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Strategic partnerships: vital in creating sustainable solutions to social problems

Written by Prince Darius Lina 

Story Highlights
AGREA teams up with communities and organizations to implement solutions to social issues such as access to safe drinking water, electricity, and environmental protection.

AGREA is taking sustainable and environment-friendly innovations, and coordinating with local communities and organizations across the globe to implement sustainable solutions in meeting the basic needs of society. 

Technology is available. Research has produced promising breakthroughs for both climate change mitigation and agriculture. But a lot of these are shelved for their existing industrial counterparts. The science is there, but a good number of us are not willing to apply it yet. 

This is why AGREA partners with multiple organizations and individuals to bring sustainable and environment-friendly solutions in order to help the people of Marinduque meet their basic needs. 

Access to clean and safe drinking water
In the Island of Gaspar, AGREA, Waves for Water, and Landbank Philippines, brought portable water filtration systems to address the community’s need for potable water. This was through the “Gawad Katubigan Project”. Previously, potable water in plastic containers had to be transported from the mainland on a daily basis. 

During particularly difficult days however, such as during storms and heavy rains, the residents had to rely on boiled rainwater for drinking. But with this handy innovation, 88 households of Gaspar now have a more convenient access to safer drinking water. 

READ: Access to Safe Drinking Water, Now a Reality

Portable water filtration systems were also brought to two remote areas, Sitio Sinambahan in Barangay Malibago, Torrijos and Barangay Tambunan in Boac. 

A greening program within reach
AGREA returned to Gaspar on the 29th of June, together with Matthias “The Green Man” Gelber, and Gasan Municipal Social Welfare Office (MSWDO Gasan), and established a bamboo seedling nursery during the initial launching of the One Island Greening Movement. 

READ: Bamboo seedling facility kicks off AGREA’s greening movement

This move was to address the island’s needs for shade, erosion control, and bamboo for their fishing boats. Since bamboo is fast-growing and fairly easy to propagate, the people of Gaspar no longer have to buy them from the mainland once their plantations are established. 

Solar powered classrooms
Solar panels, courtesy of One Million Lights Philippines, were also brought into Gaspar a few days later. The 40-watt capacity solar panels were donated to Gaspar Elementary School to address its power needs, increasing the potential for learning in the islands’ lone frontier for education. 

READ: Greenest Person on the Planet: the environment is for our children

Potentials are immense for renewable energy. In less than two years, the price of solar panels has dropped. And research from Morgan Stanley projects that by 2020, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power will become more affordable than their carbon counterparts. 

SOLAR POWERED CLASSROOMS. This 40-watt solar panel system will allow students to have access to electricity in order to power a more enhanced audio-visual learning. 

If we continue to patronize the renewable alternatives, we can push the expansion of the renewable energy industry, and make opting for renewable energy even more affordable. 

Partners in social development 
Development is not about having everything to immediately provide for the people who are in need. What can be done is to bridge organizations and communities, and establish linkages between potential resources and the people who need them. 

With adequate training and education, people can learn to make good use of nature-friendly and sustainable alternatives. 

AGREA hopes to partner with more innovators who share the same vision of a greener, more sustainable Philippines. The right choices can enable us to live at peace with nature, while still enjoying the convenience of modern technology. What’s left is for us to invest in the right technology and work together, in order to make the dream of a sustainable, eco-friendly one-island economy, a reality. 

AGREA aims to help eradicate poverty for farming and fishing families, to alleviate the effects of climate change and to help establish food security in the Philippines. Based in the ‘Heart of the Philippines’, AGREA has been mobilizing communities, businesses, academia, local and national government, international partners, and keen individuals, in bringing an ‘Ecology of Dignity’ to farming and fishing communities in the island of Marinduque.

Let us know how we can work together. For partnership inquiries, engagements, and to know more about AGREA, send us an email to [email protected]

Prince Darius Lina is an AGREA intern from the Visayas State University, under the BS in Development Communication program.

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