Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 5 OIC Regional Executive Director Antonio A. Abawag (second from right) hands over the cash prize and plaque to Mayor Benito L. Doma (center), who represented the Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecosystem in Diaz, Sorsogon for bagging the 1st prize of the Best Mangrove Award. The Best Mangrove Award was launched to recognize the outstanding mangrove rehabilitation and management undertaken by local government units, people’s organizations, and local communities in the regions. Mangroves (inset), locally known as bakawan, are vital natural resources that sustain coastal and marine ecosystems. They also protect coastal communities from storm surges and other natural disasters, and provide livelihood to some local residents. Witnessing the awarding are Sorsogon OIC Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Herleo O. Pavericio (right) and Chair Joselito D. Domdom (second from left), representing the people’s organization of Seamancor Eco-Developers Inc., which was organized by DENR in 1994.