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WESCOM participates in Tubbataha monitoring workshop

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 28 –- The Western Command (WESCOM), as part of the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB), participated in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) Eco-System Research and Monitoring Workshop 2014 in this city over the weekend.

WESCOM Deputy Commander Commodore Aurelio A. Rabusa said Tuesday that the involvement of the military in the discussion of Tubbataha’s most pressing concerns is paramount to the world heritage site’s sustainability. The workshop was held from July 26-27.

“The workshop brought TPAMB executives to discuss Tubbataha’s most pressing concerns, including financial sustainability, vulnerability to Archipelagic Sea Lanes and the future of tourism,” Rabusa said.

Glenda Simon, information, education and communications officer of Tubbataha Management Office (TMO), said that the aim of the workshop is to design a comprehensive plan for sustainable tourism in TRNP and develop a strategic action plan.

"The workshop participants are looking at the ecological pressures of tourism as well as socio-cultural impacts. They will define limits and identify the tools required to effectively manage TRNP as a tourist destination," Simon said.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is the largest marine protected area in the Philippines. It lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the geographic centre of world marine biodiversity.

Located 92 nautical miles from Puerto Princesa City, Tubbataha is a source of coral and fish larvae that sustains fisheries in the mainland Palawan and the surrounding waters of the Sulu Sea.

The islets of Tubbataha are the last seabird stronghold in Southeast Asia and serve as an important rookery for endangered species. Since 1993, Tubbataha has been inscribed on this list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.

It is recognized as one of the Philippines’ oldest ecosystems, containing excellent examples of pristine reefs and a high diversity of marine life, an important habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species. (PNA)

LAP/CARF/CIC/UTB

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