MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - INTRODUCING BRYAN MADERA!

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars!  Next up is Bryan Madera who recently joined our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao. Here’s what the inspiring conservationist had to share with us…

Bryan Madera LAMAVE Scholar

BRYAN MADERA

Western Visayas 

1. Where is home?

I am currently on seabbatical but I spent most of my life in the coastal communities of Western Visayas.

2. Why are you excited to be working with LAMAVE?

I am always excited of meeting environmentally conscious people because I know that I would live my day with like minded people, who for example refuse plastic, trying to consume sustainably and talking about science. This is my second project with LAMAVE after being away for almost two years but the memory of my last day of my first placement is still fresh. I remember the day I left the project site with separation anxiety cause living with the team is living the life I always dream – sustainable lifestyle. I am also excited to be in the field doing research and learning from the diverse team members and the community we work with (e.g. the fisher folks and bantay dagat who helped us during the surveys) and of course the wildlife encounters in the Northern Mindanao.

3. Best LAMAVE moment so far?

Learning research techniques in conservation specifically about citizen science where any person can help a marine conservation initiative gather data through sending photos of sightings to a researcher or organization. This data is crucial in marine conservation in the Philippines, a megadiverse country, given that conservation effort in the country is restricted by the archipelagic feature. I actually start up a citizen science for marine turtles with diving community in Boracay.

4. One moment/experience/idea that made you want to get involved with marine conservation?

That there is no Planet B and the environment is the only life-support system we have.

5. One thing every Filipino can do for ocean conservation?

Change their lifestyle to a more environmental conscious living. Conservation is not exclusive to those who work for the environmental protection but should be integrated in every Filipinos and Filipinas daily life. It sounds complex, but they can start from refusing single-use plastic items, checking the source of seafood they consume, and educate themselves through subscribing/following environmental organization’s social media or email listings.

6. Dream/Future job?

I don’t think it exist yet but it is something like what I am doing right now – I manage a program for Save Philippine Seas that empowers young Filipino and Filipina to be leaders in marine conservation, I started a citizen science research of marine turtles in Boracay, I do photography as side line job, I started an advocacy to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bottles (also known as PET, Polyethylene terephthalate), I convince friends to lessen their plastic consumption or business to replace single-use plastic items (like straws) to a reusable options, promote what are more environmental alternatives over the unsustainable ones, and promotion of sustainable tourism through empowering the tour guides.

 
One of the whale sharks encountered by Bryan and the team off the coast of Northern Mindanao.

One of the whale sharks encountered by Bryan and the team off the coast of Northern Mindanao.