Month Of The Ocean 2017 TaYo At Ang Karagatan

The month of May is the time of the year when many Filipinos flock to the beach or visit picturesque islands to swim or to spend their vacation.

After all, we are a nation of approximately 7,641 islands, with more than half of its cities and municipalities located in coastal areas.

But did you know that the month of May is also the time for us to celebrate the significance of conservation, protection, and sustainable management of our coastal and ocean resources?

Being an archipelagic country surrounded by large bodies of water and regarded as the “epicenter of global marine biodiversity,” which is home to astonishingly vast marine resources and that holds the highest fish diversity in the world. This is according to the 10-year multi-disciplinary study of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

We are heavily reliant on the bounty of healthy oceans and seas for food, livelihood, navigation, recreation, trade, and for sustenance. In return, we, as stewards of nature, are responsible for protecting the seas.

To affirm the ecological importance of the Philippine seas and its resources, the month of May was declared as “Month of the Ocean” by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999.

Now on its 18th year, the celebration focuses on connectivity with the theme, “People and the Ocean” (TaYo at ang Karagatan) which highlights the connectivity of human and marine life.

In celebration of the Month of Ocean, DENR 6 is set to conduct activities to promote conservation and protection of the ocean and marine biodiversity as well as to increase the understanding and participation of the public about DENR’s programs and projects on coastal and marine environment.

One of the proposed activities is the ‘Scubasurero’ where it aims to eliminate tons of waste that are dumped in the ocean by engaging ‘Scuba-sureros’ or divers that have the willingness to engage in collecting solid waste materials that are present in our marine ecosystems.

Another proposed activity is the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) for the Month of the Ocean among the youth. Lectures, video documentation and capability building activities are proposed to raise awareness about the present status of our oceans and to foster participation and involvement of the youth in preventing the loss of marine resources.

An exhibit which highlights the Month of the Ocean celebration along with DENR’s programs and projects will also be showcased.

DENR-6 regional director Jim O Sampulna echoed the call for ocean and marine biodiversity protection by being responsible stewards of nature.

“Summer is an opportune time for us to raise awareness on the protection and conservation of our coastal and marine resources. As we continue to enjoy swimming in our fine beaches, may we be reminded of the need to unite and do more to save our seas and marine ecosystems from further degradation. We can start by being responsible with our garbage and refrain from dumping it in our seas or ocean,” said RD Sampulna.

“Our survival depends on our actions. We are the culprit, but in the same way we are also the solution,” he added.

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