On January 20-22, 2016 a training for the deputation of river and forest rangers for the Amburayan river basin and watershed was conducted in Santol, La Union. Representatives from People’s Organizations and community members from covered barangays were capacitated and empowered toward environmental protection.
Melchor Ramirez, the leader of the Barangay Salvacion Farmer’s Association and a participant in the training remarked, “I thought of the Amburayan as just the river flowing through my town, I didn’t realize how large it really is”. These trainings gather community members who don’t always realize the scale of the river and the extent of the effects that their actions can do.
Perceptions are changed and civic leaders who used to focus exclusively on their area are now aware that they are part of a greater community struggling to protect this vast river and its forests. They know with certainty that they are not alone in their efforts to regulate destructive fishing, encourage solid waste management and stop illegal logging because they have met and trained with community leaders who are doing the same things in their own areas.
Protecting and Defending the Amburayan River Basin and Watershed through Good Governance and Active Peoples’ Participation is a project funded by the USAID through the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) and is implemented by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc. (JVOFI).//