DELEGATES to the East Asian countries visited the Tando–Lucmayan Marine Protected Area (TanLuc MPA) in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras last November 30, 2018 as part of the arranged field visits for the members of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Network of Local Governments (PNLG).
The visitors are from Timor Leste, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and North Korea
TanLuc MPA is a 100-hectare area with coral bed spanning 6.71 hectares and seagrass meadows that covers 41.83 hectares wide and with 0.2 hectare existing natural grown mangroves adjacent the MPA.
PNLG delegates were appreciative of the collaborative efforts of the barangays, the national government agencies, the non-government organizations and academe in promoting the protection and conservation of TanLuc MPA.
“Guimaras has one of the most successful Integrated Coastal Management program which was really implemented on the ground. With a strong political will of the local leaders, it is now securing the protection and conservation of the island’s marine and coastal resources. I am quite certain that the PNLG delegates learned a lot from the Guimaras experience,” said Jim O Sampulna, Regional Executive Director of DENR Region 6.
Members of the PNLG attended the recently held East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress, an international conference which gathered delegates mostly from East Asian countries in Iloilo City from November 27-30, 2018.
Among those who attended include stakeholders from the National and Local Governments, United Nations, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, scientific community and many others.
Guimaras PENR Officer Vicente A. Sardina welcomed the PNLG delegates as they disembarked at the Buenavista Wharf to visit the island. PENRO Sardina was joined by the employees of the provincial government of Guimaras.
Themed “25 Years of Partnerships for Healthy Oceans, People and Economies: Moving as One with the Global Ocean Agenda,” the 4-day EAS Congress was successfully carried out with a strong collaboration between PEMSEA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) along with other partners.
During the EAS Congress’ 6th Ministerial Forum, the Iloilo Ministerial Declaration entitled “East Asian Region Moving As One to Secure Healthy Oceans, People and Economies” was signed by environment ministers and heads of delegation.
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu called the Iloilo Ministerial Declaration “a reiteration and stronger call to action” among the countries in East Asian region. “The Seas of East Asia are the most diverse marine areas in the world, yet they face severe threats from climate change and densely populated coastal communities,” he added. (DENR–6)