SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Sept 15 (PIA) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-1 (DENR-1) is helping local government units (LGUs) here in developing their Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) plans.
Samuel R. Peñafel, DENR regional executive director, said there is a need to determine the status of the coastal areas here and find solutions, as well as to some identified issues affecting the degradation of the coastal ecosystems.
This is why Peñafel said that LGUs should lead in managing their coastal resources because these are huge natural and important resources as it provides food, livelihood and other revenues which do not demand large investments.
“Most of our coastal communities can simply go to the sea, harvest fish and gather mangroves. They can easily have access to beaches, estuaries without any investments. However, without any plan and proper management, these resources might be drained and over exploited,” Peñafel said.
Evangeline N. Aquino of DENR-1 regional public affairs office said there four pilot areas for ICM planning this year. These are Burgos in Ilocos Norte, Candon City in Ilocos Sur, San Fernando City in La Union and Bani in Pangasinan.
She said the DENR’s support to LGUs is in response to President Executive Order No. 533, which mandates the promotion of the ICM strategy through a holistic approach to coastal ecosystems with the expertise of government agencies, private sectors, the academe and LGUs.
Aquino added that the ICM plans on these places will serve as models for the other coastal municipalities in the region once fully monitored and implemented.
Among other LGUs that have already begun ICM planning are Infanta, Bolinao, Binmaley and Dagupan City in Pangasinan; Bauang and San Juan towns in La Union; Cabugao, Ilocos Sur; Badoc and Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. (ANL/MHH-PIA 1 La Union with reports from DENR1)