Almont Inland Resort on April. (© GIZ/Bong D. Fabe)

GBA chairman Mayor Rommel Maslog of the Municipality of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, said the workshop “is part of the alliance’s strategy of strengthening its structure and operations towards effecting mitigation measures of the various conflicts relevant to resource management“ in the bay municipalities of Balingoan, Talisayan, Medina, and Magsaysay, and Gingoog City.

The workshop is in line with COSERAM’s aim of contributing to the peaceful and sustainable governance and utilization of natural resources and assets for the benefit of the marginalized population in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

The GBA, formerly known as the Gingoog Bay Development Council (GBDC), was formally established through Executive Order 234 issued by President Fidel Ramos on 07 Aprl 1995 as an advisory and coordinating body to the Office of the President to formulate the Gingoog Bay Development Master Plan, initiate and coordinate projects and programs for the preservation and enhancement of the bay’s ecological balance, protection, rational and sustainable utilization and development of its coastal and marine resources.

A participant from the Municipality of Balingoan reporting what his small group has come up with during the workshop. (© GIZ/Bong D. Fabe)

It is also tasked to empower the people of the localities through the active participation of the private sector and civil society organizations, and justly share with the people the fruits of development through programs and projects that are community-based, planned and implemented with the involvement of the local stakeholders and adhere to the principles of sustainable development.

Councilor Thaddeus Lugod, chairman of the Gingoog City Council’s Committee on Agriculture and Fishery, expressing his happiness to be able to participate in the workshop. (© GIZ/Bong D. Fabe)

Councilor Thaddeus Lugod, chairman of the Gingoog City Council‘s Committee on Agriculture and Fishery, said he was very happy to be able to participate in the workshop, which he described as “an important step towards the realization“ of our common goal of “poverty alleviation by implementing sustainable programs for food security and economic stability among fishers and fish farmers.“

“I am very happy to be here. Despite a very hectic schedule, I am happy to be able to catch up with you even for a few hours and learn of the plans and programs our partnership, our alliance, are able to come up with through this workshop. Thank you so much GIZ-COSERAM for facilitating this workshop and for rekindling the fire in us to implement efforts geared toward the peaceful and sustainable use of the abundant resources of our common natural resource that is the Gingoog Bay for the benefit of our constituents,“ he said.

COSERAM is a program that is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Philippine government.

The GIZ has been supporting partner countries in their efforts to address challenges confronting their marine ecosystems and sustainably manage coastal and marine resources. The company contributes to the safeguarding the livelihood of coastal populations and sustaining ecosystems and their services. The technical cooperation with partners is aimed a building capacities to improve governance in responsible fisheries and aquaculture, marine and coastal protected areas, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, pollution control and marine litter, community-based management systems, ecosystem services, tourism and alternative incomes.

The GIZ supports the BMZ’s 10-Point Plan of Action for Marine Conservation and Sustainable Fisheries as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, among others.

Biodiversity and ecosystems feature prominently in the 17 SGDs because they directly contribute to human well-bring and development given that biodiversity is at the center of many human and economic activities like crop and livestock agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Studies showed that nearly half of the global human population is directly dependent on natural resources for livelihood while most of the world’s most vulnerable people depend directly on biodiversity for their daily subsistence needs.

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