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  • Christian F. Pena

Empowering Mararison Island: A Sustainable Transformation

Updated: Mar 26

Empowering Mararison Island: A Sustainable Transformation

Mararison Island is a 54-hectare island, 9.6 km away from mainland Culasi, Antique with 200 households or 800 residents whose main sources of livelihood are fishing and tourism.  In 2013, the island was severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda, however, the silver lining to the calamity was the discovery of a beautiful sandbar that attracted tourists to the island from the extensive media coverage it received during the aftermath of the storm.​

50 kWp Solar PV Hybrid Plant with Lithium – Ion Betters and Diesel Generator

Powering Progress:   In 2018, the island was chosen as the recipient of a partial grant from the Energy for All Program of Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a 50-KW Solar PV system, lithium-ion batteries, and a backup diesel generator that will provide 24x7 electricity to Mararison Island.  Before the project, the island only had 4 hours of daily power that hinders economic growth.

Innovation Features:  The system is equipped with energy management system (EMS) to optimize energy use; prepaid meters to ensure 100% inclusivity; energy conservation; billing and collection efficiency and bankability; and an innovative public-private partnership between Antique Electric Cooperative (ANTECO), LGU Culasi, and One Renewable.   The initiative was showcased at the Asian Clean Energy Forum in June 2019, garnering attention for its innovative approach.

Socio-Economic Impact: The sustainable energy source catalyzed Mararison Island's journey towards climate resilience and self-sufficiency. The reported 10% increase in household income was attributed to new revenue streams from tourism and the sale of frozen products. The introduction of small home appliances improved daily life, while the island's community became more resilient, accessing vital information, reducing isolation, and contributing to household income.

Community Resilience: The initiative brought about income diversification, improved communication, and enhanced food durability. Women, particularly, found opportunities in tourism, contributing to household income. The shift from diesel reliance to renewable energy eliminated logistical challenges and enhanced the island's overall resilience.

With a more predictable electricity supply, communication on and off the island is more regular

Continuous Collaboration:  In February 2022, One Renewable collaborated with LGU Culasi and Mararison Island Community-Based Eco-Tourism Organization (MICBETO) for another groundbreaking venture. A partnership with KIVA funded the introduction of RE-powered reverse osmosis technology, providing the community with safe, affordable, and reliable water.

Mararison Island, now stands as a beacon of sustainable development that  demonstrates the power of partnerships and technology in its transformation into a climate resilient community that is characterized by a diversified economy, educated and well-informed community, enjoy food security and energy independence.​

The journey from a post-typhoon recovery to a resilient, diversified, and empowered community showcases the potential for sustainable solutions to drive positive change. The commitment of key stakeholders, coupled with innovative technologies, has paved the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for Mararison Island. 

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