Negros Oriental – About 80 representatives from the DENR and the local government units (LGUs) of Regions 6 and 7 participated in the closing event of the Community-Based Forest and Mangrove Management Project (CBFMMP) on July 19-21, 2018. The DENR in Region 6 and PENRO Negros Oriental organized the event to celebrate the gains of the project.
A video presentation highlighting CBFMMP outputs under the project components of natural resources management, rural infrastructure, and livelihood support, and testimonials of local government officials and people’s organization (PO) officers who benefitted from the project was shown. The LGUs and POs recounted how the CBFMMP had helped improve their environmental and economic conditions.
Recognizing the success of the CBFMMP initiatives and the need to sustain them, LGU partners (Region 6 – Altavas, Libacao, Dumarao, Passi, Carles, Anini-y, Valderama, Sebaste, Kanbankalan, Ilog, Candoni; Region 7 – Bayawan, Sta. Catalina, Bindoy, La Libertad) and the DENR signed Memoranda of Agreement and Commitment that state their responsibilities in upholding the accomplishments of the project.
The LGU and PO beneficiaries received plaques of appreciation from the DENR.
A case of Mantalip Reef
The DENR representatives visited the Mantalip Reef in the municipality of Dauin. The area covers 360 hectares within the Tanon Strait, 46 hectares of which has been declared by Dauin as a Marine Protected Area (MPA). This is a concrete proof of the municipal government’s continued initiative to protect and conserve marine resources.
Dauin employs several fish wardens who receive a monthly allowance of PhP 7,000 each from the local government to patrol the reef. They underwent a training given by the DENR and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Initially, the communities expressed resistance to the establishment of the MPA as they are dependent on the fish catch for their livelihood. However, through social marketing and information campaign conducted by the LGU with assistance of an NGO, the local communities’ perception eventually turned into fervent support for the creation of the MPA.
Because of these efforts, fish density and abundance in the area improved. However, the LGU worried that they could not sustain the activities because of limited funds to which the DENR advised them that they tap the Integrated Protected Area Fund (IPAF) and other funding windows available to LGUs from the national government.
The closing event provided a good platform for recognizing the achievements of the project and the contribution of partners in realizing them. Everyone left hopeful and eager to play their part in the sustainable development of their communities. (FASPS/ FASPS/ Michelle I. Yu)