The newly-created Bohol Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef Management Council (BDBDBRMC) held its first regular meeting on July 6, 2023, at the Talibon Cultural Center.
This gathering was attended by various stakeholders and tackled preparations for the Danajon Double Barrier Reef to be declared as a protected seascape, status updates on the upcoming Protected Area Sustainability Assessment (PASA), and plans and activities for July to December 2023 under the Protect Danajon Initiative.
Talibon Municipal Environment Resource Officer Joselito Evangelista presided over the meeting representing Municipal Mayor Janette Garcia, which was attended by representatives of the 10 municipalities with jurisdiction over Danajon, the Bohol Provincial Environment Office (BPEMO), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Community Environment Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) in Talibon and Tagbilaran, Tagbilaran and Talibon’s DENR- Provincial Environment Natural Resources Office (PENRO), the Coastal Conservation & Education Foundation, Inc. (CCEF), and Bohol Island State University (BISU) Candjiay Campus.
During the meeting, BPEMO announced the launching of the Protect Danajon Project on July 22, 2023, after Governor Aris Aumentado’s State of the Province Address. This is a CCEF-initiative project, in collaboration with DENR, the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Educational institutions, and Bohol LGUs, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Gerry Roxas Foundation to enhance community and government involvement in protecting the Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef.
The presence of illegal fishing in the reef, over-exploitation of marine resources, and lack of coordination among LGUs are recurring issues that CCEF identified as reasons for creating the Save Danajon Project. PGBh initiated a Memorandum of Agreement with Bohol LGUs and National Agencies to create the BDBDRMC, signed by Aumentado on September 2022, as part of the Strategic Change and Development Agenda on Environmental Sustainability. PGBh is also committed to providing technical assistance for the projects’ plans and activities.
The Reef is one of only three double barriers reefs in the Indo-Pacific region and one of six in the whole world. 54 percent of Filipino fishermen catch their fish and is one of the recognized geosites part of the Bohol Island UNESCO Global Geopark. (PIMO/GMC)