Step Up Consulting Services was contracted by Soil and Water Conservation Foundation (SWCF) to write its book of best practices in natural resource management.
SWCF has been in existence for more than thirty years now. SWCF began in 1985 as an informal network of persons of several nationalities concerned with the global ecological challenge and the necessity of broad-based local initiatives to respond.
It started small-scale support of existing projects by providing inputs to farm-based species trials and consultancy services to hone the technical and management capabilities of project staff and extension workers. Convinced that the geo-physical eco-system called the watershed is the operative planning and implementation unit, the Foundation embarked on its first three comprehensive, integrated and cooperative ventures to rehabilitate three watersheds in Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental. Since these three initial projects, the Foundation has completed implementation of almost a hundred environment projects in at least four regions in the Philippines for the last three decades.
The initial title of the book was “Nourishing the Earth, Nurturing the Soul”. The title speaks volumes of what SWCF wanted to do, and is still trying to do since the time it started – to nourish the earth, and nurture the soul – two processes that feeds into each other and articulates SWCF’s development philosophy. SWCF does not only intend to change the landscape but also the people. This involved understanding deeply why people and communities lose appreciation of God’s creation and finding ways on how collectively stakeholders are able to restore this. This book narrates how these processes evolved in the communities in Bohol, how people were touched, and how it led helped restore the environment.