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IMFO, UPFG hold 4-day training in the management of Miagao MPAs

The Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology (IMFO) and the UP Fisheries Guild (UPFG) of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UP Visayas provided a series of training to assist in the management of the declared marine protected areas (MPAs) in the municipality of Miagao on May 2-5, 2017 at UP Visayas Miagao campus.

The “Miagao MPA Management and Community Capacity Building Extension Program” were participated in by the representatives of the Miagao Municipal Agriculture Office, Bantay Dagat, Miagao Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), volunteer community divers, fisherfolk organizations, barangay officials, and fishing community of the barangays with MPAs namely: Brgys. Damilisan, Calampitao-Gines, and Lanutan. The activity also aimed to establish the regular monitoring of the status of the declared MPA sites and to strengthen the fisherfolk organizations in these barangays.

Prof. Jerry Ian Leonida, IMFO Public Service Program Coordinator, spearheaded the undertaking. Leonida said that the event served as the launching of the public service program of the Institute and UPFG, one of the student organizations of CFOS. UPFG has been instrumental in instituting the MPAs of Miagao when Leonida was a student and president of this student organization in 2014. “This time, UP Fisheries guild aimed to continue the public service activities it started by making the MPAs fully functional and not just as paper parks. It should be true to its purpose.”

The weeklong public service activity included the following: 1) GIS Lecture and Training for Bantay Dagat and Municipal Agriculture O"ffice staff to provide technical support in the monitoring and enforcement of the regulations for the protection of the MPAs; 2) Basic Resource Assessment Training for Volunteer Community Divers to equip the identified volunteers from barangays with MPAs with technical skills in the assessment and monitoring of their resources; 3) Resource Assessment of the Three (3) Established Marine Protected Areas of Miagao to train the Bantay Dagat personnel and volunteer citizens in monitoring and evaluation of the status of the declared MPAs; 4) Capacity Building Lecture Series for Miagao MPAs’ Fisherfolk Communities to strengthen community involvement and to tackle the information management, education, and outreach phase of the MPA management process.

The lectures also included alternative livelihood and finance management advising. Resource persons were the faculty members of IMFO, and experts from the Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office, non-government organization and private institution.

The training was organized in partnership with the Office of the Municipal Agriculture (OMA)-Miagao, non-government organizations specifically Danvele Legacy, Inc. and Center for Community Transformation and a private company, Pilmico Food Corporation.

Leonida said their future plans are the following: 1) continuation of the hands-on activity of the OMA-Miagao, Bantay-Dagat, and MDRRMC personnel after the procurement of their GPS units; 2) formal diving and resource assessment training of the identified community divers; 3) resource assessment of the remaining unassessed MPAs and then, regular monitoring; 4) holding of more capacity building lectures and trainings and lectures and hands-on training on value addition of fishery products and gender roles in the fishing communities; and 5) formalization of the arrangements between Danvele Legacy Inc, Center for Community Transformation and Pilmico Food Corp. for the livelihood programs proposed during the last lecture series. (With sources from Prof. Jerry Ian Leonida)

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