Klima Kabisayaan: Mapping out community-based climate action initiatives

By Paula Bernasor


Giving back to your local community and furthering your mission is one of the greatest joys of being a Climate Reality Leader. With over 300 Climate Reality Leaders in the Visayas, how do we know what everyone is up to?

As we approach the third quarter of the year, the Climate Reality Leaders in the Visayas took the time to have a community check and to map out the needs in the region.

Community needs are gaps between what programs currently exist and what programs should be in place. Mapping out current programs or initiatives provides a framework for developing and identifying solutions and building linkages that support and nurture fellow Climate Reality Leaders in the Visayas.

For the July Hangout, we mapped out existing programs and initiatives across the Visayas to improve and boost sustainable impact in our communities.

First, we mapped out local issues and identified the following:

  • Unsustainable development of cities;
  • Lack of information dissemination on the relationship between health and climate change;
  • Low understanding of the general public about basic information on climate science and the impacts of climate change;
  • Lack of green industries, especially in Eastern Visayas;
  • Rampant conversion of forest lands;
  • Community displacement due to landslides, soil erosion, and storm surges; and
  • Lack of proper water management.

Second, we identified ongoing initiatives and projects we are involved in:

  • Adoption of UN FAO voluntary guidelines for small-scale fisheries;
  • Farm-to-fashion model for creating sustainable local textiles;
  • Popularizing of Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment in local development plans;
  • Organization of youth workshop on Sustainable Fisheries;
  • Organization of three big events this year (April, August, and November) that will engage the Sangguniang Kabataan on inclusion and diversity in the context of climate change adaptation;
  • Planning of municipal-wide agroforest greenbelt;
  • Pushing for the inclusion of renewable energy at least for critical facilities in the local governments’ Comprehensive Development Plans; and
  • Mainstreaming the sustainable use of landscapes through the Comprehensive Land Use Plans.

Third, we discussed where Climate Reality Leaders in the Visayas needed support and the following were identified:
  • Grant opportunities and grant writing support;
  • Training workshops to help capacitate volunteers; 
  • Sharing of best practices, policies, work plans to implement projects in their own areas; and
  • Information, education, and communication (IEC) materials for distribution in community areas
Lastly, we asked what else could be done for the rest of the year to have more impact and we listed three (3) main initiatives:
  • Creating and translating IEC materials to fit the local communities;
  • Implement a Sustainable Festival Visayas to promote sustainable lifestyles, feature sustainable products, and share best practices; and
  • Piloting sustainable island development in one of the islands in the Philippines.

The mapping helped us create new ideas and synergies. I am definitely looking forward to August and all the new local partnerships being forged from the Visayas. I am equally excited about the next steps for the three (3) main initiatives and will definitely update once we have everything set.



“Working together on solving something requires a high level of humility and a high level of self-awareness.”


Paula Bernasor is the Visayas Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She is a Climate Reality Philippines Leader and Mentor, Chapter Director for Startup Grind Cebu, and a volunteer for Project Sharklink and Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project. She previously worked as an Associate for Partnerships for Rare Organisation’s Fish Forever in the Philippines. She started Project Library in the Philippines, a grassroots movement that helps underprivileged communities in remote areas gain access to books and reading materials, as well as Ocean Love Philippines, which uses social media to spread awareness on pressing environmental issues and to promote a sustainable lifestyle and the circular economy. 


Klima Kabisayaan is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 300 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Visayas.

It is one of the monthly columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.