SMARTSeas Partners’ Forum Held

10-9 smartseas phTo provide a venue to exchange experiences, innovative ideas and community-based initiatives to enhance effectiveness of the marine protected areas (MPAs), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines and Global Environment Facility (GEF) are currently conducting a three-day SMARTSeas PH Project Partner’s Forum at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, Davao City.

SMARTSeas PH Project is a five-year project that aims to strengthen the conservation, protection and management of key marine biodiversity areas in the Philippines. It also includes the establishment of biodiversity-friendly enterprise as sustainable livelihood to coastal communities.

Anchored on the theme “People and the Sea”, the forum which will run from October 9-11, 2018, is participated in by the MPA managers and practitioners from SMARTSeas project sites, partners from the local and national government agencies, civil society organizations, academic, research institutions, and private sector working on the protection and conservation of the coastal and marine environment.

10-9 smartseas ph 2In behalf of DENR-XI’s Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan, Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan welcomed the participants and guest with a message reminding everyone of the importance of MPAs as it greatly contribute to food security, sustainable livelihood and economic growth and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Marine Protected Areas are established as a management strategy to conserve biodiversity and sustain fisheries. These areas are also considered as safe havens and food for migratory aquatic and bird species,” she said.

Dumagan also stressed that through the leadership of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, the Department aims to scale-up the country’s coastal marine ecosystem management program.

On the other hand, UNDP representative Grace Tena said that UNDP recognizes the efforts and contributions of various partners at the global level. “Given the extent of environmental problems that the country and the world are facing, we need to go beyond business as usual. We need to be bolder, more creative, more aggressive and more open to new and innovative ideas.”

10-9 smartseas ph 3Some of the topics that will be discussed during the forum are: Philippine commitments to Aichi and SDG 14; National MPA Network Policy Framework; good practices in coastal and marine management and fisheries; financial solutions for MPA and network; governance challenges and solutions; and tools in improving design of MPA and capacities of managers.

Also present during the forum are DENR-BMB Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez, DENR-13’s Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer, SMARTSeas PH Project Manager Dr. Vincent V. Hilomen and BFAR-11 Fisheries Production Support Services Division Officer-in-Charge Raul C. Millana.


Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity held

To raise awareness and highlight the importance of coastal and marine resources to the local communities, especially to the youth, Department of Environment and Natural Resources -XI through its Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Compostela Valley recently conducted the Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity at Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape (MPLS), Compostela Valley.

This interactive activity was participated by selected Grade 6 students from Don William Gemperle Elementary School in Mabini. The participants were given an opportunity to learn and observe the marine cryptobiota using a simple hand lens or magnifying glass and forceps. They also sorted and classified these small animals into their respective groups.

Despite their small size, marine cryptobiota provides various ecological good and services and serves as primary building blocks of the coral reef. Marine cryptobiota includes shrimps, crabs, hermit crabs, brittle stars, sponges, and tunicates, among others.

As part of DENR's Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP), the Department monitors cryptobiota with the use of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), a long-term collecting device that mimics the coral reef and attract these animals. The data will be collected to study on their biodiversity and the effects of climate change on reefs.



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