February 9th, 2017 | by Balaod Mindanaw
“Legal empowerment as a tool for disaster risk reduction & environment protection.”
The increasing frequency of natural calamities in the country and their growing destructive effects to the people especially the vulnerable have led BALAOD Mindanaw to create and develop community programs addressing the people’s preparedness and capabilities in responding to these issues. BALAOD’s program on Disaster Risk Reduction involves the legal empowerment of the communities, particularly their key leaders, stakeholders and paralegals, on relevant environmental laws, environment litigation procedure, and disaster risk reduction mechanisms that beef up their capabilities in the planning, building and development of more sustainable and disaster-free communities.
In one of its projects in Northern Mindanao, BALAOD trained community paralegals and barangay leaders on relevant laws on the environment, mining, illegal logging, fisheries, watershed & fish sanctuary protection, and disaster risk reduction so that they are able to help enforce these laws as well as give them due considerations in the planning and development of their respective communities. Programs and policies were also created and formulated to protect watersheds and biodiversity areas in the ridges as well as the seashores and the ocean reefs. Even the establishment of more sustainable and environment-friendly livelihood programs for the communities are being explored and studies.
Lastly, BALAOD also engages with communities affected by man-made environment destructions such as mining, illegal fishing, and illegal logging and support them in mobilizations and advocacy campaigns for the protection of the environment and the community. At present, BALAOD works with these communities in the litigation of a number of environment cases in their areas.