Nov 27, 2005

It's all about the Coconets, baby

Back in August, I posted about the BBC World/Newsweek World Challenge, a contest that searched for entrepreneurial individuals who have created projects to benefit their communities, and who have shown "enterprise and innovation at the grassroots level."

I am so proud to say that the Philippine Coconets project won!

These "nets," made out of coconut husks, are intended to manage erosion in the jungle by holding loose soil together, preventing landslides. It's a great way to make use of a byproduct that would otherwise become waste - not to mention the economic benefit to the lives of more than 1500 families who are involved in the Coconets project.

Whenever they see some product made in Asia that is not made in the Philippines, my parents occasionally lament over this. "The quality of so-and-so is much better in the Philippines," they'd say. "It's a land of missed opportunities," my mom once said, "and it's a shame."

Here's hoping that the publicity from this World Challenge victory will help create additional industry for my ancestral homeland, create a better quality of life for its citizens, and preserve the country's natural beauty for generations to come.

1 comment:

MichaelBains said...

These included doormats, stuffing for car seats and mattresses, and fertiliser (made from coconut dust) suitable for organic farms. But the flagship product is still going strong: coconets are now being produced at a rate of 30,000 square metres per month for markets throughout the world.

Wow! That is rational management of a natural resource.

All it took was a survival need and some capital motivation, and who knows what kind of products and spin-offs this project will engender?

People a very cool sometimes.