Environment Summit held in Negros

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Negros Island local and environment officials, including civil society organizations, recently convened to pursue initiatives and craft policies to protect and sustainably manage their terrestrial and marine protected areas.

They agreed to push for the completion and finalization of the respective management plan of the six Negros Island Region (NIR) protected areas, and implemented before the end 2016.

This was one of the outputs of the 1st Negros Island Region Protected Area Management Summit (NIRPAMS), held in Bacolod City organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with NIR provincial and municipal governments, and civil society organizations (CSOs) led by Oceana Philippines.

The region has six protected areas that are either legislated or declared through presidential proclamation, namely: Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape; Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park; Mount Kanlaon Natural Park; Northern Negros Natural Park; Sagay Marine Reserve; and Tañon Strait Protected Seascape.

The three-day summit served as venue to inform stakeholders of the present state of the six protected areas, share management success stories, identify key issues and concerns, and highlight the various contributions and interventions of the DENR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources local government units, civil society organizations, and other partner-agencies in biodiversity conservation.

It was attended by top local government and environment officials and other industry stakeholders who all agreed to initiate measures to protect the environment especially the ocean by deterring all forms of illegal fishing. (Noel Reyes/OpinYon)