Our Society Stewards
Susan Susan Santos Cárdenas, President and CEO
A pioneer advocate specializing on sustainable tourism development and stewardship initiatives with community social responsibility at grassroots application. She had been a staunch innovator, keynote speaker and resource person in learning and capacity building workshops for sustainable tourism to include Ecotourism, Community-based and Agri-Tourism promotion. She was a consultant and adviser for Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines. A savvy tourism professional and hotelier with more than 20 years’ experience managing sales, marketing, operations, events – M.I.C.E. and human resources for small and luxury hotel resorts, tour operators, travel agencies, lifestyle events and publications, in the Philippines, Singapore, Peru, Japan and currently, based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Elias “Eli” Gatanela, Jr., Founding Trustee
A real estate lawyer, a Realtor and a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) of the United States of America. He heads his own company engaged in real estate appraisal/property valuation, realty brokerage, and property consulting, based in Bacolod City, Philippines. He was formerly a Legal Advisor in the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (U.N. Habitat) in the Philippines, for its Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD) program involved in the Planned City Extensions for assisted Philippine cities, to create a sustainable and better urban future. He holds A.B. Economics, M.B.A. and Law degrees from the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City. He also finished Executive Program for Real Estate Development at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). As a real estate professional, he is a Director and Vice-President of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA) Negros Occidental Chapter, Inc. CREBA is the largest umbrella organization in the country’s real estate and housing industry composed of real estate developers and professionals in real estate practice.
An Environmental photographer by passion and ecotourism operator by profession, Executive Director of the Coron & Calamianes Cultural Conservation Networks Inc., the lead NGO Advocate for The Coron Initiative, is working towards sustainable Coron in the next millennium. Soon after graduating from his Economics course, Al took off from his home town, Coron lived in the ancestral domain of the indigenous cultural communities of the Tagbanuas, immersing himself in its primitive living culture and from then on, trained and worked his way to become Coron, Palawan’s Eco expert to include: Bird watching basics, Reef assessment course, Environmental interpretation, Project Learning Tree & Water Education for Teachers (WET) workshops; Fisheries management & assessment workshop, under the USAID-F.I.S.H. project and Sustainable Environment Management Program – Northern Palawan (SEMP-NP). He took a Basic and Advanced Photography course, wand established several creative and authentic SME operations, to include Coron Galeri, an arts and crafts shop and Palawan Outdoors, an adventure specialist and expanded to Calamianes Expeditions and Eco tours, a low-priced full serviced tours utilizing the local service groups his Community Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. He set up the Calamianes Conservation & Cultural Networks Inc. (CCCN), an NGO that took part in the restoration and establishment of the Siete Pecados Marine Park, a coral reef sanctuary and the Calamian Geographic Society (a group of outdoor oriented youths supporting the programs of CCCNI, Tribu Calamianen, a Palawan indigenous cultural music group and ultimately Al3 Studios.
Con-current CEO of Pegaso Canton has a doctorate in Engineering Management, a global senior professional with substantial industrial practices in Low-carbon economy and sustainable energy resources. He is an expert in special complex projects, temporary management, business strategy, international supply-chain, sales and marketing, market research, coaching. He had done projects in a matrix of international concurrent-teams, with familiarity in the Asia/Pacific and a good level of Mandarin language, with specialization in leadership, executive/management, international brand building. Former Managing Director of the Florence Energy Agency, he is currently leading an industry consulting and knowledge initiative for SMEs, trotting between his hometown Tuscany and China, where he lived since the early 1993. His major activities and projects include China agent of www.taimilano.com on safety valves for oil & gas, power and petro-chemical sectors; solar PV supply chain and product development; non for profit co-operation with China’s Ningxia-Hui Region; and on-the-job published research papers.
Pacita U. Juan, Makati, Philippines
Social Entrepreneur. Green Advocate. Coffee Crusader and Advocate for Women Empowerment through business.
She established the ECHOstore sustainable lifestyle (www.echostore.ph) a pioneer social enterprise selling green and natural products. Sourcing mainly from small producers ECHOstore gives them market access through ECHOstore’s brick and mortar network of nine retail shops combining a café and fresh market component and a robust online presence.
She is the Chair of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WomenbizPH) and the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN). She also is the Founder of the PH chapters of International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) ,the Women Corporate Directors (WCD), and Slow Food Manila.
She often speaks at conferences to promote social entrepreneurship and her love for coffee, sustainability and women empowerment.
She writes for Starweek magazine, the Philippine Tatler’s Traveller magazine and online portal ph.asiatatler.com, and writes a weekly commentary in www.manilaspeak.com
Engineer Eric Raymundo
A Board of Trustee of the Water Environment Association of the Philippines (WEAP), he is currently an accredited MapGage – Geospatial Intelligence for Project Management & Asset Maintenance consultant in the Philippines, Local Senior Technician of the Zero Carbon Resorts (ZCR) Project which was implemented by GrAT – Center for Appropriate Technology and funded by the European Commission under the Switch-Asia Project December 2009 to January 2014, where he personally assisted 200 resorts all over the country through site audits. He was certified by former U.S. VP Al Gore (Chairman of the Climate Reality Project) last March 16, 2016 as a Climate Reality Leader, conducted Climate Reality Seminars in several conventions and seminars. He is the Philippine focal point for the Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly, a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) & Certified Energy Manager Trainer by the ASEAN Energy Manager Accreditation Scheme (AEMAS) since March 2011. A member of the Philippine Pollution Prevention Roundtable (P3R), the Industrial Hygienists Association of the Philippines (IHAP), the working group of the Sustainability of the Planet (SoP) Program based in Stockholm, Sweden, and also the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC), responsible in Developing a Sustainable Building Rating System for the Philippines re: Building Ecologically Responsive Design for Excellence (BERDE) Project. He is likewise a staunch supporter of the Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines, Inc.
Beatriz Barreal, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Founder, CEO and President of Sustainable Riviera Maya, Ms. Barreal is a visionary towards “Paradise forever AND for everyone” fostering Sustainability through pride of belonging and inner force.
An entrepreneur and professional in Communications, Branding and Marketing for 25 years, passionate about sustainability and the innovative sustainable management of Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya from marketing to international networking. A lead strategist and organizer of actions among UNWTO | UN | UNCTAD | EMPRETEC | GSTC with authorities and stakeholders in Riviera Maya. As Country Representative for Mexico in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), advocated and advanced Riviera Maya as Early Adopter of the GSTC in 2013.
Coordinator and promoter of the Destination Certification process with EarthCheck and ultimately, Co-founder of Mexico Sostenible – Sustainable Mexico – with national and regional leaders, to raise awareness and promote sustainability for the country, contributing to its Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. AA Yaptinchay, BGC, Taguig City, Philippines
Dr. Yaptinchay has been involved in marine biodiversity conservation in the Philippines for over 20 years. He is the director and founder of the conservation NGO, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines after having worked with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau as a biologist and WWF-Philippines as their Species Conservation Program Director. He has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of the Philippines and earned his Master’s Degree in Aquatic Tropical Ecology from Bremen University, Germany. He sits on the board of other NGOs including Balyena.org, Reefcheck Philippines, CAPE Foundation, and Responsible Tourism Philippines. He is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – Species Specialist Group on dugongs, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, and sits on the editorial board of The Philippine Journal of Fisheries.
Arturo Amaya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Graduate Studies on History of Mexico City from the Universidad Iberoamericana. He is Professor of Architecture at the Universidad Iberoamerica and Universidad Nacional de México, specializing on Architectural Design with focus on Development areas.
Architect Amaya has worked as an independent architect as well as in collaboration with the renowned Mexican architect Mario Lazo. For ten years the architects’ main development projects include Mayakoba Master Plan, Bosques de Santa Fe, Villas de la Cañada, Isla Sotavento, Banyan Tree Resort and Fairmont Resort.
In 2009, he founded and managed Dirección Arquitectonica SC, with headquarters in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The firm has worked with leading Spanish developer, OHL on projects such as: Rosewood Residences, Banyan Tree expansion, Ciudad Mayakoba (sustainable city development) as well as other developments such as landmark shopping malls in Playa del Carmen. His firm is also currently working on making “Sustainable City -Playa del Carmen”.
CALAMIANES CULTURAL CONSERVATIONS NETWORKS INC. – CCCNI, is our partner organization, SEC registered NGO based in Coron & Calamianes Group of Islands. Composed of experienced local stakeholders based on community involvement, skills and willingness to do voluntary work, CCCNI had plans and vision fortified by commitments of individual board members with experience in project management, notably the EU funded NIPAS, the Palawan State University and SEMP-NP. SEMP-NP’s support aims at establishing local capacity beyond project duration. This NGO is committed to communitybased projects with a positive vision to meet sustainable development in Calamianes.
CLEAN BLUE ASIA
The new industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009
– the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.
GREEN FINS, Sustainable Diving & Snorkeling is an innovative Conservation initiative designed around threats to coral reef biodiversity. It is a practical system to implement environmentally friendly guidelines and a robust management and assessment system to monitor success and apply lessons learned. Green Fins in the Philippines was first launched in 2004 with many early success in trying to get the diving community to follow the Code of Conduct. Watch the Green Fins video YouTube channel.
Our International Partners
UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED), a regional group of eminent experts operating since its establishment in 2001 with the support by Ministry of the Environment, Japan, aims to address critical issues facing Asia and the Pacific and to propose new models for equitable and sustainable development of the region. APFED launched in 2005 the APFED Showcase Programme, implemented with the supporting institutional mechanism called the Asia-Pacific Regional Network of Policy Research Institute for Environmental and Sustainable Development (NetRes).
Connecting Asian Ecotourism Network stakeholders for knowledge transfer, consulting, marketing, and business development to achieve sustainability. *stakeholders: communities, public sector, private tourism and hospitality sectors, NGOs, and academia