AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY SUPPORTS PRESERVATION OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS ON MINDORO
Australian support to a marine conservation project in Calapan City, Mindoro, will help protect and preserve the local environment.
The Embassy, through its Direct Aid Program (DAP ), funded community group Kaunsayan Formation for Community Development (KAFCODE) to establish 200 artificial reef modules to help rehabilitate the marine ecosystems of Barangays Wawa and Balite which are under threat from unsustainable fishing practices, habitat degradation and unregulated coastal development.
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith commended KAFCODE for its efforts to protect and preserve local environments to ensure their long-term sustainability.
“The group’s Coastal Resource Management Program will assist local fishermen to identify and undertake alternative income-generation activities to minimise the pressure on natural resources as well as to educate communities on their role in the preservation and conservation of coastal and marine environments,” Ambassador Smith said.
“World Environment Day on 5 June serves as a reminder to communities that they have a responsibility to preserve and protect their local environment for the enjoyment of future generations.”
DAP supported KAFCODE in installing 167 artificial reef modules in 2008 in Aplaya, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. According to KAFCODE, the artificial reef has improved fish stocks in the fishing grounds of Salcedo. The number and variety of fish and other marine organisms have increased by 50 per cent. This has resulted in increased fish catch and higher incomes for local fishermen.
DAP Secretary Rick Adams (pictured second from left) recently visited the project site during the installation of the reef modules. Joining him were (from L-R) Police Superintendent Noel Ponollera, KAFCODE Executive Officer, Ms Doris Melgar and Project Officer, Mr Mike Rivera.