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Rej Winlove Bungabong (Philippines)

Reg Winlove

Ecosystem Management Specialist

Biodiversity Management Bureau - Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines

 

Master of Integrated Water Management
(with Ken Thiess-GWP Scholarship)

Currently studying

 

Rej's story

I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry in 2002 at the De La Salle Araneta University. I then joined the Philippine Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and was exposed to responsibilities related to the implementation of environmental policies and the maintenance of ecological balance and protection as well as the enhancement of environmental sustainability in the country. Joining this agency made me realise that my passion combined with a dedication and thirst to learn and contribute to efforts on environmental conservation will drive and fuel my career and future life goals.

My previous experience with two government agencies plunged me into the heart of the water management crisis in the Philippines. At the Department of Interior and Local Government, I was a Program Officer for Manila Bay Regional Task Group, in charge of tracking the implementation of clean-up, rehabilitation and preservation action plans.  I prepared and consolidated reports submitted by the Local Government Units (LGUs) in compliance to the directive containing key performance indicators for inspection of wastewater treatment facilities of commercial establishment, factories and homes along riverbanks and shorelines of Manila Bay watershed area, as well as inventory and relocation of informal settlers and illegal encroachments. Working in this field, I experienced first-hand that through the integration, coordination, and sufficient and proper handling of funds, Manila Bay can be saved. 

 "I believe my experience complements my vision, and with training and exposure, I hope to be a catalyst for positive change."

My knowledge in water resources management was sharpened through my seven years exposure to watershed and coastal resources in various Regions of the Philippines by being part of two units of the Regional Field Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). During this time I have been involved in the DENR's integrated coastal resources management initiative working on a participatory coastal resource assessment, integrated coastal management and planning, coastal zoning and mapping, mangrove and seagrass assessment and mangrove rehabilitation activities. I also became part of various watershed resources management activities such as bio-physical assessment, vulnerability assessment and management plan preparations.

Through these opportunities I have witnessed that the rapid urbanisation of rural areas is significantly contributing to the continuous degradation of our water resources. Being an archipelagic country with vast watersheds, the Philippine is endowed with extensive water resources. If these resources are utilised and managed properly, sustainable clean and potable water can be readily available, sufficient and affordable for every Filipino home. However, amidst continued government efforts, our country lacks experts on innovation and technology implementation in the field of integrated water resource management. This inspires and drives me to look for answers, knowing that quality of life is clearly defined by a sustainable, affordable, and safe access to basic necessities such as water. I believe my experience on multi-sectoral environmental conservation and protection complements this vision, and with training and exposure, I hope to be a catalyst for positive change.  

Beginning the IWM journey

The poor results and unsustainable management of resources resulting from fragmented approaches to management has been shown in many countries. In the Philippines, traditional management approaches have resulted in failures, wasted money and contributed to the emergence of new problems. By bringing together related expertise on engineering, physical and biological science, ecology, economics, sociology among others an integrated water management system can be established and work to formulate better solutions.

I believe the opportunity to receive further training under the tutelage of experts and highly capable mentors and colleagues in the water sector will further enhance my knowledge, understanding and exposure to Integrated Water Management. I plan to use this opportunity to interact with students from other countries to exchange ideas on how to address the mounting problems in wetlands conservation and management, particularly those applicable to the Philippine setting. The Master Integrated Water Management will also provide me with an opportunity to expand my expertise and build my confidence in implementing holistic and integrated approaches to conservation and management of our resources, along with the technical know-how to improve my capacity to conceptualise, design and plan activities that can help my agency in achieving its goals, objectives and mandates in the conservation and management of our wetlands. I hope that my expanded knowledge can later be shared and transferred to my colleagues in the DENR and to our partner agencies and organisations as well.

Upon completion of the MIWM, I plan to return to the Philippines. I am aspiring to be a forerunner in helping achieve the vision and mission of the Philippine Wetland Conservation and Management through my continuing work with the BMB-DENR. I will focus on implementing the practical knowledge and skills that I acquired primarily on conservation and management of our water resources and will also share my knowledge and experiences with my colleagues. Through these activities, I aspire to be an instrument of inspiration towards the development of conservation and management initiatives of our natural resources.

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The International WaterCentre Master of Integrated Water Management creates water leaders by drawing on international teaching and research from many fields to provide a transdisciplinary, whole-of-water-cycle approach to water management.  

 

IWC Masters Scholarships

 

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