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Cebu News

DENR works on sustainability assessment for Bantayan

Jessa Agua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 is completing the protected area suitability assessment (PASA) in Bantayan Island Wilderness Area (BIWA) to speed up the conversion of the land.

 “This is one of the requirements in approving the general management plan (GMP) of BIWA together with documentary evidences of the public consultations and improved version of the management plan based on the recommendations by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB),” said DENR-7 Regional Director Isabelo Montejo in a press statement.

 A planning management tool, PASA involves the gathering, compilation and analysis of relevant information on the biophysical and socio-economic characteristics and other environmental features of the protected area.

 “This is to determine the suitability or non-suitability for preservation as protected area and inclusion to the national integrated protected areas system (NIPAS),” Montejo added.

 “The GMP is a critical input or document in making a recommendation to Congress the possibility of dis-establishing or excising portions of the protected area,” Montejo added.

 A proposed House Bill (HB) 1941 is now pending in Congress which allows to disposition certain portions of Bantayan Island for agricultural, commercial, residential, tourism and other similar productive purposes, amending Presidential Proclamation Number 2151.

 BIWA has an approximate land area of 11,244.67 hectares. After its delineation last year, out of its total land area, around 10,648.27 hectares covers its multiple use zone while the remaining 596.41 hectares covers its strict protection zone consisting of the mangrove ecosystem, water-recharge areas, and sea turtle-nesting sites

 The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of BIWA endorsed the general management plan in September 2014 with favorable resolutions from the Cebu Provincial Development Council, and Regional Development Council endorsing the said plan as a document tool to dis-establish the declaration of Bantayan Island as a wilderness area.

  The prevailing law for the Bantayan Island Wilderness Area is Republic Act No. 7586, known as the NIPAS Act of 1992. This law sets aside BIWA, being a wilderness area as proclaimed by Presidential Proclamation No. 2151 in 1981, as an initial component of the NIPAS of the Philippines.  (FREEMAN)

 

AREA BANTAYAN ISLAND BANTAYAN ISLAND WILDERNESS AREA BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT BUREAU CEBU PROVINCIAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES HOUSE BILL MONTEJO PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION NO PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION NUMBER
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