- Category: Region News Items
- Published on Thursday, 11 June 2015 10:54
- Written by Roanne Joy B. Sallave
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With the recent environmental issues besetting the country’s premier tourist destination, the island of Boracay, on the perceived severe depletion and degradation of it’s coral reef ecosystem, DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje had instructed Regional Director Jim O Sampulna to immediately conduct continuous monitoring and coral reef assessment on the whole island of Boracay.
Immediately, RD Sampulna had created a team of experts from the regional office to conduct marine ecological assessment in nine legislated Marine Parks and identified recreational diving sites. The team is also tasked to conduct marine ecological assessment that shall include coral reef areas, associated reef fishes, seagrass and seaweeds, mangrove, and fishery resources.
In order for the team to have their assigned task more comprehensive, they shall likewise conduct a study on the carrying capacity of the island and convene major stakeholders for the presentation of the results of the assessment as well as other research or study in the island during the conduct of an Environmental Summit in Boracay Island slated on the 3rd quarter of 2015.
“The recent study published by the Japan International Cooperation Agency indicating serious degradation of the island’s coral reef ecosystem corroborates our report submitted to the LGU of Malay, Aklan last 2010, with the same study findings,” Sampulna said.
This JICA report is further affirmed by the study conducted by PhilCoRe (Philippine Coral Reef Resources Assessment and Conservation Program) in 2013, he added.
Once the team could come up with their findings, RD Sampulna believed that this will provide the present status or updates and shall serve as the new baseline for coastal and marine biological diversities of Boracay Island. The local government unit and business groups could anchor their existing and new development tourism policies and approaches for the island.