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Legarda launches docu on Philippine marine biodiversity

April 27, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources, launched a video documentary on Philippine marine biodiversity that coincided with Earth Day on April 22.

The project, which marks her third collaboration with internationally acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza, aims to raise awareness on the current condition of the country’s marine life and underwater resources.

Senator Legarda was inspired to do the project after watching marine videos taken by underwater videographer Robert “Bobbit” Suntay, co-founder and executive director of Carewell Community Foundation.

Jan Acosta, Boogs Rosales and Wowie Wong, members of the Network of Underwater Digital Imagers, Inc. (NUDI), also shared their marine videos and photos for the project.

The launch was held on Earth Day “to send a strong message that we need our seas to support life,” Senator Legarda said. “We must find the much-needed balance on marine resources use while protecting our beautiful and bountiful marine eco-systems.”

She stressed, “We have one of the world’s richest marine eco-systems, characterized by extensive coral reefs, seagrass beds and dense mangroves. In 2008, we were sixth in global fish and aquaculture production. We were fourth in 1985.

“The Philippines was the second largest seaweed producer in the world, next to China, and dislodged only in 2007 by Indonesia. These figures suggest we are rich in fisheries and coastal resources as a nation, and yet, hunger affected 3.9 million families in the last quarter of 2013. This alarming irony becomes even more glaring with the fact that while we are rich in fisheries and coastal resources, among the poorest in our country are coastal communities with four of 10 coastal residents living under poverty line.”

“This documentary is part of my continuing advocacy to educate and enlighten Filipinos about marine life, how it affects our own life and livelihood, what is at stake if we lose these resources and what we can and must do to protect our seas,” Senator Legarda concluded.

The video documentary is done in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Philippine Information Agency. It will be distributed to schools, local government units, non-government organizations and other entities.

Source: Manila Bulletin