EDITORIAL| Save our reefs

THE call to save our seas comes every month of May though this should be a year round campaign if we want to achieve sustainable development. Surrounded by bodies of water rich in marine biodiversity, protecting our coral reef becomes more urgent with the rapid urbanization of our coastal cities and municipalities.

The theme this year is “Stand Up, Save our Reefs,” a call for action amid the damages wrought by manmade disasters in coral colonies.

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TheWorld Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines estimates that a square kilometer of healthy coral reef can produce about 30 to 40 metric tons of seafood every year. Senator Loren Legarda, in her press statement sent to the Times said the country is located within the Coral Triangle, “home to 76 percent of the world’s coral species and over 2,000 marine species. The destruction of our marine ecosystems will not only lead to the extinction of thousands of species but will also be detrimental to tourism, food supply, and sustenance and livelihood of our fisherfolk. This makes our responsibility over protecting our oceans even greater.”

“The degradation of our marine ecosystems has long ceased to be merely an environmental issue as it pushes poverty deeper in the coastal communities through loss of livelihood, vulnerability to natural hazards, hunger and even health problems. We must all work together to make our oceans benefit us in a sustainable manner,” she said.

We do not lack for laws that seek to protect our coast and marine life yet, like many of our laws, implementation and enforcement is difficult. Poaching of endangered specieis, illegal and destructive fishing and poor waste management are some of the activities mentioned by Legarda to have continued.

The importance of reefs cannot be overemphasized. It is a vital component of our marine life as this is the habitat of marine species. It is an integral part of our marine biodiversity and life itself. If we save our ocean, we also save our next generation.

Posted in Opinion