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‘NO HOLDS BARRED, BORACAY-LIKE APPROACH NEEDED TO PROTECT PH SEAS AND MARINE BIODIVERSITY – LUNTIANG PILIPINAS

Protecting the country’s seas and its marine wildlife and biodiversity will require the kind of political will displayed in the rehabilitation of Boracay.

This is according to Luntiang Pilipinas Party-list first nominee Michael Ubac, who on Monday said that “a no holds barred, Boracay-like approach is needed to protect Philippine marine wildlife and biodiversity.”

“We are an archipelago with over 7,000 islands, and we depend so much on the sea and the blessings it brings. Our fishermen and our people rely on its bounty, and the nation’s food security will be threatened if we fail to take care of this precious resource,” said Ubac, who added that the theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day on March 3 is “Life Below Water: For Life and Planet.”

Ubac said that government should work to contribute to efforts to prevent the rise of global temperature by 1.5°C, explaining that the Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that if global temperatures rise by as much as 2°C, almost all of the world’s coral reefs would be lost and the annual marine fisheries catch could dip by more than three million tons.

“If our reefs die and our catches dwindle, where do our fishermen find work, and how will our people fare without affordable fish products in the market?”

The veteran journalist stressed that such a scenario “would be disastrous for the Philippines.”

“The local fisheries industry employs 1.6 million Filipinos, and each Filipino consumes up to 40 kilos of fish per year. If our reefs die and our catches dwindle, where do our fishermen find work, and how will our people fare without affordable fish products in the market?”

“If Luntiang Pilipinas is given the opportunity to serve in Congress, one of our priorities will be to ensure that government is compelled to maximize its resources to protect our oceans,” the University of the Philippines and Harvard University alumnus added.

“If Luntiang Pilipinas is given the opportunity to serve in Congress, one of our priorities will be to ensure that government is compelled to maximize its resources to protect our oceans.”

Luntiang Pilipinas has four pillars: regreening (forest parks and mangrove growing); solid waste management; and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Ubac said Luntiang Pilipinas was encouraged by “the wherewithal shown by the President and his administration to do what is necessary to protect the environment.”

“Even some visiting legislators from France were very impressed with what was accomplished in Boracay. If we can do it in Boracay, we can do it anywhere else in the country,” he said.

Luntiang Pilipinas founder Sen. Loren Legarda recently hosted French parliamentarians in Boracay to show them the progress made in the rehabilitation of the world-famous island.

Legarda revealed that after briefing the French lawmakers on the steps undertaken to address the environmental problems of Boracay, the impressed visitors acknowledged that they could learn a thing or two from the Philippine government.

“Boracay’s successful rehab is an example of political will and strong leadership. The agencies of government have effectively implemented the environmental laws that we have crafted,” said Legarda.

“Our French guests said they have much to learn from us.”

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