Values Formation for Marine Conservation and Protection in San Fernando City, La Union

An outdoor group photo of ten people, wearing masks and standing some distance apart.

On May 27, 2021, Mr. Rizzvill Espina, Project Officer of the Institute of Social Order (ISO) facilitated the first Training of Trainers for its La Union project entitled, “Enhancing the Social and Economic Safety Nets of Fisherfolks in Culion, Palawan and City of San Fernando, La Union.”

To date, ISO has been working with the three registered/accredited fisherfolk associations (FA) in San Fernando City in conserving and protecting their coastal and marine environment, namely: Kasay Sanktwaryo, Lingsat Marine Protected Area (Lingsat MPA), and Poro Marine Protected Area (Poro MPA) Management Council Inc. This year, ISO introduced the “Training of Trainers” as a strategy in forming leaders and champions from ISO’s partner peoples’ organizations. To do this, ISO developed training modules of its core strategies. This includes community organizing, values formation and capacity building, participatory action research, natural resources management, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, participatory governance (networking and linkage), and livelihood development. The training modules are designed to capacitate FA members who will train and mentor their fellow members and other FAs.

The activity was conducted in the Lingsat MPA watchtower. Each FA selected three community facilitators/trainers who represented them in the activity. The Poro MPA was represented by its trusted Bantay Dagat members, while other FAs were represented by their selected officers.

In this first leg of the “Training of Trainers” series, the spotlight was on Values Formation. The discussion was linked to the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, particularly the call to collaborate in the care for our common home. This first Training of Trainers emphasized a community-based coastal resource management strategy that calls the community into conversion and assessment on how they live life, how they work, and how they relate to others. We get our inspiration from the person of Jesus Christ in his example of leadership as service.

The outcomes of the Values Formation Training of Trainers are as follows:

  • Capacitated the 9 community trainers to facilitate the same training during their monthly meetings;
  • Participants committed to resonate the knowledge gained during the training with other members and other people’s organizations; and
  • Helped values formation facilitators in guiding the fishermen to acquire and develop values that will empower them individually and take a more active role in environmental protection and community empowerment as leaders and members.

Though it was the first time to conduct this type of training in the project area, the activity went smooth and participants had fun. The activity was also supported by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office of the City Government of San Fernando.

Article written by: Rizzvill Espina, Project Officer for La Union

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