CALBIGA, Samar — The Samar provincial government is heavily promoting new and emerging ecotourism sites in the province that promise steady income and additional livelihood opportunities to women in the communities, diverting them away from forest poaching in the protected area.
The tourism promotions are focused on the natural characteristics of the 335,000-hectare Samar Island Natural Park (SINP), which itself is being nominated for inclusion in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
The provincial government, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units and a Manila-based foundation, recently launched enhanced ecotourism projects in two towns where primary beneficiaries are women’s organization in the communities.
In the town of Calbiga, the Lulugayan Falls in Barangay Literon was officially launched as an improved ecotourism destination “to showcase the environment and the culture of the locals.”
The partnership has caused the improvement of the access road and site development, refurbishing of old houses in the community using indigenous materials to create native themes and serve as homestay for tourists and promoting the value of environment through sustainable ecotourism.
The local organization, the Literon Women’s Association, is tasked to protect the forest and its river systems as well as provide assistance to tourists.
In the town of Paranas, the partnership launched a new ecotourism destination — the 800-meters Paranas Eco-trail and Birding Sites, which include kiosks, view deck, hanging bridge and tree houses among its features.