The Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) became the first of the six (6) research centers to benefit in the series of capacity building initiatives conducted by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau - Gender and Development Focal Point System (ERDB-GADFPS). The 2-day event dubbed “Gender Sensitivity and Gender Responsive Training for Research Centers and Workshop on the Application of Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) in Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Research Programs and Projects,” was held at the Conference Room of DENR Region 7, Cebu City last February 10-11, 2016. ERDB-GADFPS officers Ms. Rowena Payuan, Ms. Salvacion Orobia, and Ms. Gliceria de Guzman served as resource persons in the said event.

In lieu of BCWERC Center Head Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, Supervising Science Research Specialist Reynaldo L. Lanuza, in his capacity as OIC of the Office, expressed high hopes in GAD as a significant dimension in the design and implementation of RDE projects. He encouraged participants to take advantage of the learning event to improve research and technology transfer activities of BCWERC.

Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women and DENR Administrative Order No. 7 of 1995 formed the basis on the Guidelines for the Implementation of GAD Activities in the DENR. Hence, the said training aimed to ensure that all ERDB personnel are gender sensitive and responsive in their line of work, either in planning, programming, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, or even in their personal lives.

The training involved lectures and open forum on GAD Advocacy Principles, Global and Philippine Situationers, GAD Legal Basis, and Gender Responsive Planning and Mainstreaming. The event also highlighted an introduction and workshop on the application of the HGDG tool in ENR research programs and projects. Participants assessed selected proposals and on-going RDE and technology transfer projects and activities using guide questions and scoring system provided by the tool. After evaluation, RDE proposals and projects were categorized accordingly whether projects are GAD invisible, GAD promising, gender sensitive or gender-responsive. The activity culminated with the presentation and discussion of the final workshop outputs.

The 24 participants comprised of researchers and support staff from the BCWERC Region 7 and research stations in Iloilo and Tacloban City are expected to echo their learnings to fellow colleagues upon their return to their respective stations to continue the bureau’s gender advocacy and mainstreaming efforts. Leticia A. Corregidor-BCWERC