Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cordova to rehab coastal waters

Cordova to rehab coastal waters 
The Freeman
July 28, 2011

The municipal government of Cordova teamed up with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the management, development and protection of its aquatic resources within its municipal waters through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The MoU was recently signed between Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, PBSP’s LINC-CRMG Program Manager Marivic Abello, DENR’s Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project Head Joselito Alcaria and Ocean Care Advocates, Inc. (OCAI) Administrator Mario Marababol at the municipal hall of Cordova.

Under the MoU, PBSP will assist Cordova in building up the capacities of local government units on the implementation of measures towards the conservation of coastal resources, food security and livelihood generation for coastal communities.

The town will also get the support of BFAR, DENR and OCAI on the enforcement of the Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project (ICRMP) to ensure sustainable management of coastal resources.

The agreement is anchored in PBSP’s Linking Initiatives for Collaborative Coastal Resource Management and Governance Program (LINC-CRMG) which has already gained ground in the provinces of Bohol, Guimaras, Samar and Southern Leyte.

Funded by the European Union, the program aims to achieve effective and sustainable coastal resource management and contribute to poverty reduction through the rehabilitation of the Visayas coastal zones, enhancement of alternative livelihood to further prevent use of coastal resources, and enforcement of fishery laws by enabling local government units through the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Councils (FARMCs). 

FARMCs are mandated by the government to oversee coastal resource regeneration as well as look into the improvement of the fisheries sector in the local level. 

The councils are also responsible for drafting the coastal resource management plans and programs that include aspects such as the increase of income of communities living along the coastal zones, management of critical habitats, activities to lessen fishing pressure, enforcement of fishery laws and ecotourism.

Cordova’s barangay FARMCs will help monitor illegal activities in their specific areas which largely contributed to the rapid degradation of Cordova’s coastal waters.

“There will be continuous trainings of the FARMCs to strengthen their leadership and systems to respond to the needs of coastal barangays,” LINC-CRMG Program Officer for Lapu-Lapu and Cordova Rei Cabalquinto stated.

Cabalquinto adds that Cordova still faces challenges such as providing alternative livelihood projects to augment family income and reduce pressure in the town’s coastal zones. Further, most fisherfolk organizations in Cordova still lack the skills needed to implement and enforce fishery laws.

To date, the LINC-CRMG Program is advocating for a fisherfolk’s registration and creation of more information materials to help educate the coastal communities on effective coastal resource management.

LINC-CRMG will run for two years and will cover 10 coastal barangays of Cordova.