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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Consultation aims to boost protection of marine resources  (อ่าน 2618 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: มกราคม 28, 2011, 06:38:47 AM »


Coral Garden in the Philippines. (Photo: gov.ph)

Consultation aims to boost protection of marine resources

PHILIPPINES
Friday, January 28, 2011, 04:00 (GMT + 9)


A consultation on the country’s integrated coastal management (ICM) scheme has begun in an effort to enhance protection of the Philippines’ marine biodiversity.

Some 70 officials from various government agencies, NGOs and local government units in the Luzon region took part in the first meeting to devise input that will be used to improve the current programme.

Carlo C Custudio, executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Coastal and Marine Management Office (CMMO), told that already in 2006, the national government took on integrated coastal management as a development approach for the coastal and marine environment as per Executive Order 533, which was signed by then-president Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

It was not until now that the national programme will be revised so it can tackle the multifaceted environmental and socioeconomic matters the sector is up against. The objective is to promote the most efficient use and sustainable development possible of coastal and marine environmental resources, reports Baird Maritime.


The CMMO has collected data on the Philippines’ coastal and marine resources and found that the country possesses a grand total of 36,289 km of coastline -- one of the most extensive worldwide. Moreover, findings demonstrated that 832 of the country’s 1,541 cities and municipalities are located on the coast and that 62 per cent of the population lives in that area.

The coastal resources include 468 species of scleractinian corals and more than 50 species of soft corals that span approximately 25,000 sqkm, seagrasses covering 27,282 sqm, about 1,755 reef-associated species of fish, five marine turtle species, seaweeds, mollusks, mangroves and further marine mammals.

According to Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), the country’s coastal resources are facing threats as a result of factors such as mounting population and poverty; overfishing, dynamite fishing and pollution; and coral bleaching resulting from climate change, which is causing water temperatures to rise.

“Our marine resources are now in a ‘sorry’ condition. We have only about 25 per cent of the mangroves left and only about five percent of the coral reefs are in excellent condition. Add to this the 62 per cent of the country’s total population living in the coastal area,” Lim stressed.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com
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