By Bal Kenneth Aballe, Davao Today Intern
DAVAO CITY – A German corporation pledged a total budget of P1,268,000.00 to facilitate researches and activities for the Davao City’s marine protected areas (MPA).
According to Councilor Marissa P. Salvador-Abella, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, the funding for the project proposal, entitled as “Strengthening Established Marine Protected (MPA) Network within Davao and Conservation of Biologically Important Species”, reaffirms the significance of the MPAs.
“Gesellschaftfur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German Development Cooperation which primarily supports foreign developing countries focusing on the environment and infrastructure fortunately approved the project proposal of the Committee on Agriculture in establishing and managing networks for the marine protected area in Davao City,” Abella said.
The Davao City Marine Protected Areas Ordinance of 2007 mandates the establishment of marine protected areas to protect and rehabilitate
critical habitats, increase fish productivity, enhance biodiversity and promote eco-tourism and research.
The city has three MPAs including Bunawan-Lasang MPA (415 hectares), Agdao Centro MPA (21 hectares) and Matina-Aplaya (37 hectares).
There are also other MPAs not covered by the MPA Ordinance such as in Barangay Hizon (2.5 hectares), Barangay Lapu-Lapu (6.6 hectares),
Barangay Dumoy (3 hectares), Barangay Bago Aplaya (3 hectares) and Barangay Lizada (5 hectares).
The German funding will go through the University of Southern Philippines (USEP) Extension Office.
“One of the objectives of the project is to establish and manage a network of marine protected area in the City,” Abella said.
The project will also serve to “reduce illegal fishing activities by 10% through the enforcement of Local Fisheries Code of Davao City”.
“Our City is very fortunate to have been chosen as a recipient of the project. On the part of the City, it does not have to shell out additional funds for this project because the allocation for MPA Ordinance implementation will serve as counterpart and the same is already available in the City Agriculturist Office,” Abella said. (davaotoday.com)