Paju watershed restoration is gaining international recognition
Bago City was awarded as one of the list of Top 100 Green Destination Stories for 2022 during the Summit on Green Destinations and the Future of Tourism held in Athens, Greece, on September 27.
The city was able to win the award for its efforts towards responsible tourism and its distinctive appeal in the project “Reviving the Magnificent Diversity of the Bago Water Basin”.
The award was presented by Green Destination [GD]a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands after a month-long evaluation.
The unveiling ceremony, which was attended by 250 delegates from 43 countries, was held at the Kipseli Municipal Market at Fokyonos Negri 42 in Athens.
A city council member what. Josefa Mattei, Chair of the Tourism Committee and Chief Tourism Operations Officer Mai-Ann Fortus, received the award from Destination Green President Albert Salman and Board Member Hugo de Jong.
In a statement, Mayor Nicholas Yolo said the recognition given to Bago will continue to motivate the city to do more in preserving and preserving the Bago watershed.
For the mayor, this international recognition was considered inspiring as he praised the strong collaboration between the various stakeholders.
Green Destinations support sustainable destinations, their businesses, and their communities. Its core programmes, an awards and certification program for destinations, a good corporate travel program, and top 100 sustainability stories are the main pillars of the nationwide stewardship approach they have developed and tested in Slovenia, Estonia, Australia, Brazil and Guyana.
Revival of the aquarium program
The City of Bago, the Philippines’ “Home of Historic and Natural Treasures” and the rice storehouse of Negros Occidental, has recently given priority to “reviving the majestic diversity of the Bago watershed.”
Thanks to the insight and political will of its leaders, Mayor Nicolas M Yolo and Deputy Mayor Ramon de Torres, and the LGU’s innovative sustainable environmental programs led by the city’s Office of Environmental Management and with the support of various agencies, the destination has been able to create tangible actions that proactively respond and provide solutions to challenges in the environment and climate.
This is the story of the good practice that put Bago City in the list of the 100 Best Green Destinations for 2022.
The Bago Watershed plays a vital role in steering the economy of the city in particular and the entire Negros Occidental District. It provides water for about 19,000 hectares of agricultural areas to include irrigated rice lands, sugar cane plantations and other agricultural farms in Bago and serves as a recharge area for aquifers that are also tapped to support more than 10,000 families for domestic and industrial water use.
Besides corporate environment and ecotourism programmes, Bajo is further qualified for global standards of sustainability in destination management through Ms. Susan Santos de Cardenas, President and CEO of the Sustainable Tourism Association, Southeast Asia Partner, Green Destinations Representative, Co-founder and Vice President of the Asian Ecotourism Network .
She has been working with the sustainability team at LGU since 2018, to drive further efforts for ecotourism, sustainable destination management and tourism development.
The city team has been accepted into the Free Green Destinations Training Program nominated by Madame de Cardenas.
Reviving the Bago watershed is not only a timely solution to climate change but the core of Bago City conservation efforts being the last frontier of the Negros Forest, part of the Ramsar VII site and the Negros Occidental Wetlands of international importance and home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins.