The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) was recently proclaimed one of the three best marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world.
The recognition, a platinum Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) Award which is regarded by the conservation community as the marine conservation equivalent of the Oscar’s, was awarded by the Marine Conservation Institute based in the United States during the 4th International Protected Areas Congress (#IMPAC4) in Chile last September 5.
Philippine delegates to the #IMPAC4, Ms. Norievill Espana and Ms. Lea Avilla of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau received the award for TRNP.
Marine Conservation Institute’s first-ever GLORES (pronounced “glories”) award is designed to provide incentives to marine conservation by recognizing the most effective MPAs according to science-based standards.
This innovative, new award system aims to increase the amount and quality of MPA coverage around the world to meet the United Nations goal of 10% of the ocean protected by 2020 and the International Union for Conservation of Nature goal of 30% of the ocean protected by 2030.
“We believe GLORES awards will speed [up] the creation of strong marine reserves and strengthen the protections in existing ones,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute.
According to the MPAtlas, only 3% of the world’s oceans have been designated as a MPA of any kind, and only 1.6% of the ocean is strongly protected in no-take marine reserves, the most effective form of conserving and recovering marine life.
“GLORES awarded marine reserves will function just like the parks we have on land that protect wildlife inside whole ecosystems and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change,” Morgan added in a news release.
Tubbataha Management Office, on its Facebook page, expressed gratitude for yet another recognition for the TRNP.
“This award is dedicated to all our partners without whose contributions we will arrive at this proud juncture,” read its status post on Thursday, Sept. 6.
TRNP, located in Cagayancillo town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ASEAN Heritage Park. It harbors no less than 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species, and 100 bird species, and also serves as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green sea turtles.
The other two GLORES awardees are Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (United States) and Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia).
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