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Multi-sectors set 2013 search for top MPAs

MANILA, May 28 -– Various sectors are due to launch in Metro Manila on May 29 this year the 2013 Marine Protected Area (MPA) Awards and Recognition bid.

Such bid aims to identify the country’s top MPAs to help highlight best initiatives for such areas where human activity is restricted to better conserve the natural environment there including cultural resources requiring preservation. p>”By recognizing the best practices, people concerned can learn means of improving respective management of MPAs,” Marine Science Institute expert Dr. Porfirio Aliño said Monday on the side of the workshop this institution hosted for preparation of the Philippines’ 2012 State of the Coasts Report (SoCR).

The report’s preparation is in line with Executive Order 533 which instituted integrated coastal management (ICM) and related approaches as the Philippines’ national management policy framework for promoting sustainable development of Philippine marine and coastal resources.

The order seeks helping achieve food security, sustainable livelihood and poverty alleviation.

EO 533 also seeks to preserve ecological integrity while reducing the resources’ and coastal communities’ vulnerability to natural hazards.

Aliño said Philippine single MPAs and MPA networks can be nominated for the awards.

”We’ll receive nominations until December and award the winners around mid-2013,” he noted.

First, second and third prize winners will be chosen in each of the single MPA and MPA network categories.

MPA networks in the country include alliances of local government units.

Aliño said the first prize winners will each receive a P100,000 conditional grant for further improving respective MPA initiatives.

”Winners of such prize must present proposals on where the money will be spent,” he noted.

He said the second and third placers will each receive P50,000 and P30,000 in prizes, respectively.

The prizes will be sourced from government and its MPA-supporting partners.

Aliño said Philippine Association of Marine Scientists will be among experts evaluating what the nominees have done so far in respective MPAs.

”We want to showcase best MPA practices to help others avoid repeating previous mistakes in managing such areas,” he noted.

He noted the nominations in previous years averaged about 100 entries.

There were 120 entries last year, he said.

Authorities expect more nominations this year and observed more sectors are supporting recognition of the best MPAs. (PNA) dct/LOR/CJT/mec

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