The guidelines seek responsible tourism for marine wildlife

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MANILA – The Biodiversity Management Office (BMB) of the Ministry of the Environment plans to finalize the guidelines on marine wildlife tourism (MWT) in the country in the near future.

The guidelines, developed in collaboration with the agriculture and tourism departments, aim to protect marine wildlife from the adverse effects of tourism such as habitat destruction, said Josefina de Leon, head of the wildlife resources division. of the BMB.

“It’s about being responsible tourists for wildlife,” she added.

De Leon said a joint administrative order from the departments of environment, agriculture and tourism will set the guidelines.

According to the law of the Republic 9147 or the law on the conservation and protection of wildlife resources, fauna “refers to the wild forms and varieties of flora and fauna, at all stages of development, including those in captivity. or which are being bred or spread ”.

Wildlife tourism is tourism that allows people to observe wildlife in a natural setting.

De Leon said BMB hopes the MWT guidelines will be released soon, as tourism continues to harm the country’s marine life.

“For example, turtles are captured and tied at some resorts so that tourists can swim with these animals,” she said, adding that binding turtles are harmful to these animals in the wild.

Last year, the World Bank (WB) said the demand for all types of nature tourism – especially adventure tourism and wildlife tourism – is expected to increase rapidly over the next two decades.

The WB added that the protection and sustainable management of wildlife and its natural habitat will help promote the growth of nature-based tourism.

De Leon said there was already a draft MWT order prepared before Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu took office.

“This project has not been followed up, so we are relaunching it,” she said, noting that discussions on the subject were ongoing.

“We are reviewing the project to see if it is sufficient,” she noted.

If deemed sufficient, she said the BMB would approve the project to the Department of the Environment for Cimatu’s review and approval.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), Calauit Island of Palawan Province and Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, Bohol Province and Donsol Municipality of Sorsogon Province are among the top destinations in the Philippines for the wildlife.

Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Wildlife Sanctuary is “straight out of Africa”, while Tubbataha Reef Marine National Park, rich in marine biodiversity, is the first natural site in the Philippines to be inscribed. on the World Heritage List, noted DOT. (ANP)


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