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The photos taken by Jessie Cereno, the former video production specialist of Palawan Council and Sustainable Development and freelance photographer, capturing Palaw’an women planting rice in now controlled slash and burn area in Bataraza were one of the 13 selected out of 170 entries from 40 countries, and they will be included in the USAID Office of Global Climate Changes official 2020 calendar under women as part of solution category.
Cereno said that the said photos were submitted by USAID Protect Wildlife last August and he was only notified today for the selection.
There is no monetary prize for his winning photos, but the citation he received is worth it. The said photos of Palaw’an tribes were taken in June this year during one monitoring event of USAID at Sitio Papan, Brgy. Inogbong in Bataraza.
According to the description of the photo it stated, “Indigenous women farmers in Bataraza, southern Palawan, plant upland rice in now-controlled-slash-and-burn areas. Bataraza is a municipality nestled on the foothills of Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape, more than 200 km south of Puerto Princesa City, and is the headwater of 33 watersheds & home to many highly-endangered wildlife species. The Protect Wildlife Project helps indigenous people improve upland farming and strengthen local livelihoods so they won’t need to expand their slash-and-burn areas or resort to wildlife poaching just to make ends meet. Slash-and-burn agriculture causes deforestation, accidental fires, habitat and species loss, increased air pollution and the release of carbon into the atmosphere, which contributes to global climate change.”
Climatelinks, in their site, said that it is a global knowledge portal for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal curates and archives technical guidance and knowledge related to USAID’s work to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The United States for International Development or USAID is an agency that administers civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
Cereno, who runs his own production house called Talakatha Creatives, also win Best Director for his short film “Be In The Here and Now” in the recently concluded Subaraw Film Festival. His other works was featured in Man and Biosphere reserve in New York way back in 2018 that features best practices in Palawan about taking care of the environment.