TAWI-TAWI – The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) held the first-ever meeting of the Bangsamoro Region’s Protected Area Management Board on Nov. 29 at Grand Astoria Hotel in Zamboanga City.
This follows the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 9’s official turnover of the management and protection of the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (TIWS) to MENRE on May 23 this year.
Present to discuss matters concerning the protection of the TIWS were key officials from MENRE’s regional and provincial office in Tawi-Tawi, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) Provincial Office, Provincial Governor’s Office, Turtle Islands Municipal Mayor’s Office, Philippine National Police Provincial Director’s Office and Maritime agency, barangay offices, Mindanao State University – Tawi-Tawi, and Taganak Women’s Group.
“The way we handle the Turtle Islands will reflect how we handle the Bangsamoro Government,” sai MENRE Administrative and Finance Services Director Al-Sharif Tamburani.
Discussions during the board meeting included significant updates from the Protected Area Management Office, presentation of the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan by the Local Government Unit, and updates on the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) application of an LGU project in the Turtle Islands.
According to MENRE – Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Research, and Development Services (BERDS) Chiefs Baharodin Baulo and Annie Dumamba, one of the first objectives of the ministry is to implement capacity development programs for the Turtle Islands stakeholders through technical and research-based activities.
MENRE, in partnership with other stakeholders and support from DENR-9, shall conduct capacity building activities for the concerned personnel and would-be program implementors of the ministry. The activities would include training for monitoring of corals, seagrass, and mangroves, marine turtle monitoring, hatchery management, and enforcement of laws and regulations on wildlife conservation and protection.
Meanwhile, in his message delivered by Taganak Municipal Mayor Mohammad Faizal Jamalul, Provincial Governor Yshmael Sali expressed his support to the Bangsamoro Government and said “all projects must be delivered as long as it conforms to the sustainability and protection of the TIWS.” (Bangsamoro Information Office)