Participants (top photo) during the March 11, 2021 TNA in Balamban, Cebu. Joining the event are 27 officials and representatives from City/Municipal Tourism, Agriculture, and ENR Offices, as well as People’s Organizations (PO) of Toledo City, and the municipalities of Balamban, Asturias, Tuburan and Pinamungahan, Cebu.

Twenty-seven representatives from different Local Government Units (LGUs) and People’s Organizations (PO’s) in Midwest Cebu participated in the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) organized by the Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) last March 11, 2021 in Balamban, Cebu.

A list of priority ecosystems technologies was obtained during said activity which gives guidance to CRERDEC in developing and designing technical assistance services for the five (5) LGUs, namely Pinamungahan, Toledo City, Balamban, Tuburan, and Asturias.

During the event, CRERDEC Technology Transfer and Extension Unit (TTEU) Head, Joselito T. Sumabat, emphasized that partnership with local communities is one strategic approach in ensuring sustainability of environment and natural resources in the country.

Given their strategic location in the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS) and their budding nature-based tourism destinations, CRERDEC anticipates that the Midwest LGUs need proactive multistakeholder engagement and technical support towards the sustainability of their respective nature-based tourism destinations and vulnerable costal resources. True enough, the participant stakeholders from the five LGUs indicated ‘Carrying Capacity of Tourism Destinations’ and ‘Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation’ as the top among the list of their priority ecosystems technologies.

Majority of the participants as well indicated ‘Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation’ as a priority technology as they recognized the need to conserve and protect the mangroves for coastal protection purposes, abundant fisheries, and as abode of marine biodiversity, among others.

During the open forum, participants also had the chance to share their current and emerging environmental concerns as well as their ecotourism development plans including managing their respective resources and rebuilding tourism for them to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and more resilient. TTEU-CRERDEC