The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) made headway in scaling up the country’s coastal and marine ecosystems in 2019, which is attributed to the full and effective implementation of its Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP).

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the CMEMP became instrumental in pushing DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) to achieve its targets in terms of managing coastal and marine resources nationwide.

CMEMP is a national program that aims to comprehensively manage, address and effectively reduce the drivers and threats of degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems in order to achieve and promote sustainability of ecosystem services, food security and climate change resiliency for the benefit of present and future generations.

Its primary objective is to achieve the effective management of coastal and marine ecosystems, thereby increasing the ability to provide ecological goods and services to improve the quality of life of the coastal population.

According to Cimatu, the BMB’s accomplishments mark the beginning of greater protection for the country’s coastal and marine environment.

“We will use these accomplishments as benchmarks for the incoming year for a better protection of our coasts and seas,” the DENR chief said.

Through the CMEMP, the BMB was able to assess and map out during the year 2,075.10 hectares of coastal ecosystems for potential livelihood opportunities exceeding its 2019 target of 1,700 hectares.

Likewise, the BMB regularly maintained and protected all the 48 marine protected areas in the country under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) for a 100 percent accomplishment. Six marine protected area networks were also established in Regions 3, 5, 7 and 12.

The bureau also monitored and supported 64 existing biodiversity-friendly enterprises, and provided technical assistance to 69 LGUs nationwide. ###