IMPROVING ASSESSMENT OF COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS. Implementers of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 has attended a three-day training on the assessment of CMEs to come up with uniform and more accurate evaluation of marine habitats in the region.
The participating regional and field program implementers and trained scuba divers were tasked to assess the four National Integrated Protected Areas System – Marine Protected Areas (NIPAS-MPAs). These MPAs are found within the Batanes Protected Landscape and Seascape (BPLS), Palaui Island PLS, Peñablanca PLS, and Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park.
“One of our priority programs includes the scaling up of coastal and marine habitats that is why we are also leveling up the competencies of our program implementers through a learning event,” DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan said in a recent media interview.
She added the training aims to capacitate the participants to better assess the status of the region’s marine resources.
“The assessment of coastal habitats is beyond data gathering alone. It requires several procedures and we want you to master the right tools and actions to obtain right results,” said Conservation and Development Division (CDD) Chief Enrique Pasion before the participants during the opening program on Jan. 18, this year.
He said the training aims to orient the CMEMP implementers on uniform data gathering, analysis, and reporting processes to attain even outcomes.
Engr. Salome Bonnit, CDD assistant chief, said the proper assessment of marine resources is linked to the improvement of socio-economic condition of the coastal and nearby communities.
“Upon orderly assessment, we are able to implement proper management measures within MPAs, thus, achieving sustainability of ecosystem resources and food security among localities,” supplemented Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section Chief Arnold Battung.
Cherish June Holongbayan, senior ecosystems management specialist in CENRO Palanan, said the yearly assessment of CMEs is also relative to promoting climate change mitigation concerning marine and human life.
“The scientific data we gather serve as our bases for assessing the vulnerability and resilience of marine ecosystems and adaptive capacities in response to environmental changes due to climate change,” explained Holongbayan who also served as one of the resource speakers in the learning event.
Learning service providers both from the DENR and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources equipped the participants on basic concept implementation of coral, mangrove, seagrass, and fish ecology assesment. They were also trained on proper and accurate data gathering and analysis, and report writing.
Aside from assessing MPAs, CMEMP implementers are also set to conduct ground trothing of coastal and marine areas this year following the data provided by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.#