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									                               Nomination Form

                 Equator Initiative:
 The Innovative Partnership Awards for Sustainable
                   Development in
                Tropical Ecosystems


                                             2002
The Equator Initiative Awards will recognize five initiatives or activities that exemplify
extraordinary achievement in reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity in the equatorial belt.



The first Equator Initiative Awards will be presented at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.
Each of the five recipient initiatives will receive a monetary award of US$30,000, a certificate of
recognition, a trophy and will be represented at the World Summit.

To submit a nomination for the Equator Initiative Awards, please respond to all of the questions
below in the order provided and in five pages or less. Nominations may be submitted in
English, French and Spanish. Nominations may be submitted directly on-line, via e-mail, fax or
mail. Self-nominations will be accepted. Completed nominations should be submitted no later
than 15 May 2002 to:

                                       Equator Initiative
                        Environmentally Sustainable Development Group
                                Bureau for Development Policy
                            United Nations Development Programme
                          One UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
                           Tel: 1.212.906-6206, Fax: 1.212.906-6973
                              E-mail: EquatorInitiative@undp.org
                                   www.EquatorInitiative.org
1. Name of group/organization/individual being nominated:

                            Lanao Foundation, Inc
2. Nominee is best described as:
    Indigenous or other local community                ·UNESCO’s World Heritage Site or other
    Community-based organization                        biological reserve
     Local non-governmental organization               ·Individual
     Local entrepreneurial initiative                  ·Other (Please specify)

3. Initiative Description and Innovations: Provide a description of the initiative (i.e. its purpose,
   activities, and outputs), with particular emphasis on the innovative aspects.
Our Basic Premise:

Our contention is that the central concern in rural transformation is: how to rapidly improve the living conditions of
severely disadvantaged farming families comprising the landless, near-landless and daily wage earners at the same time
improve the integrity of their “living space” or environment? This sector is very vulnerable to disadvantageous
economic policies and poverty has tied them to a vicious cycle of hunger, poor health, malnutrition and general malice.
The answer we found is by the provision of a major economic resource (draft animals) on a low-interest loan scheme
coupled with the promotion of sustainable farming practices, environmental enhancement social mobilization and
building local capacities through strengthening of community-based organizations. The result is that the hitherto
assetless and voiceless small farmers in the several municipalities of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental where this
project is implemented has increased incomes and widen their economic base, improved farm productivity, improved
biodiversity, enhanced family security, promoted gender equity and increased participation in the life of the community.

A farmer without draft animal is considered crippled as he must resort to costly and inefficient means to cultivate his
farm. The draft animal provided by the project proved tremendously to be the most useful, versatile and economical
asset the farmer possess as it provided direct and multiple economic benefits in the form of: animal labor for hire,
increment in weight and market value of the animal, offsprings (if female), aid in hauling farm produce, even carrying
the local beauty during festivals. In the same breath, because the farmer has improved his economic welfare, he is now
able to plan and implement long term biodiversity initiatives like tree planting, planting of medicinal plants and
conserving soil and water through contour farming.

The project negates the idea that the rural poor are not bankable and rapidly cut the cycle of poverty, powerlessness, low
productivity and marginalization of small farmers. This project is innovative given that most attempts to increase the
well-being of rural farming families falls short of expectations either because it did not meet squarely felt needs, it is
psychologically inaccessible or it instead benefited the better off in the community.

Situation Before the Initiative Began

About 90% of the population in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental are farmers growing corn,
bananas, camote and coconuts and a majority of them are small, marginal farmers without draft animals. The farmers
without draft animals suffers low farm productivity and unable to efficiently develop their farms since they will be using
hand tools or have to rent other animals, low incomes and generally had poor living conditions. They have no access to
credit except the middlemen that charges interest rates of up to 250% per year! Banks are psychologically distant to the
small farmer given their inferiority complex and "low class lifestyle". They cannot spare a minute to attend to
community activities whilst they and their family go hungry for the day, they cannot diversify and plant trees and wait
for it to grow as they need food here and now, cash loans are only used to buy food and necessities.

Preparing Information and Clarifying Priorities

Community consultations were undertaken in order to prepare information, determine strengths and weaknesses and to
identify priorities and opportunities. The so called Technology of Participation (ToP) was utilized which provided the
process wherein local stakeholders themselves, in a demand-driven, participatory, fast-paced and transparent manner
define their own situation, formulate their own vision and goals, define strategic directions and formulate their own
action plans. The technology emphasizes individual and group brainstorming, small group discussion and workshops.
The brainstorming process assures that key ideas coming from the individual and the group are considered and
consensus arrived at. Annual replanning and general monitoring and evaluation activities were also done using the ToP
technology.

Formulation of Objectives, Strategies and Mobilization of Resources

There were 3 main objectives of the project, a) provision of draft animals to resource-poor farming families, b) improve
their knowledge and skills in animal management and sustainable farming, and c) biodiversity conservation. To generate
technical and financial support, a proposal was developed with elements largely based on learnings of a similar program
being implemented albeit on a micro-scale and using the ToP Technology cited above during the program formulation
process. Linkages with local and foreign partners were then initiated. LFI assisted in catalyzing prospective
beneficiaries and technical/fund supporter so that realistic targets could be set. Political support was mobilized by
involving the provincial and municipal local government units in the planning and provision of technical expertise.
agencies


4. Poverty Reduction: How has the initiative improved the socio-economic conditions and well-being
    of the community?

Food always in the home indeed !

Home gardening is being promoted as a component of food security and biodiversity. Farmers plant vegetables in a
vacant portion of their farm. Our analysis shows that their vegetable plots produces huge amounts of nutritious
vegetables, legumes and cereals. For example, on a daily basis, a 300 square meter area can provide nutrition to a
family of 7 as well as vegetables for the market. Eggplants, camote, pineapple are not one time crops but produces
outputs on a daily basis for 1-2 years running. Camote has nutritious leaves which easily regenerates when one cuts
it. In a given 300 sq.m. area, farmers is able to harvest vegetables for family consumption the whole year round!

Income from draft animal

In terms of incomes, farmers were able to generate incomes from being hired in other farms (7,200 pesos per farmer per
year), own savings as a result in no longer hiring animals (3,314 pesos per farmer per year ), 21 offsprings owned by 9
farmers valued at 105,000 pesos. Added to this is animal weight increment but data in this aspect was not gathered.
Note: 38 pesos = 1 USD, 1 mature cow or carabao is 12,000 pesos. This is not yet counting the income in farming and
the improvement in land valuation as a result of contour farming and the planting of perennial crops.

Sociocultural impacts

In the arena of decision-making, 20 community-based organizations and 1 farmers federation are now able to plan,
manage and implement their own activities with minimum intervention. The local associations have their own set of
officers, keeps their financial books and accounts, assist in repayment collection, assist in training new members,
conduct their own meetings, determine who will qualify as the next participant and solve internal problems.

Decision-making and the sharing of the fruits of family labor in the home is given importance as the project is family-
centered whilst before the usual focus is the male farmer and his welfare. The gender and development dimension
emphasized through trainings and coaching sessions provides a conscious sharing of labor in the home from among the
husband, wife and children. Our data shows that the wife most often keeps the purse and prioritize food and basic
necessities in spending.

In terms of changing people's attitudes and behavior, the value of self-help mutual-help is being
practiced via the community-based organizations and in undertaking group farm work whereas
before familism pervades. The dignity of a person and self-worth has intensified rather than
fatalism and inferior attitude. Dole-out mentality has been erased and replaced with the attitude
of self-reliance and co-responsibility.


5. Biodiversity Impacts: How has the initiative contributed to the conservation or sustainable use of
    biodiversity and/or to the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from genetic resources?

More energy to biodiversity conservation

In terms of environmental enhancement, all farmers, given more free and productive time as labor is greatly reduced,
practiced varying degrees of sustainable farming practices consisting of multiple and multistorey cropping, contour
farming, tree enterprise and crop-animal integration. Realizing that no two farm and farmer is alike, LFI provides
guidance through participatory farm planning and budgetting as to what is the most lucrative combination given a piece
of land and the financial capacity and ability of a farmer.

Use and cultivation of plants with high medicinal value

The initiative also promoted the planting and use of local tropical medicinal plants. Some of these plants and the
diseases they control are the following:

Premna odorata                       cough, cold, bronchitis
Perseas americana                    vitamin b, against anemia, treatment of wounds
Samanea saman                        against diarrhea
Momordica charantia                  diabetes, ulcer
Lagerstroemia speciosa               diabetes
Psidium guavaja                      diarrhea
Calophyllum inophyllum               eye infection, boils
Citrus spp.                          vitamin c, colds
Curcuma longa                        stomach ache,
Areca catechu                        against tapeworm
Moringa oleifera                     anemic, wound poultice
Vitex negundo                        cold, fever, cough
Lansium domesticum                   stomac ache, diarrhea
Gliricdia sepium                     wounds, skin infection
Jatropha multifida                   stomach ache, skin infection
Aloe barbaadensis                    ulcer, skin infection, burns
Amarindus indicus                    fever, combulsion of children
Andropogon citrates                  stomach ache
Derris elliptica                     insecticide

Sourcing and planting of tree species with high economic value:

Through the support of the Cottonwood Foundation we were able to source and distribute planting materials with
high economic value. These are:
Mango (grafted) from Davao City                   -       6,000 pcs.
Pomelo (budded) from Davao City                   -       2,500 pcs.
Acacia mangium from Cagayan de Oro City           -       10,000 pcs.
Gmelina arborea from Misamis Oriental             -       22,000 pcs.
Giant bamboo from Bukidnon                        -           300 pcs.
Mahogany from Misamis Oriental                    -        15,000 pcs.
Leucaena from Misamis Oriental                    -         20,000 pcs.
Mangosteen from Zamboanga de Norte                -           9,000 pcs.
Lanzones from Zamboanga del Norte                 -              400 pcs

A total of 952 hectares were planted with these seedlings in 3 year period.
Establishment of village nurseries

There are 2 nurseries we were able to set up located in good sites in Lanao del Norte. Two local cooperators were
trained on a hands on basis on the following techniques: Scarification, bagging and sowing, pest control,
fertilization using organic matter, asexual propagation, shading and irrigation.

Establishment of a research and demonstration farm

The Lanao Foundation maintains a research cum demonstration center for biodiversity in Sitio Tuburan, Gimaylan,
Libertad, Misamis Oriental and the field planting, cultural practices and field maintenance is being demonstrated in
the area. The demonstration focused on the technique of multiple cropping and intensive use of understorey crops
to demonstrate that a piece of forestal area can be fully productive. The crops used are: mango as the fruit
component, gmelina and mahogany as the industrial tree component with gmelina as short term, 7-year cycle crop
and mahogany as the long term, 15- year cycle crop, banana as the understorey, pineapple, taro, peanuts, corn and
beans as the short term cash crops. Neighboring farmers are frequently visiting the area to see for themselves the
practices being done. It must be noted that neighboring farmers are focused only on the raising of 1 monocrop
which we think is eventually uneconomical and unproductive .


6. Partnerships: For each partner, describe the nature of the partnership, its origins, and how the
   partnership has contributed to the success of this initiative?

A. German Ministry for Economic Cooperation through the German Doctors for Developing Countries - Provided
   the seed fund in 1998. They were the major contributor to project success.

B. Catholic Relief Services- Provided the seed fund for the nursery and seedling distribution component of the
   project.

C. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)- Provided support to training activities.

D. Special Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD) - Provided support for community-based on-farm
   entrepreneurial inititiatives.

E. Xavier University – Provided technical and documentation support.

F. Cottonwood Foundation - Provided support for biodiversity and cultural survival initiatives.

G. Lanao del Norte Provincial Government and the municipalities of Libertad, Lala, Kapatagan and Salvador-
   Provided veterinary, technical forestry and agricultural extension support.


7. Sustainability: How long has this initiative been in operation? What are the key social,
   institutional, financial, and ecological elements that make this initiative sustainable?

This initiative has been in operation for the past 5 years.

The key to sustainability is what is called as Passing-on-the Gift (POG) banking on the draft animal component as the
core economic input . To illustrate this element, for example there are 12 participants receiving 1 animal each during
the first year valued at 12,000 pesos each animal. On a 5-year repayment scheme at 12% interest rate per year, the 12
will be able to pay 2,688 pesos each or a total of 32,256 pesos on the first year. Note that the repayment of 2,688 can
easily be had by just hiring the animal to other farms in 22 days per year (or 2 days per month!). This amount will be
used to buy 2 more animals for the next set of beneficiaries. This process will go on and on compounding as the years
go by. Administrative and overhead cost will be taken from interest income and penalties. As shown in the GD-funded
project, we originally requested fund for only 70 draft animals but project an increase in the number to 96 or 137% in
just 3 years time. Hence, the total independence from external sources is computed at just 3 years of project
implementation. This is also the time line for achieving self-sufficiency as the community-based organizations are able
to run the whole set-up on their own since a major component of the project is catalyzing the community associations to
be self-propelling by infusing skills in the areas of local governance, financial management, board control, technical and
managerial.
In terms of socio-economic and environmental integration, the project is fine-tuned to the socio-economic milieu (i.e.
increase in social status with the ownership of an animal, economic independence, no need for fuel and repairs compared
to when machines are employed in farming). Environmental integration is achieved in the promotion and practice of
crop diversification and multiple cropping.

Three most important lessons learned includes:

a) Draft animals coupled with the promotion and practice of sustainable farming tremendously increased farmers level of
living, break the vicious cycle of poverty and powerlessness and improve the environment.

b) Community organizing coupled with good economics spelled early sustainability of the project.

c) Institutional linkages and partnership is necessary as each player assumes unique roles, i.e. Farmers and their
associations as subject and object of the initiative, LFI as organizer and facilitator, German Doctors for Developing
Countries and others as enablers.

Others can learn lessons in terms of the process of pass-on, formation and strengthening of community-based
organizations, setting operational eligibility criteria and promotion of sustainable farming technologies.



8. Other Information: Is there anything else of importance to convey about the initiative?
Because of the success of the initiative and the synergistic impacts it has created, the Lanao Foundation and the local
community-based associations has established impeccable credentials in local empowerment. For example the
European Union through the European Community Humanitarian Office, ECHO has approved a more expanded
sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation project set to start next month (in partnership with
Movimondo, Italy).


9. Contact Information: For the individuals listed below, please provide (1) name, (2)
   organization, (3) address, (4) city/town, (5) postal code, (6) country, (7) telephone, (8) fax,
   (9) e-mail, (10) web site.
    contact person(s) for the initiative/activity being nominated

Elmer V. Sayre, Ph.D. Executive Director, Lanao Foundation, Zone 3, Barangay Bagong Silang, Iligan City,
Philippines, 9022. Email: environs@ dialup.msuiit.edu.ph; elmer2222001@yahoo.com
Tel: (63) 063-223-2361 Cellphone: 0917-9500-173

        contact person(s) for the partner groups

1. Peter Wychodil, Project Officer
German Doctors for Developing Countries, Arzte fur die Dritte Welt, Elsheimerstr. 9, D-60322 Frankfurt, Germany.
Email: Aerzte3Welt@aerzte3welt.de

2. Paul Moss, Director
Cottonwood Foundation, Box 10803, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 USA. Email: cottonwood@igc.org
3. Hon. Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, Province of Lanao del Norte, Pigcarangan, Tubod, Lanao del
Norte
    Tel/fax: 063-341-5241

4. Mayette Rivera, Professor, Xavier University, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City. Email: searsoli@xu.edu.ph
    Tel/fax: (63)(8822) 72299; (63)(88) 858-806

5. Dino Cipriani, Programme Officer, Movimondo, Piazza Alabania 10, Italy. E-mail: di-ci@libero.it


       two references (if available) who are well-informed about the initiative/activity and who
        may be contacted by the selection committee


1. Peter Wychodil, Project Officer
German Doctors for Developing Countries, Arzte fur die Dritte Welt, Elsheimerstr. 9, D-60322 Frankfurt, Germany.
Email: Aerzte3Welt@aerzte3welt.de

2. Mayette Rivera, Professor, Xavier University, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City. Email: searsoli@xu.edu.ph
    Tel/fax: (63)(8822) 72299; (63)(88) 858-806




Nominee may be asked for additional information or materials.

All completed submissions will be forwarded to an international Technical Advisory Committee
for review. Final selection will be made by a Jury of knowledgeable individuals who have
demonstrated leadership in poverty and biodiversity issues.

Equator Initiative Partners
The Equator Initiative is a programme of UNDP, in partnership with the Government of Canada,
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Television Trust for the Environment
and the United Nations Foundation.

EQUATOR INITIATIVE
Environmentally Sustainable Development Group
Bureau for Development Policy
United Nations Development Programme
One UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: 1.212.906-6206
Fax: 1.212.906-6973
Email: EquatorInitiative@undp.org
www.EquatorInitiative.org

								
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