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Cebu News

Month of the Ocean highlights protection of mangroves

Jessa Agua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Mangrove planting and coastal cleanup in Barangay Alegria, Cordova, highlighted the region’s celebration of Month of the Ocean (MOO), which has the theme: “Mangrove protects. Protect mangroves.”

Last Friday, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Visayas spearheaded mangrove planting and coastal cleanup in the said barangay. The activities were led by DENR Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo, together with Cordova local government unit headed by Mayor Adelino Sitoy and officials of Biodiversity Management Bureau, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Coral Triangle Initiative.

“Mangroves protect  us not only from strong waves and storm surges, but also help clean the air and water along our coastal zones, and provide food security and livelihood to the communities,” he added.

Barangay Alegria is one of the coastal barangays affected most by last year’s oil spillage caused by the sunken passenger vessel after colliding with a cargo vessel in Lauis Ledge inTalisay City.

According to Montejo, this year’s theme for MOO puts an emphasis on the extent and magnitude of the destruction tore by Yolanda, which is said to be the strongest tropical typhoon ever recorded.

“Super typhoon Yolanda has taught us a lesson that storm surges could happen given the strong winds that go with a ‘monstrous’ typhoon and its devastating effects to communities along the coastlines,” he said.

Montejo  added it is high time to strongly consider reforesting and regenerating the degraded coastal forests through mangrove reforestation and massive community involvement to make our coastlines less vulnerable to extreme weather events which are now the “new normal.”

Presidential Proclamation 2146, promulgated in 1982 and Republic Act Number 7161 both imposed a national ban on cutting mangroves with certain liabilities.

On the other hand, Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999 declared May as the Month of the Ocean, which mandates the DENR and the Department of Agriculture-BFAR to spearhead the observance of MOO and highlight the need to conserve and protect the country’s coastal and ocean resources.

The Philippines is home to 47 true mangrove and mangrove associate species.  (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY ALEGRIA

BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT BUREAU

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES AND CORAL TRIANGLE INITIATIVE

CORDOVA

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES CENTRAL VISAYAS

LAST FRIDAY

LAUIS LEDGE

MAYOR ADELINO SITOY

MONTH OF THE OCEAN

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