Who We Are
Our VISION Filipinos will become active and empowered stewards of their own environment and natural
Our MISSION ORC aims to bridge the information and capacity gap between local Filipino communities and the global movement for conservation and sustainable development.
Why we are here
ORC was born in 2009 through the leadership of its founder Grace Quiton-Domingo with the assistance of local schoolteachers in Silago, Southern Leyte. It sought to address two important issues: 1) that a wide information and capacity gap exists between our local communities and the scientific community, and (2) that the Philippines, located in the region with the world’s highest marine biodiversity, is ironically a country with weak local conservation and resource management. ORC started out with a conservation education program for the public schools in Silago. It soon expanded to address the needs of other community sectors, particularly the civil society organizations (CSOs) and the local government. In 2011, ORC launched the Conservation and Research program, providing relevant easy-to-understand science-based information to assist locals in proper resource management. A year later, ORC established the Community Development and Organization program in response to the need for active citizen participation in conservation. Under this program, ORC highlights the role CSOs and people's organizations (POs) in local governance not only as beneficiaries but as partners in conservation.
At the core of ORC’s mission is its “locals-first” approach that entrusts the management and benefits of conservation into the hands of communities. As a local Filipino NGO that is based in the community it serves, ORC is in a position to ensure that conservation works from the ground up. ORC’s priorities therefore include building local leadership, fostering actual community involvement, and integrating conservation into local culture and institutions.
Given its national and international network of partners and resources, ORC assumes a bridging/connecting role in the community. In particular, it takes on the challenge of bridging the gap between conservation ideals and grassroots realities, between the science of conservation and its real-life impact on communities, and between local capacities and the global network of conservation resources. For ORC, this entails empowering local stakeholders with effective hands-on knowledge and skills on conservation, while giving voice to conservation realities from the ground up, to help shape global conservation paradigms and policies.
Why we are different
ORC is the only Filipino nonprofit initiated by local schoolteachers and staffed by professionals with international training and experience. We are a homegrown initiative that gives a global voice to grassroots issues and vice versa.
ORC has a multidisciplinary team of professionals from the fields of marine science, agribusiness, communication and community development. We pursue a holistic, multi-stakeholder response to conservation.
ORC is constantly on the field. Our headquarters is located in Silago, a rural coastal town in eastern Philippines that bears the brunt of typhoons and the yearly northeast monsoon. We understand local issues and climate change because we live and experience them every day.
Friends and Partners of ORC
Agape Rural Health Program
Zoological Society of London
Save Philippine Seas
Coral Cay Conservation
The Rufford Foundation