Oceana and partner organizations – the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, RARE, Philippine Earth Justice Center, and the Provincial Government of Cebu – DENR-Region 7 proudly hosted the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS) Summit this year, which took place in Cebu City from February 10 to 12.
The event was attended by 397 participants, including the local chief executives of 298 barangays and 42 cities and municipalities, heads of NGOs and people’s organizations, as well as academics. The summit marked the first time for the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of TSPS to convene ever since it was formed 17 years ago.
The keynote speaker, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., was joined by resource persons from government, academia and NGOs, who shared their knowledge and insights on conservation and protection of the Philippines’ natural resources. Other topics included the legal framework of fisheries management, vessel monitoring technology, challenges to fisheries management, sustainable ecotourism, and best practices in enforcement and coastal resources management.
At the Summit, participants had the opportunity to make suggestions to strengthen the General Management Plan, such as: proper coordination and increased public consultation to harmonize municipalities and barangays’ ordinances and plans; the creation of a PAMB adjudication board; enforcement of fisheries laws; and the establishment of an incentive system for coastal law enforcers.
Upon its conclusion, many participants signed a declaration of commitment to the TSPS, which proposes that certain vulnerable areas in Tañon Strait be declared “no-take” zones. The remaining areas would serve as multiple use areas where people will be allowed to live and pursue sustainable resource use.
See photos of the Summit here: https://www.facebook.com/oceana.philippines/photos_stream.
The Oceana report on Tañon Strait can be found here: Love Letter to Tañon Strait.