Laguna de Bay, the largest inland body of water in the Philippines, is a major lifeline for the communities residing in its watershed including the metropolitan Manila. Being a multi-use resource, the lake is an indispensable source of water for fishing, irrigation, power supply, recreation, navigation and domestic use. Development activities in its vast watershed continue to exert pressure on the ecological integrity of the Lake.
A tripartite partnership known as CLEAR (Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resources) was formally organized on 07 June 2001. Laguna Lake Development Authority (government), Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (non-government organization), and Unilever Philippines (business corporation) signed a Memorandum of Agreement as a sign of their commitment to the partnership which will spearhead lake conservation awareness campaigns among key stakeholders to draw support towards a unified effort to conserve the Lake and its resources.
The overall goal of CLEAR is to safeguard the ecological integrity of Laguna de Bay. To achieve this, the following specific goals have to be accomplished:
- to establish an information and communication network that would foster dialogue and exchange of knowledge among stakeholders towards a more concerted effort in the conservation and management of the lake;
- to strengthen partnerships with local communities by involving local government units in lake stewardship (i.e. local ecotourism efforts); and
- to broaden the support base of CLEAR by soliciting the support of local industries in lake conservation efforts.
Laguna de Bay, on 02 August 2001, became a member of the Living Lakes Network, an international network and partnership whose mission is to enhance the protection, restoration and rehabilitation of lakes, wetlands, other freshwater bodies of the world and their catchment areas. Its membership is represented by the CLEAR. As the NGO partner of CLEAR, SCPW is its voting member to the Living Lakes Network.
The youth sector is one of the important stewards in the conservation of our environment. Because of this, programmed activities directed to the youth are being organized through the CLEAR (Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resources) Partnership. These activities – the CLEAR Ecological Camp and the CLEAR Youth Network Congress – aim to increase the awareness of the youth and to garner their commitment to responsible lake stewardship.
To regularly conduct an Ecological Camp, dubbed as Kilos Kabataan Para sa Lawa, is part of the plan strategy of CLEAR in its campaign to educate the community, particularly the youth, on the need to conserve and protect Laguna de Bay. The ecological camp aims to ensure the sustainable conservation and protection of Laguna de Bay and to foster a deeper sense of appreciation and commitment especially among the lakeshore communities.
The Congress is the annual gathering of the CLEAR Youth Network as represented by Eco-Camp graduates and their groups that were formed in their schools and/or communities as a result of the Camp. It is a venue not just for reporting and sharing of accomplishments, and planning of yearly activities – more importantly, it is also a platform for learning and experiences so that the they are capacitated to implement wetland conservation activities efficiently and effectively.
- Other Activities
Viaje Kalikasan, educational tour exchange
Attendance to Living Lakes Conferences
Hosting of Living Lakes Network Conference 2005
Attendance to events of Living Lakes Network Partners
Attendance to various events – local and international
Participation to various events
Mapping of initiatives in Laguna de Bay Region
Community Lake Monitoring
Series of Lake Forum for Laguna de Bay
CLEAR partners –
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) is a quasi-government agency with regulatory and proprietary functions, organized in 1966 by virtue of a Republic Act and under the Administrative Supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. LLDA is mandated to lead, promote and accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna de Bay basin within the context of national and regional plans and policies for social and economic development and to carry out the development of the basin with due regard and adequate provision for environment management control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution.
The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) is a non-stock, non-governmental, non-profit organization, engaged in advocacy work supportive of wetland conservation objectives. SCPW also serves as network of wetland workers and advocates and establish linkages with local and international organizations.
Unilever Philippines, Inc., a home and personal manufacturing company, is a business corporation which advocates water resource conservation efforts. Known until a few years ago as Philippine Refining Company (PRC), Unilever Philippines started as an oil milling business which at its peak produced nearly 100,000 tons of coconut oil annually. Since then, the company has been a leader in introducing new technologies into the country since the early days of its existence – margarine production in the 1930’s, non-soap detergents, shampoos and toothpaste in the 1960’s and 1970’s and state of the art sulphonation technology and cogeneration power plant in the 1980’s. Today, the company has adopted the Total Quality approach during the last six years and was the first in the industry to receive the ISO 9002 accreditation in 1994.
The SCPW acts as the CLEAR Secretariat.