February 27, 2017

For some time now, the Philippine coral reefs have been deteriorating due to poor land-use practices, rapid coastal development, overfishing and other destructive techniques such as dynamite and cyanide fishing. To resolve this marine biodiversity issue, government agencies have partnered and established Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that would help regain the growth of the corals and increase the number of fishes.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have pre-identified target areas for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) sites of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

To date, there are five on-going GEF sites in the Bicol Region coming from the Municipality of Magallanes, Bulan, Pilar and Matnog in Sorsogon and the municipality of San Fernando in Masbate. The Proponent groups(PGs) of the said municipalities together with their LGUs undergone series of trainings and consultations to come up with a proposal that would help preserve their MPAs as well as benefit the members of their community.

 

The involvement of the community in the implementation process plays a vital role to protect and maintain the MPA. This is a way for the members to appreciate the benefits of the project.

To assist the MPA Stakeholders in crafting their sustainability plan on the formulation of Integrated coastal and fisheries management and strategic awareness campaign implementation, PRDP-GEF will partner with RARE Incorporated which shall train local leaders to lead change, increase their capacity, and improve their sense of responsibility towards marine conservation.

RARE will partner with local organizations and train trusted community leaders, to implement a social marketing campaign that inspires environment conservation. The skills that would be imparted during the training will help the community be capable in project design, workshop facilitation and market research.

To ensure the smooth implementation of the activities to be conducted by RARE, Inc. on March 13-24, 2017, RPCO V Natural Resource Management (NRM) Staff, Teresita F. Blanqueza, gathered the Municipal Agriculturists of the five municipalities with GEF sites to prepare the things needed during the RARE’s gathering of primary and secondary data of the concerned LGU. A checklist was also distributed to fast track the lacking data to be supplied by the PGs.

RARE, Inc. will assist the PGs in organizing their Technical Working Group (TWG) to enable them to make a plan, draft policies and spearhead the planning and give solution to some fishery concerns.

PRDP’s total project cost includes a GEF grant worth P287 million. GEF-funded Participatory Resource Appraisal-Resources and Social Assessment (PRA-RSA) activities will focus on the natural resource management and conservation in globally significant biodiversity areas, seascapes and landscapes, and priority degraded coastal areas. (Michelle Angela G. Alfigura, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)

 

The Municipal Agriculturists of the five GEF sites in Bicol Region actively participate in the meeting held at the Sorsogon at the Pili Commercialization Center, OPAg Compound, Sorsogon City. (Photo by: Michelle Angela G. Alfigura, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)

 

RPCO V, NRM Staff Teresita F.Blanqueza, discussed the site visit process flow of the RARE, Inc. visit to the Municipal Agriculturists of the pre-identified GEF sites in Bicol Region. (Photo by: Michelle Angela G. Alfigura, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)