Six northern town mayors have agreed to pool resources to manage the Northeastern Palawan Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network to ensure sustainability of the province’s fisheries industry.
The chief executives of municipal governments of Roxas, Dumaran, Araceli, Taytay, El Nido, and Linapacan recently inked a memorandum of agreement signifying their commitment to protect the various MPAs located within their respective localities.
Among their responsibilities, as stated in the MOA, is to continuously improve the marine biodiversity in the MPA network by creating economic opportunities that would wean people away from destructive fishing practices which drive fish stock depletion.
The protected areas, comprising of mangrove, seagrass and coral reef ecosystems, enhance fisheries production by regulating its use.
A network management board to be composed of northern town mayors will soon be formed to ensure the responsibilities indicated in the MOA are met.
The board will closely work with the management committee, which will be created to ensure the implementation of the Northeastern Palawan Marine Protected Area Network Management Plan and other related programs and policies.
Concerned municipal governments will also allot their counterpart budget for the implementation of the said management plan.
The establishment of Northeast Palawan MPA Network was initiated by World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, in cooperation with the provincial government through its agriculture office and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, which will both serve as oversight technical agencies.