© 2015 Lindsay Cope

Comic Strips for Solid Waste Management

Calatagan, Batangas has efficient and effective programs for coastal resource management.  I spent my weekend near a dense mangrove forest just a couple hundred meters off shore of Barangay Gulod is the product of a fifteen year restoration project and continues to attract volunteers for Mangrove planting activities.  The mangroves are buffered by seagrass beds and beyond them a coral sanctuary with healthy coral spreading in all directions.  While there is always room for improvement, active and committed community support, paired with a clear strategic plan, make Calatagan a model for municipalities in the region.

Continuous information and education dissemination has been important to generate support and advocacy for natural resources here.  Furthermore, advancing resource resilience has lead Calatagan to endeavor an ecosystem based management approach and target environmental issues that aggravate resource degradation.  A strategy for Solid Waste Management in Calatagan, outlined in the municipal ten year plan for solid waste management, ambitiously aims for zero waste generation by 2025 (I will elaborate on the plan in a later post), a target that requires communities to be responsible for waste disposal, which starts with understanding their waste.

To help the community understand the implications of poor waste management and to promote compliance with the provisions of the new SWM plan, we have partnered with Chico, an artist from Mindanao who lives and works in Metro Manila, and some of the high school students from Calatagan, to produce comic strips as community education materials.  Chico conducted a two day workshop, covering the basics of drawing comics.

The students completed a 10-frame comic illustrating the ban on burning waste, pictured below. We will continue to work with teachers and students over the next month to create a series of comic strips aimed at community understanding of environmentally friendly waste management practices and how to comply with the rules and regulations of the new ten year plan for solid waste management.  Once the waste management series is completed we will create a second series for educating the community and tourists about our marine protected areas.



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