The Philippine Association of Extension Program Implementors, Inc. (PAEPI) awarded the First Place Best Paper to Davao del Norte State College’s extension project entitled, “Tridacna/ Taklobo Tours: Conservation and Livelihood for the Fisherfolk in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS)” during the 5th Biennial Convention and 1st International Conference last October 26 – 28, 2016 at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. The Third Best Paper Award was also given to DNSC and its “Pangtawid Project for the Rehabilitation of Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley brought about by Typhoon Pablo through Seaweed Farming.”

The Taklobo Tours program was presented by its co-author Dr. Girley Gumanao, while the Pangtawid Project – Seaweed Farming was reperesented by its project head, Professor Cyril Tom Ranara. The two leading figures were backed up by their research teams in making sure that the projects weren’t just implemented but utilized by the targeted communities.

PAEPI is an organization of “extensionists” and managers that aims to promote sustainable development for local communities through encouraging regional researchers to anchor their studies to the growth of their respective places. The wining projects attained the highest prizes under PAEPI’s socioeconomic cluster.

The other highlighted areas in the convention were food production and security, health and nutrition, engineering innovation and smart analytic, environmental concerns, and education and culture.

Taklobo tours became a community-based ecotourism project in Adecor, Kaputian, IGaCoS that has helped coastal neighborhood to profit from learning and adventure tours on their Marine Reserve Park. It opened up both livelihood and conservation opportunities for the people and the environment. It offered jobs for bangkeros (boatmen), tricycle drivers, resort owners and investors, vendors and tourist guides around the area.

Under DOST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), Prof. Ranara’s project however provided alterative livelihood to the victims of Typhoon Pablo in the Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental areas. Families from different places, specifically in the Municipalities of Mabini and Pantukan, were encouraged to practice farming of fast-growing seaweed varieties, such as Sacol and Tambalang. (end, CNL)

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