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Conservation Practices at Agojo Marine Park and Sanctuary in Catanduanes, Philippines: Convergence of Initiatives for Eco-Governance

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Vargas, S.R.; Asetre, A.V.
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7093
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): coastal resources
marine ecology
protected areas
Abstract: "The Philippines has gained international recognition and respect as a country giving high premium to natural resources management. In the Bicol Region, the most popular strategy for coastal resource management is the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). The oldest of this is the Agojo Point Fish Sanctuary and Marine Reserve (APFSMR) strategically located along the Lagonoy Gulf of the island province of Catanduanes. The establishment of the MPA in 1993 has holistically addressed the management and conservation issues in the area. Substantial recovery from the previously damaged conditions of the fragile coastal ecosystem has restored biodiversity of its natural resources and has significantly contributed to the enhancement of the quality of life of the stakeholders on the adjoining communities in the municipality of San Andres, Catanduanes. This tangible reward experienced by the residents brings forth dramatic positive change in their attitudes to support the management and conservation initiatives of local government units (LGUs), other government organizations, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and academic institutions, actively advocating for environmental conservation and protection, building partnerships for the sustainable development of marine resources, and promoting empowerment of coastal communities. Different interventions in the MPA under consideration were employed by the different sectoral groups composed of LGUs, the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), mangrove organization, the US Embassy/US Peace Corps Volunteer Program, the Catanduanes State Colleges, Youth Science Clubs, Republic of the Philippines (RP) KR2 Program and the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The convergence of initiatives in the MPA (established in 1993) from these sectors ranging from legislations, development and livelihood projects, capability building, advocacy and development of IEC materials, on-site field research and extension services have eventually shaped-up the environmental governance of MPA in the island province of Catanduanes."

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