Escudero hails Prieto Diaz for marine protection plums
By Mar Arguelles
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero has lauded the municipality of Prieto Diaz for its inclusion in the final four of the 2021 Para El Mar Marine Protected Area Awards and Recognition handed out by the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Support Network (MSN).
In his Twitter post, Escudero announced that Prieto Diaz is one of the top four finalists vying for the Best Mangrove Award and Best Marine Protected Area Award.
“The municipality of Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon is also one of the top four finalists in the Para El Mar for Best Mangrove Award and Best Marine Protected Area Award!!! Good luck!!!!” Escudero tweeted.
The town, some 20 kilometers away from Sorsogon City, is known to have the largest mangrove sites in the entire Bicol region and has been attracting both local and foreign tourists that contributed to the livelihood of its residents.
Escudero lauded the Prieto Diaz local government unit (LGU) and the town’s fisherfolk for ensuring that the mangroves are protected and taken care of.
“Dapat nating patuloy na pangalagaan hindi lamang ang mga bakawan kundi ang ating Inang Kalikasan para sa susunod pang mga henerasyon. I am glad that Prieto Diaz is leading the way,” Escudero said.
In his report to Escudero, Prieto Diaz Mayor Benito L. Doma shared the town’s strategies in managing the Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecosystem Protected Area:
1. Community Organizing - letting the people embrace the responsibility of protecting, conserving and managing the resources;
2. Information-Education-Communication (IEC), Capability Building and Advocacy Campaigns - increases the knowledge and level of awareness of the community and stakeholders;
3. Research and Development (R&D) - paved the way to the establishment of Seed Production Area (SPA), the source of quality propagules and establishment of MANGROVETUM - a place where different species of mangroves thrive;
4. Livelihood development and promotion - introduction of alternative source of income and deviation of the community from too much dependency on mangroves resources;
5. Monitoring and Evaluation;
6. Policy Formulation - leads to passing of ordinances and resolutions / local proclamation of Protected Area; and
7. Law Enforcement / Political Will - leads to zero case on apprehension and confiscation.
The Para El Mar MPA Awards and Recognition is a biennial event that aims to showcase the country’s best performing MPAs and provide a venue for Philippine MPA champions to share experiences and learn from each other.
The competition has three categories, namely: Locally-managed MPA; Best Mangrove Awards; and Networks/Inter-LGU
The award organizer MPA-MSN will announce the winners on Sept. 8-10, 2021 through its secretariat, the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute.