Bancas for the Philippines by Gregg Yan & WWF (2)Spiderman and Earth Hour Join Forces! (1)More than simply an annual “Lights Out” event, Earth Hour has reinvented itself as a crowd-funding platform for environmental initiatives, while still celebrating climate change solutions via a global 60-minute switch-off. Earth Hour 2014 is slated from 8:30pm to 9:30pm on Saturday night, 29 March.

Among the featured crowd-funding projects is Bancas for the Philippines, a project of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines). “Climate change is here, now. WWF is a forward-thinking organization, so it is time to think and act beyond relief,” notes WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. “By enhancing the traditional banca design and providing fisherfolk with the resources to build new boats, we will minimize our growing dependence on local and foreign aid.”

 Initially conceived to help Yolanda-afflicted coastal communities in Northern Palawan and the Eastern Visayas, the project aims to introduce fiberglass boat-making technology to restore food security, increase climate resilience by reducing boat construction time, and decrease current reliance on hardwoods for banca construction. Through the support of donors, the project provides materials, training and boat moulds, which shall be awarded to selected communities so fisherfolk can build bancas to jumpstart self-sufficiency.

“The Philippines has been one of Earth Hour’s strongest supporters, having topped town and city participation levels from 2009 to 2013. In light of Typhoon Yolanda, it is now time for Earth Hour to work for us Filipinos ,” says Earth Hour Philippines Director Atty. Gia Ibay.

Banca Fiberglass Mould by Henry CoCompared to wooden boats, fiberglass bancas are lighter, easier, faster and cheaper to both build and maintain – with repairs as simple as patching up cracks and holes with epoxy or fiberglass. Unlike wood, fiberglass is completely watertight and does not expand when wet.

The project aims to restore food security while avoiding an increase in fishing pressure by ensuring that boats do not exceed 20 feet in length and are propelled chiefly by sails or paddles, promoting artisanal or small-scale fishing. To contribute to the goals of the year-long project, the Earth Hour crowd-funding platform aims to raise $24,000 for 60 bancas by mid-April.

“Give a man some fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you can feed him forever,” concludes Tan. “We invite corporations and individuals to support Bancas for the Philippines via the Earth Hour crowd-funding platform. Through your help, we can help Yolanda-hit prepare for the rougher seas brought about by climate change. Together, let us keep hope afloat.”

Donate here: http://ehour.me/BANCAS

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_IaY72m1mU&feature=youtu.be

Advertisements