The Green Fins Philippines National Team at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have the challenge of implementing national programmes, like Green Fins, across an archipelago with several tiers of government.
The recent launch of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) represents a pivotal shift for DENR, allowing them to pour resources into building the capacity of DENR staff to better manage marine and coastal resources. Green Fins is a tool DENR is using to raise awareness on conservation issues with tourists and the diving community, manage local threats to reefs and build partnerships with the private sector.
The Technical Bulletin No. 2017-13 provides the legal instrument and structure for Regional and Provincial governments across the country to start implementing the international Green Fins environmental standards. Focusing first on diving hotspots in Region 4A (Mabini), 4B (Palawan, Mindoro) and 7 (Central Visayas), the lessons learned from running Green Fins in these areas will be used to roll out Green Fins on a national level.
The Technical Bulletin represents a significant milestone for DENR and Reef-World is looking forward to continuing to support them at all levels for Green Fins Philippines.
Green Fins awareness raising activities started in the Philippines in 2004 and the initiative was then officially launched in 2010. Green Fins Philippines is implemented by the Coastal and Marine Division under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) with support from NGOs including Batangas Community Divers, The El Nido Foundation and Marine Conservation Philippines.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the primary agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservation and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos. Its vision is a nation enjoying and sustaining its natural resources and a clean and healthy environment. Its mission is “to mobilise our citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations.”