Monday, July 25, 2011

Handling of MPAs vital to catch more fishes, fix prices

Handling of MPAs vital to catch more fishes, fix prices
The Bohol Standard
July 24, 2011

To increase fish yields and control fish prices, Gov. Edgar Chatto has underlined the best management of marine protection areas (MPAs) as another core intervention of his administration.

Capitol is moving to improve and sustain the management of existing MPAs for better livelihood and socio-economic chances, which can modify the prevailing condition.

The strategy at the same time pursues the goal of breaking free from poverty and ensures food self-sufficiency.

It supports the overtowering sustainable development framework articulated in capitol’s HEAT folder and its wider LIFE HELPS agenda.

The governor observed that many LGUs and communities have invested precious resources in physical development, protection and awareness promotion in support to MPA projects.

Yet regular monitoring of MPAs to ensure that their investments produce the desired effects has been found wanting.

The governor’s office thus had the capitol Social Economic and Environmental Management (SEEM) Cluster conducting a trainers’ training on MPA monitoring and evaluation days ago.

The training was coordinated by the Coastal Resource Management (CRM) sector of the Bohol Environment and Management Office (BEMO) and Philippine Environmental Governance (EcoGov2) Project.

The provincial government and EcoGov2 intend to form a good monitoring-evaluation team who can lead LGUs to accessing to training and mentoring assistance.

This is helpful to the promotion and improvement of MPA management.

The trainers’ training was done to members of the MPA Provincial Technical Working Group (PTWG) from national agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Non-government organizations such as BANGON, Project Seahorse, Padayon Bohol Bohol Marine Triangle, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Bohol Integrated Development Foundation and PROCESS as well as selected municipal MPA-TWGs also participated.

Training sessions involved a combination of lectures, discussions, workshops and field activities, all to enhance the skills and capacities to gauge the effectiveness of MPA management.

In measuring, they have to use the MPA Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT).

Using the tool, the training participants did actual focus group discussions to assess the status of significant MPAs on sites.

These marine protected areas embrace the seawaters off Biking, Catarman, Bingag and Tabalong, all in Dauis, and San isidro, Dao and Bolod in Panglao.

The focus group discussion results were later reviewed, evaluated and processed by the participants.

EcoGov2 regional coordinator May Elizabeth YbaƱez and training officers Rebecca Paz and Anna Meneses and BEMO-CRM sector head Adelfa Salutan led the training staff.