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WWF - Community Action - Coral Triangle Protecting Palawan Island

WWF - Community Action - Coral Triangle Protecting Palawan Island

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network on Aug 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Barangay health workers, captains,family planning motivators andtrained coastal resource monitoringvolunteers at the parade for thelaunching of the Family PlanningCommodity Distribution System of Roxas, Palawan, Philippines.© WWF A Philippine fisherman practicingseaweed farming - a sustainablealternative when fish stocks are under pressure.© WWF / Judy Oglethorpe
Community Action
Coral Triangle: Protecting Palawan Island
Palawan is one of few remaining large islands in thePhilippines with relatively intact ecosystems and abundantmarine biodiversity. WWF led a project here to improveaccess to family planning, deliver integrated messagesabout conservation and health and improve the ability of local groups and government to manage resourcessustainablyWWF Community Conservation Unit manages a USAID-funded population, health, and environment (PHE) projectcalled Successful Communities from Ridge to Reef. Theproject provides Reproductive Health Information andFamily Planning services in key areas where populationgrowth has serious impacts on natural resources andbiodiversity.The PHE project is located on the coast of Palawan Island in the Philippines. Palawan isone of the last Philippine provinces with relatively intact ecosystems and waters abundant with marine biodiversity, and yet the island’s marine life is severely threatened. Thehuman population is predicted to double in less than 30 years, and furthering the stresson the environment, harmful fishing practices are on the rise. Meanwhile, thedecentralized local governments still have weak capacity in enforcing marine laws or managing demographic change.In the two years since its inception, the project has worked with the district government and local communities to bringa new contraceptive distribution system to the area;educated and mobilized midwives, fishermen, governmentand community groups to deliver integrated messagesabout conservation, health, and family planning (FP); andimproved the capacity of local marine-watch groups andthe government to enforce marine laws.
The Roxas Family Planning Commodity DistributionSystem
In 2005, supplies of free pills and condoms that had beendistributed in the Roxas municipality were suddenlyunavailable. At the national level there were no funds to payfor the supplies. However, within months of the outage, theWWF PHE Project was initiated to fill the commoditiesgap.Partnering with the Municipal Health Officer, the project
8/26/2010WWF - Community Action - Coral Trianworldwildlife.org//coraltrianglephilippi1/3
Melogen Tipon with her husbandand two sons.© WWF
helped motivate the passage of a municipal resolution urging the
(local villagegovernments) to allocate funds for the purchase of contraceptives and the establishmentof a commodities distribution system. This time, however, they were no longer going to bedistributed for free but sold at prices calculated to ensure sustainability of the programand accessibility to the poorest members of the municipality.The system was launched on November 27, 2006. The supplies are dispensed bycommunity-based distributors and local pharmacies who sell oral contraceptives,injectables, and condoms. In addition to commodity distribution, several Barangay HealthWorkers and other FP outreach workers conduct informational sessions about familyplanning, Family Planning Action Sessions, for couples with an unmet need for familyplanning.
Family Planning Action Session (FPAS) Outreach Workers
Melogen Tipon, a 32-year-old mother of three, became anFP outreach worker after attending a training sessionconducted by WWF-Philippines and Save the Children.She is one of 25 FP volunteers in Roxas who have beentrained by the PHE Project. The volunteers conductmeetings with couples in their communities to talk aboutthe links between population, health and environment andthe importance of planning family sizes so that families cancontinue to be healthy, and parents can provide for their children without negatively impacting the environment.In her role as an FP outreach worker, Melogen says thatshe has improved her knowledge of reproductive health and contraception. “With the new knowledge I was able to explain not only to my husband but also to my neighbors aboutcontraception and other FP methods that are available for men and women. So far I havetalked to four other women who are interested in using IUD. Being a user myself, I canreally talk to them about my own experience and can correct any misconceptions theyhave about the IUD."
Saving Dugong on the Coral Triangle
The gentle Dugong inhabits shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, wherever sea grass ismost abundant. Like other sea cows, the Dugong lives a long life but breeds slowly -making it vulnerable to local eradication. A beached dugong was saved from certain death when 15-year-old Mark Florende foundthe marine mammal and reported it to the PHE Project. A rescue team of local volunteersand WWF staff was immediately dispatched. After ensuring it was unwounded, thevolunteers gently towed the Dugong to safety allowing it to swim off. Amidst cheers, theteam watched the Dugong disappear into Palawan’s turquoise waters.Mark attributed his ability to identify the Dugong and realize its importance to a poster 
8/26/2010WWF - Community Action - Coral Trianworldwildlife.org//coraltrianglephilippi2/3

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