Philippines gets award for conservation of Tubbataha Reefs-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
AN INTERNATIONAL jury has conferred on the Philippines a Silver Future Policy Award for its 2010 Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act.
The award body recognizes the law as an exemplary policy that has "contributed most effectively to the sustainable management of the world's oceans and coasts for the benefit of current and future generations," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.
The award was announced on September 26 during a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, coinciding with the UN General Assembly, the department said.
The award was given by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that aims "to safeguard the rights of future generations" through advocacies on environment, sustainable development and social justice.
The 2012 Future Policy Award, in turn, highlights the challenges faced by the world's oceans as well as exemplary solutions to protect them.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act ensures the effective management of the Tubbataha Reefs, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site and hotspot of coral reef biodiversity.
Local authorities and non-government organizations engaged in protecting Tubbataha have received praise because of the excellent condition of the reefs.
Tubbataha's example has also shown that carefully planned management can result in benefits for local communities since Tubbataha is a nursery site for fish supporting local artisanal fisheries.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act has been hailed as a model of coral reef conservation and already similar legislation has been enacted for neighboring Apo Reef.
"With the Future Policy Award we want to cast a spotlight on policies that lead by example. The aim of the World Future Council is to raise awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies," said Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council.
"The ocean world is in all our daily lives. Even for the many millions of people who may not think that they have a strong reliance on oceans, marine ecosystems and wildlife provide all kinds of benefits. The Future Policy Award provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action," said Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Jury member Pauline Tangiora said the national policies have to consider the needs of local communities and incorporate their traditional knowledge of the ecosystems and the natural resources these communities depend on – to ensure the sustainable use and management thereof.
The announcement of the winning policies in New York will be followed by an awards ceremony on October 16 at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India.
Other awards recognized the efforts of Palau, Namibia, South Africa, and California in the USA. Thirty-one policies from 22 countries were nominated for awards. Nominations were assessed by an international jury of experts from the academia, politics, international bodies, civil society and indigenous groups from all 5 continents. (SDR/Sunnex)