Local Government Initiative, Lingayen Gulf
Majors and other local government officials attend a workshop run by the CoE in Alaminos City

The coral reefs in the lingayen Gulf are some of the most endangered in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Thousands of people directly depend upon the gulf’s coral reefs for food, but fisheries catch is typically low due to overfishing and persistent destructive fishing, although some effort is being exerted to reduce or eliminate them. Poor coastal zoning and negligent coastal development result in siltation and contribute to pollution of reefs.

The degradation persists because governance institutions have limited capability to implement and sustain measures to manage their coral reefs or coastal resources. Local government authorities responsible for coastal management often do not have access to critical information or technology to mitigate threats to their resources. Many laws to protect the viability of coral reef resources have been created and promulgated, but local governments have insufficient capacity to enforce these laws.

The downward spiral endures in many areas in the region because of a lack of awareness on the part of stakeholders, particularly the resource users themselves, on the importance and thresholds for exploitation of their coral reef resources. This lack of awareness limits participation and compliance by local communities to coastal management efforts.

As the designated CRTR Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Southeast Asia, the university of the Philippines (uP) Marine Science Institute was responsible for implementing the CRTR Program’s Local Government Initiative in order to contribute to capacity building for science-based management of coral reefs in the Philippines, and provide inputs to policy decisions at the local and regional level. The project was led by Dr Annette Menez.

The primary objective of the Local Government Initiative was to reach out to local governments and communities associated with the CoE to share new knowledge about threats to coral reefs within an integrated coastal resources management framework, what measures can be taken locally to address these threats, and to facilitate informed decisions and appropriate actions by resource managers.

Further Information:

  1. SEA CoE Local Government Initiative (in detail) (119kb, PDF)

  2. SEA CoE Local Goverment Initiative case study (3.42mb, PDF)

  3. Coastal Resources Management Forum (20mb, PDF)

  4. MPA Enforcement Protocol Guide (1.4mb, PDF)

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