Legarda Launches Documentary on Coral Restoration in Antique

April 16, 2015

Ahead of Earth Day on April 22, Senator Loren Legarda today launched a video documentary on the protection of coral reefs and efforts to restore the rainforest of the seas, particularly in the Province of Antique.

The video documentary, Antique: Coral Restoration Project, which was produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), highlights the Filipinnovation Coral Restoration Programand the Restoring Coral Reefs in Pandan, Antique for Improved Fisheries Productivity under the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

The documentary was directed by Brillante Mendoza and features underwater videography and photography by members of the Network of Underwater Digital Imagers (NUDI)—Robert Suntay, Jan Acosta, Boogs Rosales and Wowie Wong.

“Reefs are the rainforest of the seas. They are vital to the continuity of life in the sea. They protect coastlines from wave and storm erosion and function as nurseries and habitats for thousands of marine species. But only a small percentage of the country’s coral reefs remain in good condition. Through this video documentary, we highlight approaches to restore and protect our coral reefs,” said Legarda.

The video documentary discusses coral restoration efforts in the municipalities of Anini-y and Pandan in the Province of Antique.

The Municipality of Anini-y has the highest number of transplanted coral fragments among the 12 project sites under the Filipinnovation Coral Restoration Program, a science-based approach in restoring damaged reef areas through a public-private-academe partnership.

Meanwhile, the DOST-PCAARRD is implementing a project to restore damaged reefs through coral transplantation and coral nursery establishment in Pandan, Antique and other municipalities affected by Typhoon Haiyan to help hasten its recovery so that fishing in the spill-over zones or outside of the reef areas can be done again.

“These programs have already brought significant gains in the communities of Pandan and Anini-y by addressing food security and improving the competitiveness of tourism. We need to support these coral restoration programs in other areas in the country and strengthen community involvement in coral reef protection and preservation,” Legarda stressed.

The video launch was followed by a committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Legarda, to discuss related measures and to gain insights from government agencies on the status of other coral restoration programs and related initiatives, and from the local government units and private sector on the challenges in protecting marine ecosystems and how to replicate the project in other places.