Coastal towns, cities in region sign Dagupan Declaration

COASTAL MANAGEMENT CONGRESS

REPRESENTATIVES of 53 coastal towns and cities in the Ilocos region signed the Dagupan Declaration last week at the conclusion of the Integrated Coastal Management Congress organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Dagupan City on April 4 and 5.

The “Dagupan (City) Declaration” was adopted by the participating personnel of the coastal towns as an expression of reinforcing the national government’s responsibility to manage, protect and conserve all their resources within their administrative jurisdictions as embodied under RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 and in consonance with the provision of RA 8550 or the Fisheries Code, as amended by RA 10654.

The declaration called on the local governments to act as the frontline agencies in formulating, planning and implementing ICM programs in their respective coastal marine areas in line with the National ICM Program.

The two-day congress, with the theme “Upscaling Efforts on ICM for Sustainable and Resilient Coastal and Marine Ecosystems”, addressed coastal geo-hazards and discussed sustainable management approaches among local government units’ in order to further improve the marine biodiversity in their coastal areas and protect its ecosystems.

The Integrated Coastal Management or ICM refers to natural resources and environmental ecosystem-based management framework that employs an integrative, logistic management approach and an interactive planning process in addressing the complex management cases of the coastal areas.

Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez was given the opportunity to showcase the city’s initiatives in managing its environmental problems, particularly in cleaning the river and clearing of over 970 illegal fish pens. She also cited the opportunities given fisherfolk to acquire Aqua Lease Agreements with the city to legitimize operations of their authorized fish cages.

Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim hailed Dagupan City’s awareness and exemplary efforts in the protection of its rivers and estuaries. “It’s already being showcased in international meetings. I hope that we would be able to replicate this practice not just in the Philippines, but in other areas in the ASEAN region as well. I’m looking forward to working closely with Mayor Fernandez in another capacity,” Lim said. (With report from CIO/VDV)

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