Nine Pinoy projects in global climate change competition

() - August 16, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In yet another testament to the Filipinos’ world-class skills and ingenuity, nine Philippine projects successfully hurdled the rigorous selection process of the World Bank Group’s 2009 Global Development Marketplace Competition, an international contest aimed at identifying and funding innovative, early-stage projects with high potential for development impact.

Development Market-place competitions – held at the global, regional and country level – attract ideas from a range of innovators, including civil society groups, social entrepreneurs, academia and businesses. This year’s competition focuses on climate change adaptation.

The Philippines is the first in Asia and second in the world, next only to Peru, to have the most number of participants in the roster of 100 finalists.

Filipinos competed with nearly 1,800 project proposals submitted by social entrepreneurs and development practitioners from 47 countries on how to help poor and vulnerable communities affected by climate threats.

The finalists will be given a chance to present their proposals to a jury of experts in November at the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. Around 20 to 25 projects will be chosen and given up to $200,000 grant each, to help them implement their ideas.

The selection process captured the most innovative and creative solutions to climate change related problems. The projects were also chosen based on their objective and measurable results, project design and organizational capacity, sustainability of impact, and growth potential.

World Bank country director Bert Hofman said the Development Marketplace annual contest is one of the World Bank’s efforts to empower innovators at the local and community level. “The World Bank recognizes that community-based knowledge can provide answers to major development challenges facing developing countries like the Philippines,” he explained.

Since its inception in 1998, Development Marketplace has awarded roughly $54 million to more than 1,000 projects through global, regional, and country-level competitions. Using this funding as a launching pad, many projects scale up or replicate elsewhere, winning prestigious awards for social entrepreneurship.

Mr. Hofman said the World Bank has focused many of its competitions on climate change since it is the poorest countries and communities that suffer most from reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture. “Managing risks related to climate change therefore is crucial in the developing world,” he said.

This year’s contest covered three themes: climate adaptation and disaster risk management, climate risk management, and resilience of indigenous people’s communities to climate risks.

Most of the project proposals came from non-government organizations, registered indigenous peoples’ organizations, the business sector, and the academia or research-based organizations.

The nine Philippine finalists are:

1. Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of Southern Leyte through SMS Technology submitted by the Philippine Business for Social Progress;

2. Bell and Bottle: Low-cost warning system for the poor farming communities in landslide-prone areas by the University of the Philippines at Los Baños;

3. Fish on Earth: Providing opportunities to cushion the impact of climate change on rainfed rice farmers by the University of the Philippines at Los Baños;

4. Securing fishery livelihoods through disaster-resilient aquaculture integrated with mangrove restoration by the Trowel Development Foundation, Inc.;

5. Production of vermicast (earthworm-produced fertilizer) and green charcoal with community and local government participation by the Pampamilyang Paaralang Agrikultura, Inc. (PPAI);

6. Enhancement, conservation and democratization of access to ecosystem services by the Pipuli Foundation, Inc.;

7. Biofuel production and mangrove rehabilitation and development in the Philippines by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau;

8. Vegetables for Salambao by the International Resources Group-Philippines; and

9. Floating Power Charger: providing lights beyond the dark extremes of climate change by LAMBS Agri Mechanicals.

This article is based on materials published by the World Bank Philippines in

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