Zamboanga Sibugay Hosts Coastal Resource Management Summit

December 3, 2007 at 3:15 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 03, 2007) – “It is exciting and full of thrill,” said municipal agriculturist Edgar Apao, of Ipil town.

He was referring to the slated provincial coastal resource management summit, December 4-7, to be conducted by cruising a bay that covers 13 coastal towns of the province.

Dubbed as “Cruising Sibugay: 2nd Coastal Resource Management Summit,” it is organized by the Philippine Environmental Governance Project (EcoGov 2 Project) funded by the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID).

The EcoGov2 Project is providing technical assistance to selected local government units (LGUs) on coastal resource management (CRM). The CRM sector seeks to reduce illegal and destructive fishing and at the same time regulate fishing effort through the improvement of management practices of coastal management zones and the strengthening of marine protected areas (MPAs) in strategic areas in the Philippines.

“Through this summit, the participants will have an actual assessment and visit to the various project sites of the LGUs in Zamboanga Sibugay,” Cleto Nañola, EcoGov’s regional coastal resource management specialist, said.

These project sites include the marine protected areas, mariculture and mangrove reforestation sites, and eco-tourism.

The 1st Coastal Resource Management Summit of Zamboanga Sibugay was held in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay last year. It was participated in by all 13 coastal municipalities of the province.

A joint declaration of support for the protection and proper management of Sibuguey Bay and Dumanquilas Bay together with their commitment to cooperate, collaborate and participate in protection and management activities was signed during the summit.

Among the major activities being undertaken was the formulation of a unified fisheries ordinance for the 13 coastal municipalities of the province. The draft unified fisheries ordinance was completed last October 2007 and ready for review by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) prior to adoption by the respective local government units.

Aside from the formulation of the unified fisheries ordinance, core members of the technical working group for all coastal towns and the provincial government have undergone series of trainings on information and education campaign, navigation and plotting, and biophysical monitoring of corals and reef fishes.

Nañola said “the main objective is for the participants from various municipalities in the province to determine the actual status and share experiences on the different initiatives and catalyze possible collaborative efforts particularly on enforcement and biophysical monitoring and evaluation.”

This year’s summit, according to Nañola, is expected to draw some 80 participants from the 13 local coastal towns and the provincial government.

EcoGov expects that the summit will be a vehicle to increase awareness on the various coastal resource management programs of the 13 coastal towns in the area through cross site visits.

“We are also expecting that this summit will strengthen collaborations among local government units particularly in support of the unified fishery ordinance and other projects,” Nañola said, adding “it is also our way o promoting the different marine protected areas and eco-tourism sites of the province.”

Tungawan Mayor Richard Climaco said the summit “is a great help for Tungawan since we are starting to develop our town as an eco-tourism destination” after being informed that the first night of the summit will be spent in Looc Labuan.

Tungawan is proud of Looc Labuan as its premiere ecotourism site, which still water and white sands is ideal for those who seek to be close to nature.

The culminating activity, which will be held in Kabasalan town on Dec. 7, will be the reporting and formulation of strategies to improve the implementation of the CRM program, Nañola concluded. (Tony Manaytay)

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