DENR-Region 06

DENR urged students to protect dugong, other marine resources 

r6 protect dugong web

 

DENR –Region 6 Director Jim Sampulna has urged students to report illegal activities that would jeopardize the country’s marine resources and their habitats.

Sampulna made the appeal during the first awareness campaign mounted by the regional office on the protection of dugongs or sea cows in Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) in Conception, Iloilo recently.

“As stewards of Mother Earth, we have to protect our wildlife species and their habitats in order to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity,” Sampulna said.

Sampulna also urged the students not to hesitate to report any illegal activities that would jeopardize wildlife resources and their habitats, stressing that “their survival depends on our hands.”

He
enlightened the students not only on the benefits of marine biodiversity but also on the negative impact of biodiversity loss. “From the bounty of the seas we get our food. But the hunting of dugongs would eventually harm other species within the intricate marine ecosystem. This could result to the depletion of other species which would impact on our aquatic food production,” he explained.

In 1982, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Natural Resources classified the dugong as vulnerable to extinction.

DENR Administrative Order No. 55, Series of 1991, on the hand, declares dugong as the first marine mammal to be protected in Philippine waters. The order prohibits the hunting, killing, wounding, taking, possessing, transporting and/or disposing of a dugong, whether dead or alive, and its meat and any of its by-products.

For her part, NIPSC OIC Administrator Maribel Arib encouraged the students to work closely with DENR. “As Bachelor of Science in Fisheries (BSF) students, we are preservers of natural resources, and with the partnership of DENR we could do more in the conservation and development of our resources,” she said. ###