P42M earmarked for DENR-7 programs
The national government has allotted P42 million for the new programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) this year.
The budget is intended to improve the coastal and marine ecosystem, including marine protected areas, locally-managed marine protected areas, marine key biodiversity areas, and municipal waters in Central Visayas, through intensified coastal cleanup drive, among others.
The agency's Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management Program (CMEMP), which was just created this year with a 10-year timeline, will oversee the programs.
“What makes the program distinct from previous ones is that CMEMP uses science-based approach and forms interconnectivity of various coastal and marine resources,” said Lorenz Gideon Esmero, DENR-7 ecosystem management specialist.
Esmero said the programs will follow different approaches, such as integrated coastal management; partnership building; ecotourism and sustainable tourism; protection, management and law enforcement; valuation of ecosystems services; and communication, education and public awareness.
Under the aspect of public awareness is the regionwide coastal cleanup drive.
Yesterday, the world celebrated the 32nd International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) through the conduct of coastal cleanup activities.
The Philippines, including Region 7, joined the initiative since the early 1990s.
Queen Aloyan, focal person of DENR7's ICC 2017, said the ICC is the world's largest effort for marine protection and conservation.
Improper garbage disposal and ineffective solid waste management are among the factors contributing to destruction of coastal and marine resources.
Esmero also identified poor garbage disposal as one of the anthropogenic threats.
“This needs to be addressed to improve the health of the coastal and marine ecosystems,” she said.
That is why, Esmero said, the primary goal of CMEMP is to manage and reduce the drivers and threats of the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems.
He added that by addressing these pressing concerns, people can achieve sustainability of ecosystem services, food security and climate change resiliency.
May B. Miasco/KBQ
The coastal area of South Road Properties in Cebu City is cleaned up by personnel of the Department of Public Services.