A holistic educational paradigm: Managing coastal resources in the Philippines

Paul Watts, Eduardo Macose, Eusebio Angara, Marivic Pajaro
2010 Gateways : International Journal of Community Research & Engagement  
The world is facing a depletion of marine resources that threatens entire cultures and endangers the very life of the planet. Reports indicate that over 80 per cent of world fish stocks are heavily exploited or depleted, yet close to 200 million people continue to depend on the fishery for livelihood (FAO 2008). The vast geographical range of many marine fish populations calls for public participation, communication and coordination on a large scale, all of which may be critical to maintaining
more » ... cal to maintaining the health of coastal resources, as well as the delivery of ecosystem services. The need for public participation is enhanced in those countries where both government services and marine management infrastructure are limited. In the Philippines, public participation has been identified as a priority strategy to promote sustainable development of coastal resources (Republic Act 8435, Akester et al. 2007). Given the lack of empowered stakeholders and a functional government body that can appropriately address the challenges of coastal resource management through public participation, catalyst institutions need to step in. This role is being undertaken by the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT), located in Aurora Province on the northeast coast of Luzon Island, Philippines. ASCOT has adopted a holistic approach that offers a model for responsive education with a focus on participation and representative leadership. Although universities and colleges have generally acknowledged their connection to their surrounding environment and link theory with practical application in communities (Lowes & Reisch 1998), the ASCOT program is specifically aimed at cultural transformation as an approach to sustainability in the coastal environment. The focus is on communication and coordination for large-scale coastal resource management and sustainability. Some research in developing countries has specifically identified the importance of involving authorities within public partnerships (Choguill 1996) . This is in contrast to early international work on public participation, which identified citizen control as the primary goal and highest level of activity, while Gateways: International
doi:10.5130/ijcre.v3i0.1638 fatcat:skucbrywbjbajk6k24q2hfggdi