Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs shortlisted for 2012 Future Policy Award

Philippines is among five countries shortlisted for the 2012 Future Policy Award, an international award that aims to raise global awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies.

Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs National Park Act, 2010 was among the 31 different policies from 22 countries which were nominated, ranging from integrated ocean and coastal policies, marine protected area programmes to laws regulating fisheries, trade in marine products, marine litter and land-sea interactions.

According to the World Future Council Foundation, an international policy research organisation that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions, the Tubbataha Reefs National Park Act demonstrates the critical need for national level policy to support local level action, giving permanence and power to local level institutions to confront regional threats such as illegal fishing, poaching and destructive fishing practices undertaken by foreign vessels.

It stated that Tubbataha has shown that with carefully planned management, local communities need not bear the burden of closed protected areas, but can be their primary beneficiaries: as a nursery ground for fish, the reefs are supporting local artisanal fisheries. This is an example of successful coral reef conservation and a model for action on other coral reefs.

The Tubbataha Reefs are a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Coral Triangle, a hotspot of marine biodiversity. Despite regional threats including overfishing these reefs are in excellent condition.

California, Namibia, Palau, and South Africa are also still in the running. This year the topic of the award is the protection of oceans and coasts.

“ With the award we want to raise global awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies,” said Janne Rohe of the WFC.

The winning policy will be announced at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 16, 2012. Winners will be celebrated at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India, in October. For this year’s theme the World Future Council is partnering with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with support from the Okeanos Foundation.

“ By highlighting positive examples of ‘best policies’ we first hope to increase the visibility of these policies and furthermore want to motivate (and convince) other governments to follow these examples by enacting similar regulations in their countries,” Rohe said.

posted by Imelda V. Abano, PNEJ President



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