The Coron Initiative by the Calamianes Cultural Conservation Network Inc.-CCCNI co-organized by the Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. – SSTDI, is a UNEP APFED Showcase Program, the first in the Philippines that promotes and educates grassroots public and private stakeholders in Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Tourism Development and Stewardship for Coron & Calamianes Island. The SSTDI Framework is a replicable model for Sustainable Tourism principles and practices for the Philippines’ 7,107 islands proposed by Ms. Susan Santos de Cárdenas, SSTDI CEO & President as Author & Adviser.
The targeted project areas are the Coron and Calamianes Islands, the fastest developing prime tourist destinations in the Philippines. Coron Island has recently been proclaimed by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve and thus gained international attention. Tourism development in the country, while boosting economic activity also leads to various infrastructure projects to meet an expanding population. These developments threaten both the coastal and upland areas, such as the Northern Palawan, which was originally seen as a site of unlimited resources by the community. However, inter-island transport, trash dumping, commercial fishing and tourism have had detrimental impacts. Ground-based activities such as deforestation, infrastructure development, waste water and organic waste are also imposing serious negative impacts on the marine and coast ecosystems on the islands.
The Coron Initiative aims to set parameters and safeguards to maintain natural cycles in marine and coastal ecosystems and reduce the effects of global climate change. The project seeks to preserve the Coron& Calamianes Islands as a destination attraction in an environmentally responsible manner and in this capacity, help stakeholders achieve efficiency and savings in business operating activities. The Coron Initiative will guide the islands’ path to greater ecological integrity by protecting and conserving biodiversity for future generations. An expected output of the Initiative is the creation of a Sustainable Development and Tourism Facilitating tool and guidelines for Coron & Calamianes Islands businesses, agencies, NGOs, LGUs, SMEs and the Coron community in general in order to achieve effective sustainability planning.
The Coron Initiative aims to:
•Promote and implement conservation actions and protection of the island’s marine ecology and biodiversity
•Help to form private and public partnerships on Sustainable Development and Tourism goals
•Promote social responsibility and environmental integrity
•Formulate and implement specific Sustainable Tourism Guidelines for Coron in harmony with existing legislations in the following areas:
•Strategic Environmental Assessment
•Create Awareness about the salient features of many environmental laws and the impending threats of climate change
•Nature and extent of the ecological and environmental, social, political, economic and cultural situation of Coron Island
•Establish sustainable tourism criteria for all tourism related businesses – effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community; enhancing cultural heritage; and reducing negative impacts to the environment.
- OUR GREEN LEADERS
- Ms Susan Santos de CÁRDENAS
- Author & Adviser, The Coron Initiative
Specializing on Sustainable Development projects – Tourism, Hospitality, Events, with Corporate and Community Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. A savvy hotelier, events management & tour operations expert with more than 20 years experience managing sales, marketing, operations, events and personnel for start up and established hotel resorts, tour operators, travel agencies, lifestyle events and publications, in the Philippines, Singapore, Peru and Japan. Currently based in Tokyo, Japan for her diplomat-husband’s post, she frequently travels to the Philippines where she laid the groundwork for sustainable tourism and development in initial key areas, such as Boracay Island, Negros Occidental and Coron. She has volunteer-worked for Local Government Units (LGUs) and NGOs in the Philippines in Sustainable Tourism & Development initiatives: good governance, poverty alleviation, food security, disaster preparedness and management. A keynote speaker & presentation specialist; Resource person for capacity building workshops, training courses and conferences in Ecotourism management, Community Based Rural Tourism, Agri-Tourism development, Best Green Hotels practices, Social MediaMarketing for eco lodges and Green Meetings/ Events/MICE Management.
Links on Ms. Santos de Cardenas professional profile & activities:
- Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development – http://sstdi.org/about/our-team/
- The Boracay Initiative article on Boracay Sun- http://bit.ly/16cFPkm
- The Negros Occidental Initiative on Visayan Daily Star- http://bit.ly/12FB58o
- Sunstar- http://bit.ly/17UwD8a
- The Coron Initiative article on Manila Times – http://bit.ly/11uAa5H
- Guest Speaker at National Conference on Planning & Development of Community Rural Based Tourism – http://www.dap.edu.ph/cshd/cbrt/presentations.php
- The Coron Initiative Case Study Presenter at UNEP Regional Media Workshop, Kathmandu, Nepal- http://on.fb.me/11uB3v8
Ms. Cardenas is a founding Board Member of the ASIAN ECOTOURISM NETWORK and a member of:
- Al Linsangan III
- CCCNI Executive Director, Environmental Photographer
- Proprietor: Coron Galeri
Al Linsangan III, is an Environmental photographer by passion and ecotourism operator by profession, Executive Director of the Coron & Calamianes Cultural Conservation Networks Inc., our lead NGO Advocate for The Coron Initiative, working towards sustainable Coron in the next millennium. Soon after graduating from his Economics course, Al took off from his home town, Coron lived in the ancestral domain of the indigenous cultural communities of the Tagbanuas, immersing himself in its primitive living culture and from then on, trained and worked his way to become Coron, Palawan’s Eco expert to include: Bird watching basics, Reef assessment course, Environmental interpretation, Project Learning Tree & Water Education for Teachers (WET) workshops; Fisheries management & assessment workshop, under the USAID-F.I.S.H. project and Sustainable Environment Management Program – Northern Palawan (SEMP-NP). He took a Basic and Advanced Photography course, and established several creative and authentic SME operations, to include Coron Galeri, an arts and crafts shop and Palawan Outdoors, an adventure specialist and expanded to Calamianes Expeditions and Eco tours, a low-priced full serviced tours utilizing the local service groups his Community Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. He set up the Calamianes Conservation & Cultural Networks Inc. (CCCN), an NGO that took part in the restoration and establishment of the Siete Pecados Marine Park, a coral reef sanctuary and the Calamian Geographic Society (a group of outdoor oriented youths supporting the programs of CCCNI, Tribu Calamianen, a Palawan indigenous cultural music group and ultimately Al3 Studios.
Corinn “Chippy” Pe-Alarcon
OIC – Secretariat (March – July 2013)
The Coron Initiative
Incumbent Municipal Tourism Officer – Coron
A self motivated professional with a comprehensive experience in Sales Marketing
& Sustainable Project management, hospitality, travel and tourism industry. She has 2.5 years as Trade Marketing Asst Specialist with wide experience in Cycle Plan executions , awarded three (2) times as Best TMAS and three (3) years related experience in research and data gathering, budget preparation and management, human resource functions, financial reporting, project and administrative management. She has worked with various hotel, travel & lodging operations, namely, Asia Grand View Hotel, Isla Hamacas Tours, Darayonan Lodge and the Provincial Tourism Office of Palawan.