Protector of Turtles & Trees – Tina Antonio of “La Union Soul” Becomes FEED Ambassador


27 October 2016, Urbiz Garden, San Juan
. This October 2016, Tina Antonio was selected as the next FEED Ambassador due to her continued advocacies calling to protect our ‘pawikan‘ (Tag. for turtle)  and their marine sanctuary (West Philippine Sea), coastal and upland trees and the propagation of indigenous and endangered hardwood, mangrove and fruit-breaking trees, amongst other practical environmental passions.

She is also the co-founder and driver behind the La Union Soul (logo pictured above, conceptualised and created by Havas Media Ortega) movement – designing and implementing a sustainable tourism marketing plan for La Union, a community building eco-tourism effort for La Union Province’s Sustainability – involving various private, public and NGO organisations keen to ensure the preservation of marine life and livelihoods in the “surfing capital of the North” with the aim to protect the local economy, its local stakeholders and our reliance on clean, safe and secure waters for all living creatures.

Part of Tina’s passions involves the upkeep and planting of a continued living legacy her forefamily left behind in San Juan, as evidenced by the hundred year old trees providing shade and cooling at Urbiz Gardens, the Bed & Breakfast she manages on a daily basis.

In a May 2016 interview surrounding the then-launched “SOS: Save the Seas Coastival” awareness event, Tina warned: “I am sorry but I have to break this to you—in the next two years, there’s a high probability that you won’t be enjoying the surf, the beach or the fresh seafood we have here because in a couple of years, there will be a boom of commercial development in the area.”

sifcare turtles SOS sand.jpg

Photo courtesy: Human Nature.

About SIFCare

SIFCare or the Science of Identity Foundation Community Assistance for Responsible Existence is the humanitarian arm of the Science of Identity Foundation working for the development of enlightened, happy individuals and communities through various programs cultivating wisdom, spiritual love and compassion. Their  slogan is Care in Action.

More info on SIFCare: http://www.sifcare.org

About CURMA

CURMA or Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions is a marine turtle conservation program that protects an endangered keystone species from poachers and other predators. Volunteers patrol the coastline and secure turtle nests from dangers together with other activities to help preserve marine life and the environment as a whole.

More info on SIFCARE: http://sifcare.org/curma/

Pawikan Center SM Trees.jpgFEED Partnership with SIFCare/Curma

FEED partnered with Tina in support of these and other environment advocacies, critical to the sustainability of La Union, converging and commencing with the propagation and establishment of an organic seed production facility on some private farm lands in La Union – for the benefit of water and food security for the community – to include  the design, implementation and sharing of immediate, mid and long-term practical livelihood interventions.

FEED welcomes Tina, the voice of our Turtles/Pawikan – in recognition of their interconnected and central role in the sustainability of La Union’s Soul!!!

About “La Union Soul”: https://www.facebook.com/LaUnionSoul/

The Story of the Turtles & the Trees

But trouble was looming on the horizon. The turtles saw trees they had never seen before being planted on their beach. These trees were known as the Australian Pine.

Residents were putting them there to protect their homes from wind and storms. Little did they know that this pine would cause major problems in the ecosystem.

turtles

*Critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle of the Philippines.

You see, this tree didn’t normally grow there. And it wasn’t like the other plants and animals that were native to the island. It had shallow roots and would fall over easily, often trapping the turtles, or blocking areas for nests. The pine was an invasive species, and it wasn’t long before many of the turtles stopped coming to the beach to nest.

Fortunately, a group of heroes came to the turtles’ rescue. They sought to restore the balance in the precious ecosystem. Hundreds of acres of Australian Pine were cut down and burned. In their place, the heroes grew more than a dozen species of plants that were common to the island.

The turtles were filled with joy. Within one year, more nests began popping back up along the beaches.

And as the years passed by, the ecosystem eventually found its proper balance. The Loggerheads of Keewaydin Island had returned to nesting on the beaches that their ancestors had long called a home.

And every summer, as the hatchlings make their way to the sea, we are reminded of the dangers of an invasive species. And that is the story of the pine.

Source: http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/turtleandthetree

*Hawksbill Sea Turtle, named for their narrow, pointed beak, is a medium size turtle that lives in Philippines. These vegetarians are listed in critically endangered species and the main reason for this problem is human impact. Despite the law that protects these creatures, humans still hunt them for their flesh and shells, eat their eggs and usually capture them accidentally in fishing nets.Once upon a time, a group of Loggerhead turtles established Keewaydin Island as a home. Warm weather and sandy dunes made it a perfect place for nesting. Hatchlings could easily make their way to the ocean from these beaches. Source: Conservation International.

More Information

For more information, contact FEED via info@feed.org.ph  or text/call +63 (0)917 552 4722.

(c) FEED, Inc.

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