SBMA enters into pact to help save country’s coral reefs

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The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will work hand-in-hand with agency leaders, investor-locators, and non-government organizations to ensure the growth and propagation of coral reefs that are already degenerating all over the country.

This, after SBMA Chairman Martin B. Diño signed a Partnership Agreement with the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARD), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Brighterday Subic LTD, Inc. (BLSI), the Locator-Investor of the All Hands Beach Resort inside the Freeport; and Sangkalikasan Producer Cooperative, a non-government organization engaged in reefs restoration and monitoring activities, based in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

“For as long as the SBMA, the community leaders, and the business owners around the Zone are responsive and responsible enough in preserving our coral reef beds, the condition and future of our ecosystem is sustainable” Diño said, following the signing of the agreement held at the All Hands Beach Resort on Friday, December 23, 2016.

Dr. Melvin Carlos, Technology Transfer Division Director of PCAARRD said that the degeneration rate of coral reefs across the country has already reached 80 percent.

“This means that it has breached its ecological condition that is dangerous to plants, animals, and other organisms living in our waters,” Dr. Carlos said.

The agreement aims to enjoin the partner organizations to transplant some 5,000 coral fragments to restore damaged reef areas and set-up and deploy about 10 coral nursery units.

It also tasks the partner organizations to identify, document, and establish a stream of dive sites, develop a pool of human resource for coral restoration and promote science based coral reef management.

The partnership agreement was forged to strengthen current coral reef restoration efforts by the BLSI and Sankalikasan at the All Hands Beach Resort.

Each to its own commitment, the DENR serves as the lead implementing agency that will provide the necessary technical assistance in monitoring and evaluating the project activities.

The Sangkalikasan serves as the project implementer in delivering project outputs, results reviews, information dissemination, and technology transfer.

On the other hand, the SBMA and PCAARRD are supporting bodies in monitoring, maintaining, and protecting the identified and established sites, also in baseline assessment and monitoring of coral transplants.

While the BLSI maintains and protects the identified and established sites for the growth and propagation of the coral transplants.(Dante M. Salvana)