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Sitio Layag


Conservation benefit: Protection of 2,471-acre forest watershed for 10 years

Community benefit: Solar lighting units

Date Approved: 06.2014


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


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

Sibuyan Island is one of the centers of plant diversity in Asia and the Pacific, according to the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It 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, that live 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. Mount Guiting-Guiting rises to around 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level. The island has only about 10,378 acres (4,200 hectares) of forest cover remaining because of illegal logging.

A community of 80 households of the Mangyan tribe live in one section of the Mount Guiting-Guiting watershed. The community will actively protect 2,471 acres (1,000 hectares) of watershed forest for at least 10 years. Preventing further deforestation will help preserve water that powers a local micro-hydro system. The Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO) operates the micro-hydro system, which supplies some electricity in the lowlands. Because the community members’ houses are far apart on the steep mountain slope, it is extremely difficult to tap into the grid.

Seacology is helping the Mangyan community and ROMELCO buy 80 solar power units, one for each household in the community. The solar units will provide lighting that will help children to do homework after dark, and adults to do chores.

Project Updates

September 2015

The last solar power units have been released by customs officials and installed in households in the community.

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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.

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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 more units for other households in the area who have also pledged to support the covenant with Seacology. Purchase, delivery, and distribution of the units should be complete by mid-February 2015.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology Germany.