Press Release
September 30, 2012

Legarda Lauds Intl Award for 2010 Tubbataha Reefs Natural
Park Act; Enjoins Heightened Reef Conservation Efforts

In light of the Silver Future Policy Award bestowed on the Philippines by an international jury for its 2010 Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act, Senator Loren Legarda expressed high hopes that the Philippines will soon set the world standards for environmental conservation.

"We must build on this success in the Tubbataha Reefs, implement similar programs where applicable, and re-strategize our conservation efforts based on successes in order for us to establish our country as one of the frontliners in the fight to save our marine ecosystems," she said.

Legarda, co-author of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act, noted that according to the award-giving body and international policy research organization World Future Council, the Future Policy Award aims to raise awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies.

"We should be proud that out of the nominated thirty-one policies from 22 countries around the world, we ranked among the top three. Marine scientists revealed that only five percent of the country's coral reefs remain in good condition. This achievement proves that with heightened awareness, effective strategies, and concerted efforts, we will be able to change the fate of our seas, and consequently, the future of our people," she stressed.

Namibia was likewise bestowed a Silver award for its Marine Resources Act of 2000, while Palau took the top prize for its Protected Areas Network Act of 2003 and its Shark Haven Act of 2009.

"I believe that we are on our way. We must thus intensify our efforts to make all Filipinos realize the benefits of restoring and conserving our coral reefs, so that we will have more allies in protecting them from the many threats that cause them irreparable damage. The environment is threatened by the times, by the pressures of modern society, by our very species."

"We must work in coordination with the DOST, academic research institutions, local government units, and stakeholders especially those living in coastal areas, to reverse the trend of destruction and give rise to healthy seas and a sustainable means of development," she concluded.

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