40 join in "Paddle for the Planet" in Cebu; 1M expected worldwide
- Ria Mae Y. Booc () - June 6, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In line with the observance of the World Environment Day, at least 40 participants joined in the inaugural “Paddle for the Planet” at the Cebu Yacht Club in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday morning. The event was held to raise awareness in conserving the world’s oceans.

Participants from the Bohol Marines, volunteers, and kayak enthusiasts paddled from the Cebu Yacht Club located near the Mactan Economic Processing Zone (MEPZ) to the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and back.

Yesterday’s event in Mactan was part of a synchronized global paddling event participated in by thousands of other paddlers from over 50 countries in the world. The simultaneous event was undertaken to raise funds for a nominated marine conservation project area, the Raja Ampat Islands in the Northwest Papua, Indonesia.

Dale Rennie, one of the co-founders in the Philippines, said money generated will be used for conservation and protection efforts on the 25,000-hectare marine sanctuary.

Daram is an archipelago located in a far-flung corner of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. This region, located off the North West coast of the island of New Guinea, is known to be a biodiversity tropical marine region in the world. Over 70 percent of the known species of corals in the world and 1,200 species of fish live in its seawaters.

However, because of its remote location and great distance from the mainland, the islands have become an ideal camp for illegal operations, including shark finning, reef bombing, turtle harvesting, live fish trade, and illegal harvesting of corals.

Last year, the event attracted 100,000 participants around the world. Organizers are hoping the number would reach 1 million this year and an additional 2 million next year.

“Each year we want to grow this idea branching out further and further as more paddlers get involved keeping more and more waters protected. The more support we get, the bigger the difference we can make,” said P4P founder Wayne Randall. — (FREEMAN)

BOHOL MARINES CEBU YACHT CLUB DALE RENNIE LAPU-LAPU CITY MACTAN ECONOMIC PROCESSING ZONE MARCELO FERNAN BRIDGE NEW GUINEA NORTH WEST NORTHWEST PAPUA RAJA AMPAT RAJA AMPAT ISLANDS
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