Negros’ Sagay and Bago win Green Destinations Story Awards for sustainable tourism

Negros' Sagay Green Destinations Story Awards
Two Negros Occidental cities were recognized at the 2023 Green Destinations Story Awards. Event photos.

The Negros Occidental cities of Sagay and Bago received recognition at the 2023 Green Destinations Story Awards which showcase the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development.

Sagay’s “Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based EcoTourism Project” won 2nd place in the Nature and Scenery Category as well as the People’s Choice Award, while Bago’s “Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed” won 3rd place in the Environment and Climate Category.

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The tourism initiatives of Sagay and Bago were shortlisted in the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories in 2022.

The Green Destinations Story Awards citations read:

Sagay City – Philippines
Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based Eco Tourism Project

“The local community did not treasure its beautiful mangrove forest and its wildlife, which is why the destination decided to introduce ecotourism. Through social media marketing campaigns the community first realised how important the environment is, that they should be proud of their island and how important it is to protect these assets. This made the awareness in biodiversity increase drastically. The local community then also got directly included in the scientific counting if the species in the mangrove forest and was able to report on a high increase in flying foxes in the area this year. The beauty of the destination further got displayed in an international movie being filmed there and the accomplishments of the good practice acknowledged through several recognitions.”

Bago City – Philippines
Reviving the majestic diversity of Bago Watershed

“The Bago Watershed faces a lot of issues that gravely threatens its equilibrium, e.g. water pollution or degrading forest cover. The solution was a diverse combination of e.g. Assisted Natural Regeneration in Mount Kanlaon Natural Park or Waste Management and Pollution Control. All together they mobilized their resources and strengthened community involvement leading to an Integrated Ecosystem Management Approach (Ridge to Reef Environmental Management). The benefits are also very diverse, e.g. an increase in rice production, locals benefited or 179 Hectares of upland farms were converted into sustainable agro-forestry areas, increasing the City’s forest cover.

“The local communities of Bago City have been dependent on traditional forms of livelihood which are mostly extractive and not sustainable. Increasing water usage and pollution, forest degradation and inappropriate land use have further threatened the equilibrium of the Bago City watershed. Through effective governance, capacity building programs and involvement of local stakeholders, the city has been able to revive the rich biodiversity of the Bago Watershed. Amongst others, results include 179 Hectares of upland farms were converted into sustainable agro-forestry areas, increasing the City’s forest cover and Bago City was included in the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area and was recently declared as the 7th Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance) in the Philippines.”

The Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board and the Department of Tourism praised the wins of the two Western Visayas cities awarded last March 7 during the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, the world’s leading travel trade fair for global tourism.

The Philippines’ tourist services were cited by the ASEAN Tourism Standards Awards, while popular travel destinations Palawan and Boracay received recognition for sustainability efforts.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the people of Sagay and Bago in Negros Occidental for winning recognition at the Green Destinations Story Awards 2023!

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