Coastal Resource Management Community Outreach Facilitator

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The Philippines is at the apex of the Coral Triangle – a biogeographic space of great biological and economic importance. The coastal and marine resources of the Philippines provide various ecosystem services – benefiting more than 50 percent of the total population living along coastal zones for food and income generation.

The Philippines’ natural resources are under heavy threats from both human-led activities and natural phenomena (i.e. climate change). Destructive practices, over-exploitation, pollution and wastes have resulted to loss of coastal and marine ecosystems and decline in fish production. It is estimated that only less than 1% of the total coral reef of the country is in excellent condition The alarming population growth, which is now estimated at around 100 million, has amplified these threats.

The Coastal Resource Management (CRM) program of Peace Corps supports the initiatives of the national and local governments through its three components: (1) skills and knowledge building, (2) ecosystem protection and management and (3) sustainable fisheries. Your service will revolve around these components aimed at improving the capacity of individuals and/or organizations you work with in your site. To be successful at your assignment, competencies in environmental education, organizational development and ecological profiling are desirable.

As a CRM Volunteer, your assignment is to work with local governments. The municipal or city government has important facilitation roles in the coastal management process because of their legal mandate and devolved functions to manage resources within their jurisdiction. In support of the integrated coastal management framework of the national government, the Coastal Resource Management Framework of U.S. Peace Corps Philippines sets ambitious targets in environmental awareness, ecological profiling, protected area management and empowerment of community-based organizations.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in promoting environmental awareness in schools and communities and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Environmental Education, Environment Science, Environment Studies, Environment Interpretation, Natural Resources, Conservation, Ecology, Social Science or Community Development; or
• BA/BS in any discipline with experience organizing/leading environmental education activities
• All candidates are required to have significant confidence in swimming and comfort or experience with snorkeling (having a scuba certification is NOT required). Candidates must also be comfortable leading a group into water and snorkeling as part of their assignment. All candidates must be comfortable with travel in small boats.

Due to Philippines government visa requirements and the government’s current strong stance and action on combatting drug production, distribution/trafficking, and use, you will not be considered for Peace Corps positions in the Philippines at this time if you have ever been convicted of any crime, even if it was expunged or sealed, and even if you otherwise would meet the standards for legal clearance to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer more generally.

Desired Skills

Highly desired skills for this position include:
• Certification in primary or secondary science education
• Experience organizing/leading environmental education activities.
• Strong interest in working with people, especially the grassroots of fishing communities;
• Strong interpersonal skills and an interest in the combination of community development, governance and environmental protection.
• Interest in Philippine culture and willingness to integrate into a Filipino community.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Additional Language Information

Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines but typically Volunteers will need to learn a secondary local language to be successful. You dedication to learning a secondary language will set you up for success during your service. Having this skill will help you better integrate into your community.

Living Conditions

The Philippines is made up of 7,100 islands and all Volunteers should be comfortable being in/around water and traveling in small boats. Volunteers are assigned to work in coastal municipalities. Sites are extremely varied within agricultural or coastal districts and could be a small and remote coastal village, a small island, or a semi-urban area. Some sites may be near highly polluted urban centers, though Volunteers serving in this project tend to have more predominantly rural sites. To get around, Volunteer usually walk or bike long distances to their schools, work sites, or market. As the Philippines is located right near the equator, it will be hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 85 to 90 degrees.

All Volunteers live with a Filipino host family during the first 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training (PST) and then with another host family during their first three months at their permanent community following training. Filipino houses and families are much more communal than typical American houses and families. Volunteers will have their own rooms, but all other spaces will likely be shared with other host family members.

Personal appearance is important in the Philippines. During PST, the dress code is business casual. Following PST, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. Dressing appropriately will help you gain respect in your host communities, facilitate integration, and increase your credibility and effectiveness. It is advised to take cues from your Filipino colleagues, and dress to their standards of professionalism.

As “first impressions are lasting impressions,” Volunteers with visible body piercings or tattoos may need strategies to conceal them. In the Philippines, having visible tattoos or body piercings may make it more difficult to integrate into your host community. Volunteers serving in the Philippines should plan to cover tattoos and remove visible body piercings.

Even though the Philippines predominately a Catholic country, the Philippines is generally tolerant. However, values and morals concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different than in the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and use their judgement to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during PST and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Philippines: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Philippines

  • Philippines may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.   
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten, peanuts, and shellfish. 
  • After arrival in Philippines, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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