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PIA Press Release

LGUs support ESI mapping

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (20 September) -- Taken as a helpful policy tool, local governments in the four Davao provinces have given full support to the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Mapping of the Davao Gulf.

Now ending its first phase, LGUs have provided data gatherers with local government comprehensive plans, coastal resources management plans, soil evaluation data, Integrated Development Plan, and other necessary information.

ESI Mapping was launched last year as initiated by the Davao Gulf Management Council (DGMC), World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), and the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

DGMC chair and councilor Leonardo Avila III said that the project which set to run for three years is going to be a big help for the whole Davao region.

"This will determine which areas are good for particular industries,"he said.

He added that the ESI mapping could spur economic growth as results of the study could be used as the basis in deciding which industry could thrive well in a particular area and at the same time identify which particular industry threats could be harmful to the environment.

The mapping employs strategies like satellite, aerial imaging and ground mapping to come up with accurate information about the areas included.

Avila explained that this is very beneficial to the 23 local government units as the project is all funded by the mentioned sponsors and the LGUs can freely and easily make use of the future results of the mapping in their policy directions.

He clarified that the ESI mapping is in no way used by environment advocates to shoo off agricultural industries.

"It is never our goal to threaten them. Instead, this would help them improve agricultural practices, strengthen the government's environmental programs and tighten the network between the government, the community, and the agricultural industries. (PIA XI) [top]

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