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Aug 17th
Home Columns Ike Señeres Ecology Capital and Sustainable Development
Ecology Capital and Sustainable Development PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Ike Señeres
Written by Ike Señeres   
Saturday, 06 November 2010 11:38



By Ike Señeres                                                                                                                                          

D r. Benji Teodosio wrote to say that ecology capital is now the new buzz word in the international development circles, and the World Bank is now ranking the actions of all countries in this new measure of national performance. She said that it is now emerging as a comparative measure in relation to sustainable development, and it is closely related to the field of biodiversity conservation. According to Dr. Teodosio, it is Dr. Perry S. Ong, a wildlife biologist who is the leading expert in this field. Read his profile at


It was also Dr. Teodosio who made me aware about the significance of social capital in relation to the economic wealth of a nation in general and the reckoning of economic development values in particular. Now I realize that taking financial capital, social capital and ecology capital as a whole, we as a nation might still have a chance to elevate ourselves in the ranking of nations, possibly even defeating poverty as we progress towards economic prosperity. Hope springs eternal.


I have interviewed many mayors on the air, and all of them have expressed a desire to develop their natural resources for various reasons, but more so to ride on the growing trend towards ecology tourism. More often than not however, they would always say that they could not go ahead with their plans, because their Internal Revenue Allocations (IRAs) are too low, or may have been overused already as collaterals for their loans.


The field of ecology capital is so new, such that very few references are available even if we do online searches. Without references to start with, I am at liberty to define what it is, and what it could possibly mean. I am going to start the discussion about this subject matter, and I hope that I will get some responses from my readers who could possibly contribute to the evolution of the definition.


Sources of Ecology Capital


T he Debt for Nature Swap (DNS) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are two possible sources of ecology capital that are already in place, but are apparently not too popular yet with Local Government Units (LGUs). I would bet all of my marbles that with DNS and CDM taken as a whole, there is more money for the LGUs to earn, compared to what they could possibly earn from their IRAs. DNS is the scheme that allows nations in debt to pay back their accounts with environment related projects. CDM is the formal name of the carbon credits scheme that came out of the Kyoto Protocol.


In a recent meeting of the Corinthian Coffee Clutch (C3), we agreed to offer the expertise of our members to all the LGUs, to help them achieve complete convergence in the implementation of their local development programs, towards the goal of achieving universal access. In this connection, I would say that since the discussions in local development would always turn to money, the contributions of DNS and CDM should always be included.


The law requires all LGUs to put up their own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). At first glance, they would possibly view this as a problem because of the issue of money, but there is good news for them, because these two projects could now be funded through Private and Public Partnerships (PPP). The other good news is that these projects could also qualify for the CDM.


Mayor Fred Coro of Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte attended a recent C3 meeting. Del Carmen is a fifth class municipality located in Siargao Island. Mayor Coro was a computer professional before he was elected. I invited him to C3 so that he could he could present his project to turn Del Carmen into a complete planned community, perhaps the first in Mindanao.


What is unique about Siargao is that the whole island has been declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as a protected area. For one, it has the largest mangrove sanctuary in Mindanao, and it has a large population of salt water crocodiles. There are seven other municipalities in the island. The members of C3 have agreed to help Del Carmen as a start, with the intention of helping the other municipalities later, in the hope of turning the entire island into a model for planned settlements. # # #



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