Representatives from PEMSEA, NIVA, and CSEAS undertook a trip to Cavite, Philippines, facilitated by Cavite PG-ENRO, to study the proposed pilot site for the Philippine sub-component of the ASEANO project, to meet relevant stakeholders, and to launch the sub-component through an inception workshop with relevant stakeholders from the city of Dasmariñas and nearby areas.
During two days of site visits, various sites along the river were visited and documented, and local stakeholders including politicians and academe representatives were met. These visits allowed the project team to obtain a better picture of existing waste reduction efforts along the Imus river. For the river, the project team observed an expected increase in pollution levels as the river moved downstream, and observed numerous areas of waste accumulation and points of waste entry into the river. The university stakeholders, Cavite State University and De La Salle University Dasmariñas, expressed great support for the project and are enthusiastic about becoming involved in the research component of the project. Local politicians were also supportive, and referred us to their various material recovery schemes, which across different jurisdictions performed similar material recovery including producing biogas, recycling plastic into new products such as bags and ecobricks, and creating charcoal.
The Inception Workshop held on 5th March brought together stakeholders and interested parties with the dual aims of introducing these parties to the project and providing an opportunity for the project team to ask questions of these individuals. Local inputs and recommendations were sought on a number of different topics, and these inputs will be used to guide the project going forwards.
A project team meeting comprising of core representatives from Cavite, PEMSEA, NIVA and CSEAS, was held to reflect on the learnings of the previous days and chart the way forward for the Philippine sub-component. Existing information will be compiled into a background report on the Imus river, which will be included as a section within the overall ASEANO project’s baseline report. Further smaller meetings and discussions are expected over the coming months, and future inperson meetings are expected around the middle of the year.