A team from the Davao Gulf Divers (DGD), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Davao de Oro of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) and various volunteer groups kickstarted the year by planting corals last January 26-27, 2023, within the Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape (MPLS) in the Municipality of Mabini, Davao de Oro.
The activity was initiated by the DGD, a non-profit organization specializing in marine search and rescue operations and coastal and marine conservation. DGD tapped the DENR and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of MPLS for its project dubbed “The Reef 35”, wherein 35 artificial reef frames measuring 1m by 2m were installed in the sandy portion near Kopiat Island, to serve as the structural foundation of the transplanted coral fragments.
During the event, DGD President Mr. Iñigo Taojo vowed to actively support the conservation and protection of the Marine Protected Area of Mabini as their group envisioned strengthening marine conservation for the future generation.
The project will be regularly monitored and maintained by the DGD and DENR to ensure the survival and document the growth increment of the coral fragments.
“Considered as the rainforest of the sea, coral reefs provide a wide array of ecosystem services from protecting the coastline from storm and erosion, provision of livelihood to vulnerable communities, offering refuge and forage for fishes and other marine life thereby ensuring food security, and ecotourism” said Marine Biologist Matt B. Tacatani of PENRO Davao de Oro/MPLS-PAMO.
For the past years, the coral rehabilitation project of DENR XI in the MPLS has been successful which is currently inhabited by hundreds of reef fishes especially the iconic Barramundi Cod (Chromileptes altivelis), the flagship species of MPLS, and other marine organisms.
The event was participated by Mabini Emergency Response Team (MABERT), BFP-SRF Davao del Norte, Beach View Resort, Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort, Ocean-Bluex-Freediving, The Trinity Project, and Hijo Resorts Davao.
Thus, continuous efforts by the DENR and the participation of various stakeholders are very crucial in order to intensify the conservation and management of the MPLS and effectively manage, control, and reduce the factors that contribute to the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems. I 𝘊𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘦𝘭 𝘊𝘭𝘦𝘰𝘧𝘦 / 𝘗𝘌𝘕𝘙𝘖 𝘋𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘰 𝘥𝘦 𝘖𝘳𝘰