May is Ocean Month

DENR calls for coastal and marine conservation

Highlighting the interplay of biodiversity and sea food security, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 is spearheading the celebration of the Month of the Ocean (MOO) this May focusing with the theme “Biodiversity for Food SeaCUREity.”

The conduct of activities for the celebration of MOO was authorized by Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio L. Ignacio Jr. through DENR Special Order No. 2016-233 dated May 2, 2016. Hence, field offices having jurisdiction over coastal areas were directed to organize activities emphasizing the importance of conservation, protection and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.

Ocean Month seeks for the continued participation of local government units (LGUs) and other partners in the implementation of Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program to rehabilitate and protect the coral reef ecosystem in strategic, sustainable and ecosystem-based approach per Department Administrative Order No. 2013-12 signed by Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje on Feb. 25, 2013.

To date, the Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section has reported a total of 3,230 ha marine protected areas (MPAs) rehabilitated and protected; 8,804.89 ha habitat and vulnerability assessed; three people’s organizations (POs) mobilized, capacitated and provided with livelihood programs; 4,250 ha MPAs established and strengthened; and a series of consultations and meetings conducted among POs and LGUs on MPAs establishment and protection and formulation of integrated coastal management plan.

These interventions on coastal and marine resource conservation were concentrated within the four MPAs in the region, namely: Batanes Protected Landscapes and Seascapes; Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape; Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape; and Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park.

Partners from the national government agencies and non-government organizations including POs and other stakeholders are enjoined to participate in the coastal cleanup drive along the coastal areas of Cagayan, Isabela and Batanes provinces. The ‘Bangkarera’, which has been a joint-activity of LGU Claveria and DENR, will be conducted on May 30, 2016.

The celebration of the Philippine Ocean Month, which was declared by Pres. Joseph Ejercito Estrada through Presidential Proclamation No. 57, series of 1998, is in support of the DENR’s vision of a resilient and well-managed coastal and marine biodiversity. #CAT