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PIA Press Release

DENR, LGUs work closely for ICRMP implementation

by Rizalie a. Calibo

Siquijor (10 July) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government units (LGUs) here are now working closely for the successful implementation of the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP).

A series of orientation/consultation workshop was scheduled in six towns of Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Larena, Lazi, San Juan and Siquijor where project implementers can clarify the approaches and methods to be adopted for various project components and to define the roles and responsibilities of the participating municipalities and the potential partners and beneficiaries in enterprise development, biodiversity conservation and ICRM.

The first municipality to have conducted an orientation/consultation workshop was Siquijor on June 18, followed by Larena on June 25. San Juan is scheduled on July 8; Maria, July 14; Lazi, July 22 and Enrique Villanueva, July 29.

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP) will be carried out by at least six line government agencies in partnership with the different local government units (LGUs).

The ICRMP is seen to develop not only livelihood for coastal constituents but also help in mitigating the effects of global warming in the province.

It was was launched in Siquijor in November last year following the conduct of a provincial Orientation/consultation that primarily leveled-off with various stakeholders on the salient features of the project and facilitated a more holistic understanding on the interdependence of the project components. The project has four components namely: Policy and Institutional Strengthening and Development; ICRM and Biodiversity Conservation; Enterprise Development and income Diversification; and Social and Environmental Services and facilities.

ICRMP is part of the government's initiative/strategy for sustainable development of the country's marine and coastal resources.

The Arroyo administration continues to develop programs on good governance in the areas of fisheries resource management, coastal resource management, sustainable fisheries and assistance to coastal municipalities

So far, the government has developed 500 marine-protected areas (MPAs) through local government initiatives as a key contribution to better coastal resource management and global efforts to save the world's marine resources, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has reported earlier.

The government has managed to do this, he said, through financing partnerships with the Asian Development Bank, the Spanish government, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Environment Facility and the UN Environment Program.

The Worldwide Fund for Conservation, the Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy have also been active partners of the Philippines in helping preserve its marine resources, Yap said.

He noted that the Philippines has been globally recognized as having contributed in the evolution and development of coastal resource management, with its Tubbataha Reef—the only UNESCO world heritage site in Southeast Asian seas—as well as other MPAs serving as virtual laboratories where various concepts and ideas to conserve and develop marine resources are tried, analyzed, modified and eventually carried out.

UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Yap said, however, that despite the strides made by the Philippines in terms of conservation of marine resources through these MPAs, it is still crucial that such micro-dots of bio-diversity be linked into ecologically connected networks "to have a measureable sustainable impact on the coral reef ecosystem as well as on fish biomass, the major source of protein for close to 40 million of our people."

"Left alone as local initiatives, lacking an ecologically linked network, the MPAs will have little macro impact," Yap said.

It is for this reason that the Philippines values the efforts of the prime movers within the Coral Triangle Initiative in establishing ecologically linked multiple-use protected areas, he said.

He said these areas should be sustainable, functionally dynamic and protected for tourism, research, regeneration, livelihood and poverty eradication. (with RDMagpiong/IO-DENR) [top]

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