The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley celebrated the 29th proclamation anniversary of the Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS), an award winning marine protected area in the region.
The celebration held yesterday in Punta Verde, San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan aimed at strengthening collaboration among members of the protected area management board (PAMB), the community and other stakeholders; and intensifying protected area conservation and promoting sustainable ecotourism.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan who chairs the governing body of PIPLS has directed for stricter measures to ensure coastal and marine resources protection within the protected area.
The activity also aimed to promote Palaui Island’s ecotourism sites to encourage more tourists to experience the beauty and richness of the marine protected area and to provide employment opportunities to the locals.
For. Joselito Razon, CENR Officer of Aparri, highlighted in his message the vital role of each member of the PAMB in the implementation of activities and projects within the PIPLS.
Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer John Rey Maximo committed the support of the local government of Sta. Ana to ensure the preservation of the island and to extend assistance to the community.
In his message, Atty. John Mark Paracad, PENRO Cagayan technical services division chief, emphasized that PIPLS being one of the legislated protected areas in the country calls for a stringent protection of its natural, biological and physical diversities. He also encouraged the local communities to support the programs of the management board for the Island.
Barry the 'barangan', a rabbit fish serves as the flagship species mascot of PIPLS joined the celebration to advocate for protection of coastal and marine biodiversity. A team building activity among PAMB members and the local residents, and a cookfest were also held to foster leadership and unity and to promote culinary skills of the members.
The celebration, organized by the PIPLS Protected Area Management Office, was also graced by officials and guests from the Department of Tourism, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Coast Guard and the local government of Sta. Ana.
In 2019 and 2017, PIPLS was awarded as 1st and 3rd runner-up, respectively, in the Outstanding NIPAS-MPA (National Integrated Protected Areas System-Marine Protected Area) Para El MAR: MPA Awards and Recognition. Para El MAR, which means “for the sea”, is an activity that gives recognition to best practices in MPA management.
The PIPLS which covers 8,048 hectares with 1,008-hectare coral reefs, 472-hectare seagrasses and 102-hectare mangroves was proclaimed as a protected area on August 16, 1994 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 447 and was later on legislated by virtue of Republic Act No. 11038.
RA 11038 defines protected landscapes and seascapes as areas of national significance which are characterized by the harmonious interaction of man and land and water while providing opportunities for public enjoyment through recreation, tourism, and other economic activities.#