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Cebu News

Cebu to host first Tañon Strait summit

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Environmentalists are set to hold the first Tañon Strait summit in Cebu next month.

The event, which is expected to gather representatives from concerned agencies and civil society and the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape management, will be held from Feb. 10 to 12 this year in Cebu City.

Oceana Philippines, in a statement, said the summit will include meetings of hundreds of environmental advocates and members of the Protected Area Management Board of Tañon Strait.

The strait, located between Cebu and Negros islands, has already been declared a protected marine area by then President Fidel Ramos on May 27, 1998. Covering 521,018 hectares, Tañon Strait is said to be one of the 10 richest fishing grounds in the country today.

"With more than 350 members, the Tañon Strait PAMB has never held a general assembly due to its sheer size and conflicts between national agencies and local government units regarding jurisdiction and overlapping functions," said Protected Area Supervisor Viernov Grefalde in a statement.

Oceana said there are 126 smaller marine protected areas within Tañon Strait managed by the local government units.

According to Oceana, Tañon Strait is a hub for cetaceans, with at least 14 species of whales and dolphins found in there. It is also home for 26 species of mangroves, 18,830 hectares of coral reefs representing 15 families, and seven species of seagrass.

Studies in the strait also revealed that it has 70 species of fish and 20 species of crustaceans like squid, shrimp, clams, and crabs.

The protected area is also famous for its dolphins, which has become a tourist attraction in the Visayas.

"Convening the PAMB and holding the stakeholders' summit are bold, big and essential first steps to ensure governance in TSPS that is participatory, transparent, accountable, predictable and effective," said Oceana Philippines Vice President Gloria Estenzo-Ramos.

"With stakeholders working together, the dream of a well-managed TSPS will soon be a reality," she added. — (FREEMAN)

CEBU AND NEGROS

CEBU CITY

OCEANA

OCEANA PHILIPPINES

OCEANA PHILIPPINES VICE PRESIDENT GLORIA ESTENZO-RAMOS

PLUSMN

PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS

PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT BOARD OF TA

PROTECTED AREA SUPERVISOR VIERNOV GREFALDE

STRAIT

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