THE partnership of Zamboanga City Government with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is expected to boost the development of Sta. Cruz Island and Pasonanca Natural Park as protected areas and ecotourism sites.
Wilbur Dee, a Biodiversity Conservation advisor to USAID’s Protect WildLife project, said the partnership aims to develop the management plan of Sta. Cruz Island as it has already expired.
“There are lots of things that need to be updated to provide a solid set of management prescriptions for the purpose of conserving the Sta. Cruz Island at the same time increasing its ecotourism potentials, and implement ecotourism programs in support of the protected areas, both on site and off site,” Dee said.
He however downplayed suggestions to transform Sta. Cruz Island into a tourism beach resort, second to Boracay, considering that the former is too fragile, being a protected area with limited landmass that is unable to hold too much infrastructures.
A Technical Working Group workshop was conducted on Wednesday, October 25, on AMS report, Behaviour Communication Campaign, Investment Planning and Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation for the Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape and Pasonanca Natural Park. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)