WWF PH hosts summit to protect marine biodiversity

The World Wide Fund (WWF) – Philippines Donsol Integrated Conservation Program (DICP) opened the Marine Protected Area and Fishery Law Enforcement Summit held at Hotel St. Ellis, Legazpi City, Albay on August 23.

The three-day event was launched with the presentation of Summit Objectives and Program Introduction by Mr. Jun Narvadez, Program Manager.

According to Narvadez, the summit aimed to invite all the stakeholders to create a comprehensive action plan for the management of the Ticao-Burias Pass Protected Seascape (TBPPS), particularly the individual marine protected areas (MPAs) declared by respected local government units.

The event was attended by 18 local government units (LGUs) from four provinces, namely Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay, and Camarines Sur, as well as partner organizations such as Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Council, DENR, BFAR, PNP, and Philippine Coast Guard.

On the first day of the summit, keynote speakers discussed various topics which includes the value of Ticao-Burias Pass as a protected seascape and the importance of TBPPS as an area that needs protection and conservation by Ms. Ma. Vida Onrubia, the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of TBPPS.

Meanwhile, Prof. Plutomeo Nieves, WWF consultant, discussed the economic status of the fishermen, household income, education stat, and literacy of the fishermen in relation to fisheries and socio-economics in TBPPS.

The summit aims to educate and raise awareness among the stakeholders about the different aspects of TBPPS and the importance of protecting it and to create a comprehensive action plan for the management of the respective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how to enforce the law with regards to MPA and Fisheries.

The event was an opportunity for the organizers to share their experiences and knowledge about TBPPS. In addition to the presentations by keynote speakers, the summit also featured sharing sessions from different participants.

As protected area superintendent or manager of TBPPS, Onrubia emphasized the importance of the board in regulating and implementing policies that will protect TBPPS.

The board, including WWF for Nature, is responsible for both making policy decisions and community-based efforts to support the conservation of TBPPS.

During the last day of the summit in August 25, it is expected that the participants will present a comprehensive action plan for the conservation and protection of TBPPS, bringing together different stakeholders and highlighting their role in this important task. | Jeric Lopez

Photos by: Regina Dioneda

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