The members of five Protected Area Management Boards (PAMBs) and stakeholders in Region 12 have pledged on Wednesday to support and strengthen the protection and conservation of protected areas during the 3rd Regional PAMB Summit in General Santos City.
Dubbed as "Protected Areas Management Innovations Towards Sustainability," the summit served as the venue to gain support from the PAMB members and stakeholders in implementing programs, projects, and innovative interventions for the protected areas, as well as the enforcement of environmental laws, especially the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018.
DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations-Mindanao Joselin Marcus E. Fragada, CESO III emphasized in his message that the preservation of environment is synonymous to the preservation of human life. "We need to make sure that we leave something for the next generations," he said.
During the summit, PAMB members and stakeholders were updated and capacitated on programs supported to PA development, best practices of some successful PAs, manual on carrying capacity, limits acceptance change, sustainable financing and users’ fee, and ecotourism development and management programs within PAs.
The exhibits which featured the characteristics, biodiversity, culture and products of the five PAs were also visited by USEC. Fragada together with DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Western Mindanao Arleigh J. Adorable, CESO III, DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer, ARD for Technical Services Engr. Mama G. Samaon, ARD for Management Services Forester Mamutur D. Cariga, provincial and community ENR officers, division chiefs, and other key officials.
The five PA Management Offices also showcased their talents during the summit's talent presentation. The first place was awarded to Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP), followed by the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), Allah Valley Watershed Forest Reserve (AVWFR), Libungan River Watershed Forest Reserve (LRWFR), and Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL) for the second to fifth places, respectively.
The event was also attended by SOCCSKSARGEN ADP-PMU Project Manager Engr. Ginalyn Fe C. Cachuela, some local chief executives and their representatives, line agencies, PAMB members from MANP, SBPS, MMPL, AVWFR, and LRWFR, resource speakers from Department of Tourism, ERDB, and successful PAs, stakeholders, and other DENR-12 personnel.