The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in MIMAROPA concluded this year’s celebration of “Month of the Ocean” with breathtaking photos of the region’s marine protected areas (MPAs) taking the center stage.
In a statement sent Sunday to Palawan News, the agency said photos captured the picturesque Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro and El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape, Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary, which are all located in Palawan.
They were submitted by 48 individuals who joined “Picture Perfect,” the agency’s online activity which invited the general public to share on social media, photos of MPAs in MIMAROPA Region that they wish to go back to or visit after the quarantine, on when it is already safe for everybody to travel.
Picture Perfect was DENR MIMAROPA’s way of commemorating the environmental event while observing strict protocols issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We used to hold coastal cleanup activities but since mass gathering is restricted, we resorted to using the social media to promote the MPAs and develop a deeper appreciation on the significance of marine protected areas in our lives,” DENR regional executive director Henry Adornado explained in the statement.
Since the photos were taken from 48 different perspectives, they paved way for the readers to discover more of the MPAs’ distinct features–the pristine waters and vibrant life under the sea, the fine sand along the coastline, the enchanting mangrove areas, the energy they exude at daytime, and the subtle charm they provide when the sun sets in.
“We are thankful to the participants because their pictures give us a glimpse of paradise, and albeit virtual, allow us to get closer to nature,” Adornado said.
The MIMAROPA Region, which is comprised of the island provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, is blessed with hundreds of marine protected areas which, like the ones mentioned above, spell beauty and significant value to the people and the community. Unfortunately, some human activities cause water pollution, encroachment and unsustainable practices that threaten, if not damage, the rich biodiversity of these marine areas.
Hence, the theme of this year’s Month of the Ocean celebration, “PAra sa Tao, Protected Areas for a Protected Future,” underscored the essence of sustaining these marine resources for the next generations.
In support of this, Picture Perfect also encouraged participants to send along with their photos, their personal commitment towards conserving the MPAs. Photos were likewise shared to spread the advocacy on responsible tourism. Two participants whose photos garnered the most number of likes would receive an eco-friendly bamboo tumbler, which was also in line with the agency’s no “to the single-use plastic campaign.”
“The decisions we make today help define the kind of environment that awaits our children and grandchildren. With this activity, we hope to inspire more people to make decisions that will never harm, but instead, ensure the preservation of our natural resources for the future generations,” RED Adornado concluded.
To view the stunning MPAs in MIMAROPA visit https://www.facebook.com/DENRMIMAROPA/