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Forming part of its long-term goal of responsible use and protection of the environment, Mindanao Development Authority through its Mindanao Nurturing Our Waters (MindaNOW!) Program celebrated the International Mangroves Day with the local government of Del Carmen in Siargao, a municipality renowned for its mangrove management efforts.

Siargao Islands is the largest protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System Act due to its mangrove forests. Four thousand hectares of contiguous mangrove stand in Del Carmen, the largest in the Philippines.

In his presentation, Rolando Pinsoy, MindaNOW! Program head emphasized the importance of sustainable coastal management in the agency’s larger efforts of developing and managing the Mindanao’s river basins and watersheds to ensure that water, which is critical for human survival, is maximized through sustainable means. MindaNOW! adopts the “ridge-to-reef” approach that requires the protection, utilization, and rehabilitation of the environment from the mountains to the seas.

“Mangrove forests serve as sanctuaries for fishes and other coastal species, which happen to be one of primary food sources of the municipality,” said Pinsoy during the Mangrove Forestry Forum, one the lined activities for the International Mangroves Day Celebration. The forum was followed by a mangrove planting activity and mangrove protection workshop for junior environmentalists of the municipality.

Pinsoy also added that sustainable coastal management is one of the commendable strategies of the municipality to prevent storm surges and other natural disasters in the locality. Mangrove scientist Dr. Jurggene Primavera of London Zoological Society also presented their agency’s efforts in protecting the biodiversity and ecosystems of the country.

“Del Carmen has already been recognized as one of the best, in terms of mangrove management. We were able to upgrade our mangrove cutters become fisher folks, instead. Now a lot of our illegal activities have already decreased as a result of an ecotourism program that we have developed within the mangrove forest,” said Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro II.

Mayor Coro II also said that by participating in the International Mangroves Day Celebration, they aim to promote the municipality not just for its surfing potentials but for its biodiversity and sound environmental practices, as well.

Municipality Del Carmen also hosted the 1st International Siargao Marathon, with the theme “Run For the Mangroves.” The marathon gathered around 1,000 local and foreign runners. As a fund raising activity, all proceeds will go to the municipality’s mangrove conservation.

“This was conceptualized and organized with the support of Run Rio and the Open Space Media, together with LGU Del Carmen. We plan to make this an annual activity to support our mangrove protection programs,” Coro II said.

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is a UNESCO event that is simultaneously celebrated every 26th of July.

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  • Guest - Vivencio D. Apatan

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    Congratulations for continuing effort by LGU of Del Carmen and all stakeholders to sustainable protect Mangrove. I was one of IPAS-CPPAP from NGO side who worked on it before. Now I saw harvesting what was planted in the hearts of Siargaonon. Keep it up the good works.

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