MANILA, Philippines - The Energy Globe Foundation has selected two Philippine projects as winners of the Energy Globe Award, which proponents dub as the largest and most important environmental prize worldwide.
Founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann, the awards are given annually to projects focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energies.
It covers more than 170 participating countries and over 1500 project submissions annually.
In the Philippines, the first winning project is the “Bell and Bottle: Low cost early warning system for landslide prone communities in remote areas” by David Manalo of the Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute (FSSRI) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The other winning project is by Apolinario Carino of the non-profit Pederasyon sa Nagkahiusang mga Mag-uuma nga Nanalipud ug Nagpasig-uli sa Kinaiyahan Inc. (Penagmannaki) dubbed as the “Rainforestation: A community-based forest restoration initiative on Negros Island.”
The two winners received an Energy Globe Certificate signed by Energy Globe Jury chairperson Maneka Gandhi and Energy Globe’s founder, Wolfgang Neumann.
The award for Dr. Manalo was presented by the Austrian Embassy – Commercial Section on behalf of the Energy Globe Foundation last May 19, while the award for Carino will be presented at a later date.
Dr. Manalo received the winner’s certificate from Commercial Counsellor Lisa Koscak and Albay Governor Joey Salceda.
According to the Energy Globe Foundation, Manalo’s Bell and Bottle innovation is as early warning system for landslide prone communities which are often in hard-to-reach areas where modern transportation and communication facilities are lacking.
“The project established the critical rainfall rates at which landslides will most probably occur and the people were trained to use an empty soda bottle (cut into half and turned upside down) to measure the rainfall. Once the rainfall readings reached the critical rainfall levels, the people will hit the bells (made of old gas tanks) to inform and advice the whole community for preparation and evacuation to safe areas,” the Foundation said.
At least 20 villages have already benefitted from the project and no more casualties were reported in the project site since the installation of the Bell and bottle early warning system, according to the Foundation.
Carino’s Rainforestation project, meanwhile, involves restoration farming through the planting of native or indigenous tree species in combination with agricultural crops.
“The two-ha rainforestation demonstration site in Negros Oriental proved that planting indigenous and endemic trees can be done along with income-generating fruit trees, cash crops, ornamental plants and cut flowers which provided additional livelihood opportunities for the community,” the Foundation said, noting that six municipalities have adopted the program.
The Foundation will announce the other winners in other countries.