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Philippines

Bagong Bayan

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Conservation benefit: Permanent protection of a 2,039-acre forest reserve, including 124 acres of mangroves

Community benefit: Rehabilitation of micro-hydro power generator

Date Approved: 06.2007

Energy

This project promotes sustainable energy production, helping reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and slowing global warming.

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Mangroves

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

Bagong Bayan is a coastal barangay (village) on Palawan Island. Its population is heavily dependent on fishing for their livelihood. In 2004, several nonprofit organizations (PCART, SIBAT and the Samahang Magbubukid ng Bagongbayan, a people’s organization), got funding from the United Nations Development Programme (GEF Small Grants), and collaborated to install a 20-kilowatt micro-hydro power system. It provides power for village electrification and for an ice plant, which support the livelihood of the Bagong Bayan fisherfolk.

Unfortunately, installers did not strictly follow specifications, and the micro-hydro system system needs repairs. A Seacology grant will fund the necessary repairs. To avoid the problems that occurred the first time, the community will work with a manufacturer who made and successfully tested a system in a village north of Luzon. SIBAT’s in-house consultant will closely supervise fabrication of the turbine.

In exchange for Seacology’s assistance, the village will protect 2,039 acres of forest, including 124 acres of mangroves.

Project Updates

June 2010

Ferdie reports that the micro-hydro power generator continues to provide electricity to the community, and is being operated by trained community members. Periodic maintenance is being conducted by technicians, and they last visited the site in February. The watershed is still religiously patrolled, with no reports of poaching to date.

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December 2009

Field representative Ferdie Marcelo reports that final simulation and full systems tests were conducted, and training of operators has been conducted. As of June 2009, 45 households are being supplied with 10 kilowatts of electricity 24 hours a day.

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June 2009

The technical team completed the electro-mechanical installations at the power house in February 2009. Currently, they are waiting for the cement curing of the new foundations to set for the reconfigured Francis turbine and generator, inside the powerhouse. Along with the electro-mechanical installation, the engineers conducted an inspection of the penstock line which revealed a 1-meter gap near the powerhouse, which made a change in the penstock pipe necessary. A new pipe has been ordered, hauled, and refitted on site. The engineers are returning to the project site May 2009 for the final simulation and full systems tests. In the meantime, the rainforest is continuously being patrolled by forest guards organized by the community.

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May 2008

In early 2008, the project leaders experienced a delay in procuring the new turbine for the generator but have since contacted an alternative supplier to provide the equipment. Other equipment is onsite already and will be installed once the turbine is delivered. They expect that all materials will be available and installed by the end of June 2008.

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December 2007

The project was put on hold in 2007 until the newly elected municipal officials approved establishing the protected area. In October 2007 the community and officials decided to increase the forest reserve from 1,450 acres to 2,039 acres. Plans for early 2008 include coordination with all parties involved in the project and ordering materials needed for the generator’s rehabilitation.

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