DENR-LGUs Conduct Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment and planning on Integrated Coastal Resource Management

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        City of San Fernando, La Union – In a bid to improve coastal resources in Region 1, the DENR thru its Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Management Service (PAWCZMS) is coordinating with various local government units to assist them in assessing their coastal resources and plan for their respective Integrated Coastal Management.

            DENR Regional Executive Director Samuel R. Peñafiel stressed that there is a need to assess the status of the coastal areas and find solutions to some identified issues affecting the degradation of the coastal ecosystems. He 

further explained that the Philippines’ coastal ecosystems are one of the most productive and biologically diverse in the world.  He further said that the LGUs should lead in managing their coastal resources because they are a huge natural and economic resources in terms of food, livelihood and other revenues which do not demand large investments.  Most of our coastal communities can simply go to the sea and harvest fish, gather mangroves, use the, beaches, estuaries, without any investments. However, without any plan and proper management, these resources would be drained and over exploited and will reach the level of destructing their natural production.

According to Regional Technical Director for PAWCZMS Policarpo A. Najera, there are about 639.67 kilometer stretch of coastal areas in the region which lie within the jurisdiction of 53 municipalities. As of this writing, there are four pilot sites for Integrated Coastal Management Planning, namely, Burgos in Ilocos Norte, Candon City in Ilocos Sur, City of San Fernando in La Union, and Bani in Pangasinan. These ICM plans which will serve as models for the other coastal municipalities are finalized and now in the process of adoption and passage of an ordinance by their respective Sangguniang Bayan.

Other LGUs which started their ICM planning and have their draft ICM plans are in Infanta, Bolinao, Binmaley  in Pangasinan, the City of Dagupan, and Bauang and San Juan in La Union;  Cabugao in Ilocos Sur and Badoc, and Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte.

Director Najera stressed that the DENR’s Coastal and Marine Management Division is ready to extend their expertise in the assessment of coastal resource in various LGUs and have their integrated coastal management plans. He further said that “the fragmented efforts of various agencies and stakeholders in area of Coastal Resource Management implementation would be a management setback for the region as it impacts on various institutional coastal and marine resources and hinder their recovery from degradation and depletion”. Executive Order No. 533 mandates the promotion of the integrated coastal management strategy thru a holistic approach to coastal ecosystems with the expertise of various government agencies, private sectors, academe and local government units.