Hold reclamation projects: groups-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A GROUP of leaders of fisherfolk organizations, experts and activists from 50 organizations nationwide have called for a 10-year moratorium of reclamation projects.
In a statement, the groups called for a stringent review and rationalization of the National Reclamation Plan in areas including Cordova, Cebu and Panglao in Bohol Province.
Reclamation is the process of conversion by filling, dredging, or other artificial means of foreshore land or submerged areas into land suitable for use as habitation or for cultivation.
The Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. (Fidec) and Pamana Sugbo are among the signatories of the People’s Summit on the Impacts of Reclamation last Oct. 25, 2012.
Owen Migraso, Fidec executive director, said reclamation projects pose as a threat to the coastal habitat and livelihood of small-scale fisherfolks.
“Naa studies nagpakita nga lugi jud ang reclamation projects kung hisgutan ang ROI (return of investment),” he said.
Migraso said local government units should prioritize protection, conservation of coastal marine resources to help develop local economy, particularly in the fisheries sector.
In the Summit statement, the participants pointed out that “various independent and scientific studies such as in Panglao, Bohol, in Cordova, Cebu and in the Manila Bay have extensively demonstrated how existing reclamation projects can potentially result in the decreased productivity and biodiversity, disruption of vital ecosystem functions, increased vulnerability to floods, and the displacement and dislocation of thousands of families dependent on the affected environments for their livelihood.”
“We must support and promote alternative and strategically viable coastal management and other development practices that will ensure maximum and accessible benefits to
the people and the environment,” the group added.
Also on Oct. 25, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo met with Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong and Land Management Services (LMS) Regional Technical Director Dr. Diana R. Apistar.
The Naga City Government has applied for a clearance with the DENR 7, to which the agency responded by asking for a revised sketch plan showing the parameters of an 11-hectare proposed reclamation project.
“The said plan is necessary to issue an area clearance, and no reclamation project shall be undertaken, conducted and implemented unless that document is first secured from our office,” said Montejo in a statement.
Montejo said the sketch plan will determine whether the area that is being applied for is a timberland or alienable and disposable to determine specific requirements.
The only document received from Naga City is a sketch plan containing an area of six hectares, which is not reflected in its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
As a result, the DENR told the local government to submit a land survey map, project description, proposed dimension, location, configuration, technical description and other mandatory requirements.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.