BWA models good MPA governance
The Binoongan Women’s Association (BWA) is a beacon of hope for many coastal communities in Siquijor. As collective of 16 women, it is now accomplishing the necessary documentation for accreditation as an official people’s organization.
Since its inception in 2014, the marine protected area at Barangay Binoongan, Enrique Villanueva has led to thriving fish and shellfish populations, and a healthier reef ecosystem. This has contributed to a stable means of livelihood in the forms of stable fish catch and shellfish harvest and a lively tourism scene for the locals, especially among women.
In order to sustain the current condition of their MPA as well as support the efforts of CCEF, they have actively become the protection and maintenance arm of the barangay. They keep their coastal areas clean, regulate the entry of individuals within municipal waters as well as protect their resources from any illegal fishing activity. Due to their consistent vigilance, they have played a significant role in the catching of two culprits involved in spear fishing and compressor fishing early this year. One of the offenders was targeting highly-valued rabbitfish (Siganus Javus), a species in substantial number within the sanctuary.
The BWA’s activity has contributed to the Binoongan MPA’s winning of the Isla del Fuego MPA Awards for Best Managed MPA in the Province of Siquijor. Currently, with the help of CCEF, they are working towards institutionalization and sustainability.
As they continue to render free service in protecting the Binoongan MPA, they have expressed their determination to organize a livelihood program to support their daily needs.