Project 1: Material Transfer from Watersheds::
Project 2: Payment for Ecosystem Services::
Project 3: Critical Coastal Habitats::
Project 4: Socio-economic Profiles::
Project 5: Capture Fisheries Management::
Project 6: Livelihood Options/Technologies::
Project 7: Information/Data Management::
Project 8: Capacity Building::

USAID Team Visits Ridge to Reef Project Site

The USAID Team, along with the WorldFish Center team, visited the different sites of the Ridge to Reef Project in Misamis Occidental on 22 -24 August 2012 to better understand the progress and impact of the project on the ground. The visit also confirmed the good relationship between the project team and the stakeholders.  Among the sites visited were the Marine Sanctuary in Barangay Mobod, Oroquieta City, and Barangay Bala, Tudela.

PES Activities (ICRAF)

 During the first day of the visit (22 August 2012), the team met up with Mr. Maynard Bongcayao, designated Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Oroquieta City, and Mr. Eden C. Pito, head secretariat of the Upland Protected Area System Unit in Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, to discuss the Payment for Environmental Services (PES) activities conducted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in the Layawan Watershed.  PES is part of Project 2 of the Ridge to Reef Project which aims to achieve optimal use of resources in Mt. Malindang through valuation and environmental payments.

Mudcrab Fattening

The mudcrab fattening activity aims to promote mudcrab fattening using low cost, locally available indigenous feedstuff and to produce enough mudcrabs for market that will eventually provide an alternative sustainable livelihood for fisher folks.  To better understand the progress on this activity, the team met up with the Oroquieta City Crab Growers Association (OCCGA) in the Marine Sanctuary in Barangay Mobod on 22 August 2012. OCCGA is an association involved in fattening lean female crabs. The organization already harvested their second batch of fattened crabs and has stocked the third batch of lean crabs on 20 August 2012. The crabs are expected to be harvested after 15-20 days.

Mangrove Rehabilitation

 The team also talked to the Misamis Occidental Mangrove Management Association Inc. (MOMMAI) to check on the mangrove rehabilitation activity.  The MOMMAI is the organization formed during the catch up planning of mangrove rehabilitation conducted during the first week of February 2012.  It is an initiative from the volunteers from the six coastal municipalities involved in the Ridge to Reef Project who found a need to merge their efforts in mangrove rehabilitation in their respective municipalities to sustain this activity beyond the Project. Most MOMMAI members are municipal and barangay leaders of Misamis Occidental. At present, most of the mangrove rehabilitation/replanting activities in each municipality has been carried out; however, they still continue to face challenges especially with the seedlings being washed away by strong waves and destroyed by barnacles.

Jam and Jelly

The Oroquieta City Federated Women’s Association (OCFWA) is a women’s group that makes fruit-based jam and jelly of various flavors such as mango, pineapple, and watermelon. The organization has been making jam and jelly even before the Ridge to Reef Project began, but it was through Ridge to Reef that the group acquired enough capital for ingredients, equipment and management skills that enabled and equipped them to carry out a weekly production and be self-sufficient. The team met up with OCFWA on 22 August 2012 to discuss about the progress of OCFWA on their jam and jelly production. OCFWA continues to produce around 60 bottles per production cycle which they sell at PhP 90.00 per bottle.

Sea Ranching of Sea Cucumbers and Sea Urchins

 Part of the visit to the Mobod Marine Sanctuary on 22 August 2012 was monitoring the progress of sea cucumber sea ranching in the area. The experimental project, where collection of juvenile sea cucumbers began in January to serve as broodstock for MSU-Naawan, is expected to be completed in December of this year. The Project also paved the way for another five hectares of seagrass area, the natural home of sea cucumbers, to be protected as it is added to the area of the sanctuary. The OCCGA, all of whom are members of the Bantay-Dagat volunteers (sea wardens’ group), is also the one attending to the stocked juveniles, and who will later benefit from the stocks after the experiment. OCCGA continues their usual rounds around the sanctuary keeping people from fishing, gleaning and polluting the area.

The visiting USAID team then travelled to Barangay Barra in Tudela the following day to check on the cages holding the sea urchins for spawning before they are sold. Barangay Barra is the site of the pilot project of sea urchin production.  It was selected as the site for sea urchin culture because of the presence of the species in the area.  The barangay was also deemed conducive to the culture of sea urchin because of the minimum effects of typhoons. At present, the Bantay-Dagat volunteers of Tudela continue to follow recommendations in culturing the sea urchins as beneficiaries of the Project.

Meeting with Stakeholders

 On 23 August 2012, a meeting was held in Villa Amor, Oroquieta City between the USAID team and the project stakeholders.  The USAID Team and the project stakeholders were introduced during the meeting, which was followed by a group interaction. 

See Itinerary and peaple/places to visit.

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