Sitio Layag, Sibuyan Island
Solar lighting units in support of a 1,000-hectare (2,471-acre) watershed forest, Sitio Layag, Barangay Taclobo, Municipality of San Fernando, Sibuyan Island, Romblon Province
Sibuyan Island has been cited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (2002) as constituting one of the centers of plant diversity in Asia and the Pacific, and is believed to have one of the densest forests in the world with an estimated 1,551 trees per hectare. Sibuyan serves as habitat for a rich array of endangered and endemic species, including a pitcher plant (Nepenthes sibuyanensis) that can be found only on the island. Other rare and endangered species include the long-tailed macaque, gold-mantled flying fox, Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, and Visayan warty pig. One of the geological characteristics of the island is Mount Guiting-Guiting, which rises to around 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level. It has only about 4,200 hectares (10,378 acres) of forest cover remaining because of illegal logging. A community of 80 households of the Mangyan tribe live in one section the Mount Guiting-Guiting watershed.
Supplying some of the electricity in the lowlands is the Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO), through its micro-hydro power station. There are worries that if deforestation continues unabated, the water for the micro-hydro system may become insufficient. The Mangyans want electricity for lighting, and since the houses of the tribe are far apart from each other owing to the steep slopes of the mountain, it is extremely difficult to tap into the grid.
Seacology is assisting the Mangyan community and ROMELCO in procuring 80 solar power units, one for each household. In exchange, the Mangyan community will actively protect 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of watershed forest for at least 10 years.
Full or partial funding for this project provided by
- September 2015
- The last solar power units have been released by customs officials and installed in households in the community.
- May 2015
- Twenty-three more solar power units have been bought, but are being held at customs. They are expected to be released by the end of May.
- January 2015
- Thanks to a favorable exchange rate and other factors, 80 units were bought for well under the budgeted amount. So Seacology approved our partner’s request to use the remaining funds to buy 25...