Ecologically-based tourism and alternative livelihood program for the local fisher folk, surf instructors and tourism community, who have been out of jobs since the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown in the Philippines. Managed in collaboration with FEED technical partner Ocean Quest Global, Coral Propagation Certified members of Jongky Surf School, and with coral nursery support from 45 trained members of the local La Union Surf Club, Inc. (LUSC) - oldest surf association in the Philippines.
Formerly unsustainable tourism practices in the Surfing Capital of Northern Philippines wreaked havoc on the centuries old coral wall of La Union Province. With the sudden annual surge of interest in surfing in our home province, in one of the oldest surfing capitals of the Philippines, those hardest hit by rampant tourism, over-fishing and pollution were (are) the local residents themselves who took it upon themselves to coordinate efforts with local government to get more organised.
FEED has been working with the La Union Surf Club, Inc. (since 2016) and the local surfing, tourism and government communities to consolidate more sustainable tourism practices. La Union Surf Club, Inc. took it upon ourselves to themselves more actively pioneer more sustainable forms of eco-tourism, through e.g. daily beach clean-ups, environmental and health awareness seminars, water safety and coral propagation certification - leading many other stakeholders to collaborate for climate action.
Having trained 45 La Union Surf Club, Inc. members in coral maintenance; and 11 Jongky Surf School certified by Ocean Quest Global and Sea Shepherd in coral propagation, the significance of this project goes beyond restoring our coral reefs and ocean ecosystem and food security, in fact it supports alternative and sustainable livelihood for the local community banned from earning a daily living since our Covid-19 lockdown mid-February; and will provide continued livelihood in related crises.