Top local grant-making organization for environmental agenda marks latest milestone with announcement of SARIHAY Media Awards.
Quezon City, Philippines, January 15, 2014 – The Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) today commemorates the 22nd anniversary of its inception as the country’s first non-government grant-making institution for the environment. In light of the milestone, the organization announced the inaugural year of the SARIHAY Media Awards, a newly established prize-giving program designed for local media practitioners.
At a press conference hosted at the Philippine Social Science Council in Diliman, the Foundation, headed by Chair and CEO Nestor Carbonera and Executive Director Godofredo Villapando, Jr., addressed the local media to talk about the organization’s contributions to environmental conservation and community development, as well as how it aims to move forward, in light of the past two decades.
“Apart from mainstreaming the rights and traditional practices of the indigenous peoples in protecting our remaining forests, and helping local governments and civil society partners in implementing research-based actions for our key biodiversity areas, FPE is now developing a program for rehabilitating the devastated reef and coastal resources destroyed by Yolanda, which is the main source of food and livelihood of coastal communities in Tacloban,” according to Mr. Carbonera.
He also mentions that the Foundation is “recalibrating its grants program focusing more on mining-affected areas, and is building sustainability financing mechanisms for the environment through eco-enterprise projects and by accessing fiscal incentives in the energy sector for watershed management and conservation areas of indigenous peoples.”
FPE, now the country’s largest civil society-oriented grant facility for the environmental agenda, has contributed to a multitude of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development efforts in collaboration with local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other international conservation institutions. To date, the Foundation has funded more than 1,400 projects nationwide, supporting more than 65 priority conservation sites and collaborating with over 1,000 local non-profit organizations across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
FPE has also been active on the research front throughout its 22-year history, having played integral roles in staging environmental conservation and development-oriented conferences, as well as producing award-winning publications and resource materials. The Foundation has also performed its own research, providing baseline data in key conservation sites, and is constantly involved in addressing relevant and emerging environmental and sustainable development topics of concern.
Today, Villapando sees FPE as well positioned to “aggressively pursue collaboration in the environmental arena, mindful of its twin goal of sustaining communities.”
“FPE will become a bigger player in the environmental management field, highly considering a climate change and disaster risk management program; a key player of other donors including the business sector; and a reliable source of rich, well-documented experiences in the areas of nature conservation and community development.”
Introducing the SARIHAY Media Awards
The highlight of the day’s anniversary press conference was the introduction of the SARIHAY Media Awards. Derived from the Filipino, “Samu’t Saring Buhay” (diversity of life), a phrase which aptly describes the ecological concept of biodiversity, the SARIHAY Awards are intended to inspire, acknowledge, and reward the responsible coverage of important environmental and sustainable development concerns in Philippine print, broadcast, and online media.
“FPE will be working with various environmental partners in the civil society and government to ensure that we are to select the best environmental news coverage that captures pressing environmental issues and possible solutions,” said Villapando. He added that FPE hopes “the awards will help further professionalize environmental reporting by the media and encourage them to delve more into environmental issues or concerns triggering discourses and actions toward resolving them.”
With a total of ten distinct awards distributed across five categories (namely, Print, TV, Radio, Photojournalism, and Blog), FPE’s SARIHAY Media Awards aim to encourage members of the local media to increase coverage of environmental issues for the benefit of better public awareness and enhanced interest in supporting the cause of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Entries must cover environmental education, environmental governance, indigenous ecological knowledge systems and practices, renewable energy, climate change, mining, and other development challenges.
The competition is available to Filipino media practitioners and will accept entries that are published or aired within the period covering February 1, 2014 until September 30, 2014. Grand prize winners for each of the categories will be rewarded with a trophy and plaque from FPE, cash prizes from FPE partners and donors, and an all-expense-paid learning visit to an FPE-supported project site.
Interested entrants may visit the FPE website for more general rules and competition guidelines at www.fpe.ph.
Email: [email protected]
The Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) is the first and largest grant facility for the environment in the Philippines dedicated to civil society organizations. Since its establishment in 1992, the Foundation has partnered with more than 1,000 non-profit organizations in conserving biodiversity and sustaining communities in more than 65 critical sites in the country. To date, FPE has funded more than 1,400 projects nationwide.
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