The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)—through its Gender and Development Office and Climate Change Service—has announced the top three winners of this year’s "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Recognition Awards" during a virtual ceremony on July 2.

Seven entries were also given special citation for the categories of Youth Empowerment, Gender Empowerment, Originality, Sustainability Initiatives, Community Participation, Ecological Waste Management, and Disaster Risk Reduction.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the 2021 Resiliency Awards gives recognition to Filipino "movers and workers" who have been making change to bolster climate and disaster resiliency.

"We recognize all the winners as our environmental heroes. They, who tirelessly work to protect our environment and natural resources deserve honor and acknowledgment," Cimatu said.

"No work and no project to save our planet are ever too small or too big because everyone can make a difference and can provide a solution to climate change – individuals, organizations, communities, and local governments," he pointed out.

The first place winner was Annadine Marzinares of the local government unit (LGU) of Botolan, Zambales for her entry, "Women Leadership, Trailblazers of Environmental Sustainability," which showcased the programs and projects initiated by the Botolan municipal government in achieving environmental sustainability in their municipality.

These include fabrication and installation of artificial reef with coral transplantation, mangrove and forest reforestation, and solid waste management.

The second place winner was engineer Reynaldo Gonzales of the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources in Zamboanga City for the "Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction (GHG): Zamboanga City Initiatives for Climate Change Mitigation."

The entry describes Zamboanga as one of the model cities that integrated the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a component for their Local Climate Change Action Plan or LCCAP.

Maria Clarita Limbaro from the local government of Bayabas, Surigao del Sur was the third prize winner for her entry "Sagip-Wakatan Program: Kwentong KLIMA-likasan ng Bayabas, Surigao del Sur."

The Sagip-Wakatan program is an annual mangrove reforestation, replanting, and coastal cleanup initiative of the municipality of Bayabas that aims to maintain and improve the mangrove cover density to help protect the community against destructive effects of storm surges, tidal waves, tsunami, and soil erosion.

Special citations in seven categories were also given recognition during the virtual ceremony.

Youth Empowerment -- Carvel Acabal of National Anti-Poverty Commission's Children Basic Sector and Kalambulan Youth Organization (KAYO) in Zamboanga del Sur for "KAYO: Extraordinary Youths in Extraordinary Times."

Gender Empowerment -- Nyla Cordero of Kalayaan Organic Practitioners Association in Laguna (KOPA) for "Nyla Cordero’s Story: Empowering Women on Climate and Disaster Resiliency in the Community."

Originality -- Adela Jamelo of Panatao Plastic Waste Recycling Association in Surigao del Norte for "From Waste to Wealth Project."

Sustainability Initiatives -- Danielle Ann Ravalo of Graymont (Philippines) Inc. in Las Piñas City for "Juan Earth: Efforts in saving the only thing we all have in common."

Community Participation -- Auria Primaverde Gonzales of the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) in Camarines Sur for "MNWD Integrated Watershed Management Program: The Beginning of a Promising Story."

Ecological Waste Management -- Ian Chester Solver of the Parish Youth Ministry-Basud, Youth of Poblacion Uno-Basud in Camarines Norte for "Binhi ng Pag-asa (Seed of Hope)."

Disaster Risk Reduction -- Zia Sagoso from General Santos City for her entry "Green Initiatives: A Better Life and Environment."

The winners received P50,000, P40,000, and P30,000 for first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Meanwhile, special citation awardees received P15,000 each.

DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh congratulated the winners for their contributions, which she said were “nothing less than a mark of passion, dedication, commitment, and love for our campaigns and advocacies for the environment and our peoples."

DENR received almost 100 entries all over the country for the "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Recognition Awards."

The awards support the Global Good Stories Movement, which seeks to recognize the stories of individuals—both women and men—and groups on the impacts of climate change and disasters in their communities, and on how they are addressing them through pursuing relevant programs on environmental protection and conservation, climate change, and disaster risk reduction.

The Global Good Stories Movement is a movement of people who share the common belief that "we can change the story of the world by changing the storyline."

The judges for this year’s awards were Commissioner Rachel Herrera of the Climate Change Commission, Director Tecson Lim of the Department of National Defense-Office of Civil Defense, and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute.

Entries were evaluated based on their Climate and Disaster Resiliency content (60 percent); visual appeal of the photographs and video (30 percent); and geographical reach of the initiative (10 percent). ###