Blog / 1 July 2013

I did not want to go, but when I got there…

I did not want to go, but when I got there…

Eye opener
I was reluctant to come to this GCF Board Meeting but I am glad I did. Both ENDS helped us in processing our visa and arranged for our transportation and accommodation. I was also happy to learn and meet that the Philippine representative to the GCF is Governor Joey Salceda from our region. Right now he is an alternate board member and soon to sit as board member in the next board meeting. Before I came here, I asked myself, why I am here? What is my message for Board Members? What does the GCF has to do with community of fishers that I have been are working with for the past ten years? And how the marine protected areas that the community we have been trying to protect benefit from GCF?

Our project
The discussion on the GCF’s business model framework yesterday reminds me of our own, local financial sustainability mechanism we called- Piso Para sa Sanktuwaryo (a coin for marine sanctuary).  Like GCF, we are still studying what kind of business model framework is appropriate to our Piso Para sa Sanktuwaryo and how it will be operationalized. Like the GCF Business Model Framework includes a chapter on Country Ownership, we are guided also by the principle of community ownership.  Establishment of marine sanctuaries is our way of addressing overfishing and improving the resiliency of our marine ecosystems to the changing climate. In our Piso para sa Sanktuwaryo it were the community members who are the ones investing on it. This is one of our agreed indicators on community buy-in and ownership of the sanctuary- a measure of community commitment and pride. This is not only about money but also about giving private sector/citizens a chance to participate in community enforcement and a chance to invest for the future of their children.

My message to GCF
During the Board Meeting it became clear to me what my message is for the Board Members of the GCF: I think with this project, we have a great example of a project which could be financed by the GCF:  supporting micro, small and medium private sector, within Public-Private Partnerships, working together with NGOs on climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

The story in my pictures
Aside from listening to the discussion of the board meeting next door, I was entertained by my Single Lens Reflex Camera.  I took pictures of CSO’s meeting and discussing before the session, which tell story in another way than words. I also took pictures of board members during their unguarded moments, of CSOs faces who have been lobbying and tired but still with a smile on their face. Photos can be accessed in my Facebook page.


Catherine Demesa, Network of Sustainable Livelihoods Catalysts, Philippines

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