Recognition for Special Filipina During IWSP
Category : Updates
This is the week when the world celebrates International Week of Science and Peace (IWSP) – it is when we acknowledge activities related to the study and dissemination of information on the links between progress in science and technology and maintenance of peace and security; and promote international co-operation among scientists.
AwF is therefore very excited to introduce Belinda Miranda-Garrido, the Management Coordinator of Roxas City Coastal Resource Management office in the Philippines, who has been awarded the Aquaculture without Frontiers Woman of the Month for November 2015!
Ms Garrido has spent almost 30 years in public service at the local level which has impacted provincial and regional levels on aquaculture and fisheries management including social and economic empowerment of men and women involved. In addition, her projects with the local communities on eco-tourism have been given, not only local recognition, but also recently national recognition by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines. The project she spearheaded, the Cadimahan River Tour, was awarded Grand Winner for Best Practice in Community-Based Responsible Tourism Award-Tourism Enterprise 2015. This is a project of the Roxas City Government for Lawis Baybay Small Fisherfolk Association in partnership with schools, NGAs, NGOs and private sector. This initiative helped feed the fisher folk families and helped rehabilitate Cadimahan River advancing food security for disadvantaged people.
Their Diwal (also known as Angel Wings) Rehabilitation Project won First Place in the Best Public Sector Project RDC-NEDA 6 in 2005. Two decades ago, Roxas City in Capiz almost lost its prized shellfish diwal due to overharvesting. Overharvesting resulted in the rapid decline of volume in 1987 and the bivalve had since remained scarce for almost a decade. Garrido and the city government implemented a rehabilitation and regulation program to save the diwal from extinction. Only the thorough comprehensive rehabilitation program in 1997 saved the bivalve from near extinction. Now diwal is one of the tourist-drawers of the city and the much sought-after delicacy is partly responsible for its recognition as the country’s “seafood capital.”
Belinda is now conducting river profiling towards the development of a sewerage treatment facility to ensure safe seafoods which are being cultured in rivers like oysters and mussels. She also works with communities on mangrove reforestation of river banks, clearing and clean-up. Her other projects for communities transferring knowledge and technology increasing capability and capacity are vermiculture and vermicomposting and organic medicinal /herbal growing and utilization.
With her leadership and compassionate but firm approach, she has become a model to the women and men in the communities. With her determination and willpower, faith in God, and ability to work within a team of multidisciplinary backgrounds, she has given motivation to them that they can change for the better and improve their wellbeing through helping themselves. Ms Garrido facilitated a way to make local government support practical and participatory to involve partnerships with communities who need help alleviating poverty and malnutrition. She is an inspiration and positive role model to both men and women throughout aquaculture and fisheries communities. AwF is delighted to honour her, especially during the time of IWSP.