iLEAP International Fellow, 2016
Rene Guilingen, a member of the Igorot tribe, grew up in rural Benguet Province in the Philippines. Now a husband, father, and forester for Cordillera Green Network, Renato leads agroforestry and renewable energy projects and helps organize communities to fight climate change. He believes that respecting the interconnection between living and non-living things can create a peaceful, sustainable world.
Empowerment is at the heart of his vision for sustainability, because a self-sufficient community can develop its own policies to preserve the culture and environment. “It is also a community that can nurture leaders for the country,” he says. Renato leads by example and encourages others to be innovative, but he also understands how important it is to respect others’ culture and traditions while promoting social change. Being a strong communicator is key to this work. As an iLEAP Fellow, Renato wants to build his communications skills so he can help his organization collaborate with other partners and advocate for government support.