LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu - Six resort and water park owners in this city recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 7 (DENR-7) in support of conservation measures and a public awareness campaign on coral triangle initiatives highlighted on Coral Triangle Day, June 9.First marked on June 9, 2012, Coral Triangle Day, in conjunction with World Oceans Day which is celebrated annually on June 8, has for its goal the positioning of the Coral Triangle as a globally-significant eco-region, a modern day icon of the natural world, so that people worldwide learn about its significance to their everyday lives and are empowered to take specific actions to help conserve and protect this natural treasure.
Coral Triangle Day is envisioned to be an annual open-sourced event bringing together individuals, organizations and establishments on a special day of the year to shed light on ocean conservation and the various ways to protect and conserve the Coral Triangle. The event is celebrated in countries in the Coral Triangle region, that is, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.
The main message of Coral Triangle Day this year is "Shared Waters, Shared Solution: Coming together As One For The World's Center Of Marine Life - The Coral Triangle." World Wildlife Fund Coral Triangle Program Communications manager Paolo Mangahas, in a statement, said, "The confluence of seas in this region that sew and hem one country with another is what forms the panoramic tapestry of diverse cultures and traditions in the Coral Triangle. This theme highlights the common lifeblood binding the Coral Triangle countries together into one spectacular region, espousing a spirit of camaraderie among people in collectively protecting and conserving this shared treasure."
For his part, DENR-7 regional executive director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said the advocacy is "very important" in the Philippines, it being part of the six countries in the coral triangle, which he called "the very cradle and the life support system of the Earth's coral reef diversity."
Montejo spearheaded the signing of aforesaid MOU by Be Resorts general manager Garry Garcia; Plantation Bay Sports and recreation manager Katherine Ann Rosas; Lapulapu City Marine Sports and Boat Owners Association (MSBOAT) President Emeterio Bonghanoy; Crimson assistant human resource manager Mary Joy Ruiz; Shangrila Sports and Recreation director Giles Leonard; and Imperial Palace human resource manager Nicanor Cabatas.
"This MOU that we have just signed is a collective indication that our resort and park owners here are supportive in increasing the level of awareness on marine conservation and protection efforts," said Montejo.
The DENR0-7 top official informed that around 75 percent of all known coral species, 6,000 species of reef fish, 3,000 species of marine fish, and at least 27 species of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales are cuddled up in the coral triangle.
Montejo appealed for the total elimination of highly destructive activities such as dynamite and cyanide fishing and overfishing as these, he said, are some of the "most serious challenges or threats in the marine ecosystem."
Crimson Resort, meanwhile, hosted a DENR exhibit on marine awareness and conservation while Shangrila opened its fish-house project to the public.