DENR, UP call for collective efforts to conserve ASEAN marine biodiversity
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) have called for collective efforts in conserving the marine bioversity of the ASEAN region.
The ASEAN region is home to a third of the world’s coastal and marine habitats that include coral reefs, mangroves, estuaries, sandy and rocky beaches, seagrass and seaweed beds and other soft bottom communities.
These habitats and their resident species provide breeding, nursing, and feeding grounds for marine plants and animals, food, and resources important to livelihoods of coastal communities.
The economic benefits of ASEAN’s marine biodiversity are immense. It is estimated that the total potential sustainable annual economic net benefits per square kilometer of healthy coral reefs alone in the region ranges from USD 23,100 to USD 270,000 arising from fisheries, shoreline protection, tourism, recreation, and aesthetic values.
However, the continuous overexploitation of coastal and marine resources, habitat change, pollution, and climate change, among many other drivers of biodiversity loss threaten the rich marine resources of the region.
The call to protect the marine biodiversity of ASEAN was made during the Fourth Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Symposium (APCRS), which aims to encourage collaborative actions among scientists, educators, managers, environmentalists, and relevant local stakeholders from key organizations in the Asia-Pacific in conserving and sustainably managing the region’s marine resources.
The four-day symposium, which was sponsored by the Asia Pacific Coral Reef Society (APCoRS), features plenary speakers, mini-symposia, workshops, oral and poster presentations, and latest researches in all aspects of coral reef biology, ecology, management, and conservation.