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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BIMS success story shared in Italy

by: Rhea Grace A. La Plana

Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) has invited the local government unit (LGU) of Ipilfor its 32nd Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) which was held on July 11-15 in Italy, Rome.

The LGU is currently engaged with Rare Philippines Inc., an international environmental NGO based in Arlington, Virginia, USA,  in the implementation of a global fisheries management program called Fish Forever. It is fortunate enough to be the lone LGU in the Philippines invited to the event.

Having received the award as “2015 Best Managed Marine Protected Area (MPA), the Buluan Island Marine Sanctuary (BIMS) has a lot to share in the international stage in terms of how it was able to implement a successful community-initiated fishery conservation effort.

It is a flagship food security, poverty alleviation and climate change adaptation program of then mayor and now Zamboanga Sibugay Vice-Governor Eldwin M. Alibutdan, being sustained by the incumbent Mayor Anamel C. Olegario.  BIMS is an exceptional success story that Rare is lobbying to the FAO to be emulated by global coastal communities which are predominantly small-scale based fisheries.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Mr. Felix T. Badon attended the session and shared the BIMS story torepresentatives from the countries of Mozambique, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany and USA together with FAO.

This event has put the local government of Ipil in the international map as model LGU on small–scale fisheries implementation. It has paved the way to seek potential additional funding for fisheries management as it established linkages with donor partners.

The marine sanctuary is located in the picturesque white sand island of Buluan and is being maintained by MENRO with the support of its partner institutions: Rare Philippines Incorporated; Rare Arlington, Virginia, USAandXavier Agriculture Extension Service Foundation Inc. (XAESFI).

“The main objectives of the 32nd session of the COFI focused towards combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; securing sustainable small-scale fisheries; monitoring state of world fisheries and aquaculture and progress in the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible fisheries and related instrument; catching documentation schemes; monitoring climate change and other environmental matters,”Badon explained.

Every two years, member states of the FAO-UN COFI regularly meet to discuss and ratify global fisheries agreements and treaties, set management programs, share approaches, tools, lessons learned and information with regard to improving the global fisheries and aquaculture, among others.

Having BIMS as a “Sense of Pride”, Badon aims to upgrade knowledge, information, and strategies to sustain fisheries development efforts.