Women in Conservation: Research, Science, Sustainability, Empowerment

In celebration of Womens Month, we turn to the passionate, strong women leading some of LAMAVEs research and conservation projects across the Philippines. We ask what drives them and hear their take on scientific research and what motivates them to pursue conservation goals in the heart of the coral triangle.

The National Women’s Month Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD). As an organisation LAMAVE values equality and diversity and strive to create a positive working environment for everyone. Two (out of four) of LAMAVE’s Directors and more than half of our Project Leaders are women. #WomenMakeChange2019


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Jia Dollano

LAMAVE base: Apo Island, Negros Oriental

 

What drives you to pursue scientific research?

Science for me is a creative process to learn and explore the vast world. Research teaches patience, arouses curiosity, eliminates lazy thinking, and provides its own kind of adventure while seeking answers to bigger questions.

Ang siyensya ay malikhaing proseso para sa pagtuklas ng mundo. Tinuturuan tayo ng research ng mas mahabang pasensiya, pag-usisa, pag sikwal sa tamad na pag-iisip, at magbibigay nang kakaibang adbentura habang nag hahanap ng kasagutan sa mga malalaking problema.
— Jia Dollano, LAMAVE Project Leader

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MJ Lamoste

LAMAVE base: Apo Island & Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

 

What does it mean to you, to be able to contribute to marine conservation efforts in your home country? What drives you?

Contributing to the marine conservation efforts in my country means giving value to the resources that had provided me with a better outlook in life and lifestyle. Seeing and experiencing first hand the effects of human activities towards the degradation of marine resources had encouraged me to think outside of the box. I am now in the transition period of integrating women empowerment in communities with high marine conservation efforts.

 Ang pagbibigay ng kontribusyon sa mga pagsisikap sa conservation ng karagatan sa aking bansa ay nangangahulugan ng pagbibigay halaga sa mga mapagkukunang yaman na nagbigay sa akin ng mas mahusay na pananaw sa buhay at pamumuhay. Ang makita at maranasan mismo ang epekto ng mga aktibidad ng tao patungo sa pagkasira ng mga mapagkukunang yaman sa karagatan ay naghikayat sa akin na mag-isip sa labas ng kahon. Ako ngayon ay nasa proseso sa pagbuo ng samahan ng mga kababaihan sa mga komunidad na may mataas na mga pagsisikap sa pag-iingat ng yamang karagatan.
— MJ Lamoste, LAMAVE Project Leader

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Christine “Tin” Legaspi

LAMAVE base: Oslob, Cebu

What does it mean to you, to be able to contribute to marine conservation efforts in your home country? What drives you?

Contributing to marine conservation in the Philippines is such a fulfilling job. The Philippines is known for its rich marine resources, and I feel like I am making a huge difference that I am involved in its conservation and sustainable use.

Nakakataba ng puso, para sa akin, na makatulong sa pangangalaga ng ating mga karagatan. Ang Pilipinas ay kilala sa yamang dagat nito, at sa tingin ko, napakamahalaga ang trabaho na mapanatili ang pagiging mayaman nito.
— Tin Legaspi, LAMAVE Project Leader

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Ariana Agustines

LAMAVE base: Southern Leyte & Puerto Princesa

 

The term ‘Conservation’ can appear quite abstract, what does the term mean to you?

To me ‘Conservation’ means being aware of the state of our natural resources and understanding their value so we may take steps, no matter how small, in preserving its natural cycle. It has been my dream. What has brought me here and why I would like to continue is because there is so much at stake for marine conservation efforts in the Philippines—not just to protect the rich biodiversity it hosts but to help the communities that rely and depend on the marine ecosystem.

Para sa akin, ang ibig sabihin ng konserbasyon ay ang kamalayan ng kalagayan ng ating mga likas na kayamanan at pag-unawa ng kanilang halaga para makagawa tayo ng mga hakbang, kahit anong liit, para pangalagaan ang paulit ulit na sikolo (cycle) nito.  Ito ay isang hangarin ko. Ang nagdala sa akin dito at ang dahilan na gusto kong ipagpatuloy ang ginagawa ko dito ay dahil malaki ang nakataya para sa pangangalaga ng konserbasyon na pangdagat dito sa Pilipinas. Hindi lamang para protektahan ang masaganang “biodiversity” na namumuhay ditto, pero para din tumulong sa mga komunidad na umaasa at nagdedepende dito sa “ecosystem” na pangdagat na ito.
— Arianna Agustines, LAMAVE Project Leader

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Sue Ong

LAMAVE base: Apo Island (currently on an exchange programme in Myanmar)

What does it mean to you, to be able to contribute to marine conservation efforts in your home country? What drives you?

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to marine conservation in my country. Also, as a Filipina, I feel empowered and happy to see more women getting involved and making their own contribution on conservation in the Philippines.

Nagpapasalamat ako na mabigyan ng oportunidad na tumulong sa pagpapanatili o konserbasyon ng ating likas yaman at mga hayop sa karagatan sa aking bansa. Masaya din ako dahil nakikita ko ang mga kapwa kong Pilipina na nabibilang o sumasama at nagbibigay din ng kanilang kontribusyon na mapanatili ang ating kapaligiran dito sa Pilipinas.
— Sue Ong, LAMAVE Project Leader

If you are interested in contributing to conservation efforts in the Philippines, you can find out more about volunteering and/or opportunities to join our team.