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Earth Hour - Bancas For The Philippines

Written By Jane Miranda on Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Thursday, March 06, 2014

Earth Hour - Bancas For The Philippines

Typhoon Yolanda smashed the country on 8 November 2013, bearing winds and waves so ferocious that most of Tacloban City was obliterated. The death toll has soared past 6200, with 2000 still missing. Over 100 days since the calamity, hundreds of communities still rely on relief efforts to survive. Worse, Yolanda’s 330kph winds demolished at least 30,000 bancas – the traditional outrigger boats of the Philippines, depriving around 145,000 fisherfolk of their livelihoods.

Nearly four months since the typhoon struck, over a million Filipino families still need assistance. To help the Philippines get back on its feet, WWF has chosen to work with small-scale, artisanal fisherfolk to build new and better boats through Bancas for the Philippines. 

Among the featured crowd-funding projects is Bancas for the Philippines, a project of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines). “Climate change is here, now. There will be many more Yolandas. It is time to think and act beyond relief,” notes WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. “By enhancing the traditional banca design and providing fisherfolk with the resources to build new boats, we will minimize our growing dependence on local and foreign aid.”

 This project aims to bring fiberglass boat technology to the Philippine communities affected by Haiyan, while reducing the use of sawn timber and plywood. Anchored on the supply of training, molds and boat materials, all boats will be built on site with the help of the fisherfolk themselves.  

With Philippine seas heavily exploited by commercial fishing, Bancas for the Philippines seeks to reduce fishing pressure by sharing climate-smart technologies to small-scale, artisanal fisherfolk whose boats rely on paddles or sails.

WWF's goal is to make the technology open source. Aided by trained boat makers, the fishefolk themselves can build the 15-foot bancas on site and master working with fiberglass and resin. Using a mould, communities can easily produce one boat per day.

Help us raise funds to introduce fiberglass boat technology to coastal communities affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Funds will pay for the moulds, material and training of beneficiaries, who will build the boats - locally called bancas - themselves. Use Your Power at

Each boat costs $400. Please help us reach our target of 60 boats. Together, let's keep hope afloat.

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