Solutions Ecosystems Activator (SEA), Inc, has come to the Province of Antique to join the voices of the growing global clamour for sustainable development and a shared responsibility in the way we administer this community and make use of its resources.
We have come here to become part of an emerging global conscience one increasingly aware of our responsibilities to our past, present, and future, and hopefully able to command the will of our country to do what is right and just-not only for themselves, but for all the people in the countryside. Here in Belison, we find ourselves torn once again between our noblest spiritual aspirations and our basic human needs.
We would like to believe in such a conscience as the culmination of the social and spiritual evolution of our work, which has lagged far behind the physical aspect that started here in Panay, we have survived disasters and political divisions, but we have yet to face greater challenges in working with the different sectors in the community.
Many years ago, it seemed that we had taken a huge leap forward our evolution, but now we seem to have stalled, or even taken another step backward, in our failure to deliver on the promises for a better life, and to secure more new and concrete commitments to sustainable development as a global responsibility.
We, Filipinos are proud to have embraced sustainable development early on, and to have embodied it in all aspects of our national development plans. As our leaders often reminds us, poverty eradication is our highest priority in the Philippines, and we see sustainable development as a means to conquer mass poverty in our time and to guarantee prosperity in the future.
We are proud of our partnership between the local government and civil society in promoting sustainable development.
We have stories of hope and change to share from our experience:
Of how, in many places, through a development concept called SIAD, our marginal fishermen can now cast their nets over their own protected fishing grounds, and how our small scale farmers can now look forward to fairer returns on their backbreaking labours.
Of how communities in forest areas have gradually taken charge of managing their own resources.
We have hundreds more such local stories to tell. We have many more hopeful plans, such as massive reforestation to turn barren land into productive farming areas. But we believe that in Belison, just like the rest of the areas we cover, we should seek to write the bigger story, the global story, one that will welcome us with hope and spur us into more action.
As we begin to understand the concept, we will soon adopt a plan that should serve that purpose. But we must ask ourselves if what we will hear is good and inspiring enough.
To be more concrete, we would have wanted a firmer commitment on new and additional financial resources, building on the SIAD concept. We would have wanted an explicit statement that globalization, especially in business, must be made to work for sustainable development. We would have wanted a stronger and more inspired corporate commitment to this principle.
We would have wanted more ambitious goals and bigger numbers for the targets agreed, and for such targets to have been set for new areas involved.
Still, there is much to build on and to carry forward.
We welcome the reaffirmation of the right of the people to information and to meaningful participation in decision-making and formulate their own plans.
We will build on the inspiring example of the teachers and business sectors, LGU officials who open their doors hoping that such initiatives will attract the interest and support of others around.
As we work together, let us commit ourselves to completing what we have begun-to achieving the fullness of our humanity, the completion of our social evolution-so that, we will walk towards the dawn, the better life that is to be.
SOLUTIONS ECOSYSTEMS ACTIVATOR, (SEA), INC