MAMBAJAO, Camiguin--With the huge influx of local and foreign tourists visiting this island-province, the provincial government has taken measures to ensure that despite the growing tourism industry here, its people will protect the environment as its very important natural resource.
With the province’s fast economic growth, recording P213.088 million on investment value for the first three quarters of 2019, Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo assures environmental protection and sustainability with the implementation of Population Carrying Capacity in the province during his State of the Province Address (SOPA), on January 7 at Camiguin Convention Center.
“We are happy to share that we have started last year first steps towards establishing carrying capacity limits in our ecotourism sites to be able to determine the maximum number of individuals of a specie that can be sustained by the environment and sustain that same number in the future,” Romualdo said.
In doing such, survey enumerators of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office gathered secondary data on infrastructure, population, water consumption for households, hotels and resorts, waste generation, wastewater, biodiversity, municipal profile, and other limiting factors to be used in data analysis.
“Gusto nako nga naa ta’y initial carrying capacity sa turista. Sauna gusto nato daghan kaayong tao, pero dili diay na insakto (I want us to have a carrying capacity on tourists. Before we wanted to have a lot of people but it wasn't correct). There should be a carrying capacity to sustain all our environments,” the governor said.
Noting the 11.56 percent increase in commercial aircraft movement and 7 percent increase in passenger traffic, Romualdo said there is a need to take further actions to protect and conserve the island’s environment.
Thus, the Climate Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction Center shall ensure all policies, laws, and regulations, and ordinances are enforced pertaining to the conservation and protection of the environment and natural resources.
Furthermore, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) has carried on numerous programs in line with the DENR’s national priorities.
These include the expanded national greening program, enhanced biodiversity conservation, scaling up of marine and coastal ecosystem, improved land administration, and management, intensified forest protection and anti-illegal logging.
The governor said PENRO has focused on the maintenance and protection for the expanded national greening program where plantations were established in 2017 and 2018 such as the 50-hectare bamboo plantation, 3-hectare rich forest and mangrove enrichment, 50-hectare bamboo plantation along the riverbanks.
For protected areas, PENRO also pursued activities that focus on advocacy, assessment and monitoring of sites and species.
While it is good to note the economic gains of having a lot of investments in the island, Romualdo said it is everybody’s role to ensure that the environment will always be healthy and beautiful because after all, this is what the island is well known for.
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