South of Metro|Ocean conservation in a changing world, essential for survival – Oceana|The COVID-19 crisis has changed our lifestyle–how we communicate, work, and care for ourselves. While our situation remains uncertain these days, one thing is sure: ocean conservation is essential.
Oceana holds an online forum today on this year’s theme of the Month of the Ocean, “PAra sa Tao: Protected Areas for a Protected Future”. Together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, Ocean’s forum, “Ocean Conservation in a Changing World” and was aired via Facebook live in the Oceana Philippines (facebook.com/oceana.ph) page.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar was one of the guest speakers and discussed the importance of protecting the oceans for food security. Oceana invited the secretary being a welcome and visible public figure ensuring that the food supply including fisheries continue to flow, unhampered, during the COVID-19 crisis.
Hosted by Antoinette Taus, UNEP National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines, the forum holds a battery of speakers who talked about people’s survival that depends on the stewardship of the ocean.
Former Environment Secretary and Trustee and Professor Emeritus of Silliman University, Dr. Angel Alcala talked about protecting critical marine habitats. Alcala is considered to be an institution in marine conservation not only in the Philippines but in the global scale. He was named National Scientist of the Philippines in 2014 and is a known biologist promoting biodiversity in the aquatic ecosystems of the Philippines.
Dr. Vincent Hilomen talked about how the Philippines is faring in complying with international commitments to marine protection and the impact of saving the oceans to being climate resilient. He has 29 years of work experience as a marine biologist specializing in reef fish ecology, fisheries, and marine protected areas. He is currently the Project Manager of the DENR – Smart Seas Project, let’s welcome.
“We know how strong our environmental and fisheries laws are but enforcing them is another story. We need to make sure that our oceans are protected from illegal fishing activities that threaten the livelihood of our small fisherfolks and put the health of our fisheries in danger,” said Attorney Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana Vice President.
The presentations of the Secretary Dar, Dr. Hilomen, and Atty. Ramos are in the dropbox link below. This also includes two video clips of advocates stating their pledge to protect the ocean and one from a group of children who appealed for ocean conservation so they will continue to have vibrant and healthy marine habitats and biodiversity.
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore the abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.