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Key tourism players conduct strategic planning workshop

CEBU, Philippines - Key tourism players in Cebu and Bohol recently convened in a two-day workshop at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, to craft sustainable strategies and action plans for 2014.

Initiated by the German government-funded Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED) program, the workshop made emphasis on making changes in framework conditions in Cebu and Bohol considering the calamities that hit the area in the latter part of 2013.

Also included in the planning session were learning and retooling sessions with inputs coming from different resource persons, one of whom is Thomas Finkel, representing COMO, a leading consultancy firm in Germany.

Also during the workshop, tourism stakeholders from Cebu and Bohol shared their respective green practices to their peers to encourage others to follow suit.

These practices include changing light bulbs to LED lights, retrofitting existing buildings to optimize natural lighting and natural ventilation, recycling waste water through reed bed system and linking with local suppliers of organic products.

These practices not only allowed them to contribute to conserving the environment, reducing impact of human activities to the environment, reducing green house gas emissions and promoting sustainable production and consumption but also helped lower the cost of operations.

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As a result of the sensitization activities via fora, exhibits, testimonials, audio visuals and printed materials, the enterprises in the tourism sectors of Bohol and Cebu initiated steps towards greening.

On the other hand, drivers from the transport sector went into training on fuel efficient driving. Resorts worked with service providers to conduct energy audit and consult on green designs, toxic waste collector and treater as well as suppliers of equipment to reduce electricity and water costs were introduced to the enterprises.

Service providers worked together to come up with green service packages affordable and accessible to MSMEs.

The ProGED Project is a development cooperation project jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ and Department of Trade and Industry and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of MSMEs by adopting environment friendly and climate smart strategies.

It will run for three years, from January 2013 to December 2015 and will be piloted in the tourism value chain in two provinces, Bohol and Cebu, with an aim to upscale outside the pilot areas from the second year on wards. (FREEMAN)

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