DENR-ARMM, Parang LGU ink partnership on mangrove protection
Cotabato City (August 12, 2015) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DENR-ARMM) and the local government of Parang in Maguindanao have inked on Wednesday, August 12, a memorandum of agreement that seeks to protect mangroves in the town’s coastal areas.
Kahal Kedtag, DENR-ARMM secretary, and Mayor Ibrahim Ibay of Parang led the signing of a co-management agreement on the town’s mangrove areas. Secretary Kedtag emphasized the importance of mangrove in coastal areas, saying it serves as the community’s “first line of defense” against strong waves and storm surges, and also serves as a spawning ground for marine species.
Currently, Parang is implementing various activities that are in line with the town’s coastal resource management program. These include the distribution of ‘payaos’, a type of fish aggregating device, to local fishermen as well as strict enforcement of fishery laws.
With the agreement, DENR-ARMM will be sharing the responsibility of managing and protecting Parang’s coastal resources not only with the local government unit (LGU), but more importantly with the coastal communities’ residents who have the greatest stake in this undertaking.
“We would like to seek everybody’s support to make this initiative a success. The LGU of Parang definitely cannot do this alone. All sectors of the community – business, academe, civil society and media – need to pitch in and do their part,” Mayor Ibay said.
Under the co-management agreement, the municipality will now have a greater stake in the protection, development and management of the town’s mangrove areas. At present, the municipality’s forest land and coastal resources are under the DENR-ARMM’s jurisdiction based on the provisions of the Regional Sustainable Forest Management Act – Muslim Mindanao Act 161.
Parang is considered as one of main producers of high-quality marine products in the region with almost 50% of local residents involved in fishery and other fishery-related activities. (Bureau of Public Information)