Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Greening of Negros Oriental

Negros Oriental is a natural charmer.

Over the years, the province has risen as a popular getaway destination for local and international tourists alike, with its vast, lush forests, rugged mountain terrain, and rich, glorious bodies of water offering a rewarding and more interactive commune with Mother Nature. As Negros Oriental continues to emerge as one of the country’s most thriving ecotourism spots—a goal that it hopes to achieve by next year—it has ensured the continued progress of its tourism sector by collaborating with key organizations who bear the same goal in mind.

Green minds think alike 

Ecotourism, as defined by the International Ecotourism Society (IES) pertains to the “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”

Looking closely at the current tourism model that Negros Oriental has, one can see how the province, through the leadership of the Negros Oriental Tourism Council (NOTC), is championing this very definition within its own territory. The IWRMC, in partnership with the NOTC and the local hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) sector spearheaded by the Negros Oriental Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association (NOHRRA), is set to launch an eco-centric tourism initiative, called “Making NegOr a Center of Excellence for Sustainable Tourism.”

This project not only aims to promote the conservation and preservation of the environment, but also to champion business sustainability as well. However, while the initiative is still in its planning stage, NOHRRA continues to make sure that it has an accepting environment for when it the projects finally gets the green light. The organization is doing so by going to annual benchmarking and study missions that aim to educate them on the recent trends in its industry. Moreover, it gives them the opportunity to compare notes with their sister organizations—thus, giving them important insights on ecotourism around the Philippines. 

These organizations plan on championing the environment as a pillar of sustainable progress through a collaborative effort that includes, but is not limited to, the implementation of appropriate taxes, incentives, and regulatory measures. While details are still being finalized, Negros Oriental plans on implementing projects that range in forms as a way of championing sustainable ecotourism.

Promoting pride in local produce

A pop-up market, called “Fruits of The Land and The River,” is set to be launched during the Buglasan Festival to promote produce harvested from Negros Oriental’s rich soil and water reserves. The IWRMC and the NOTC hope that this project will help encourage locals to support their neighbors’ contribution to the local economy and for tourists to gain a new appreciation of the province’s agricultural community.

In the meantime, if you are raring to see the intricately beautiful way the environment, tourism, and business sectors are collaborating in Negros Oriental, look no further than the Sidlakang Village in Dumaguete City. The community was created to highlight the culture and the character of each of the 19 municipalities and six within its territory. The village showcases each of the area’s individual specialty products, as well as other traditions and culturally-relevant practices.

Many, if not all, of these local products are hand-crafted with materials gathered in the forests, mountains, and bodies of water. Hence, the Negrenses’ Sidlakang Village initiative stands as a fine example to showcase propagating Negros Oriental’s tourism, livelihood, and civic priorities can be best achieved with the environment at the core of this continued development.

Source: http://waterexcellenceph.org/uncategorized/discovering-negros-oriental-a-green-kind-of-fun/

About the Author

The Mail Man

Author & Editor

The Negros Trade Fair is the longest running provincial trade fair in the Philippines held annually in Metro Manila since 1985.

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