Ace Pushes for Eco-Friendly Tourism Development

Article excerpt

To further strengthen the protection and preservation of the ecological system in one of the countrys most sought-after destinations, the Department of Tourism recently embarked on a series of activities that aim to conserve the precious natural resources in Palawans northernmost island and provide alternative sources of income to host community members through environmentally sustainable tourism.

According to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, the 20-year Philippine Tourism Master Plan identifies Northern Palawan as a priority visitors area that should be developed as a low volume, high-value destination based on its natural heritage attractions.

"Northern Palawan offers a wide range of cultural and natural attractions. In Busuanga and Coron alone, the unspoiled beaches, coral covers, shipwrecks, and game reserves are more than enough to fascinate visitors. But while we want to develop the region as a prime tourist destination, we also would like to ensure that its natural resources will remain unspoiled," Durano said.

Thus, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the DoT, through its Sustainable Environmental Management Project in Northern Palawan (SEMPNP), with the Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest (FISH), a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to ensure the implementation of environmentally sustainable programs in selected areas in Coron and Busuanga.

Through the MOU, Corons BintuanSangat and Siete Pecados Marine Parks, protected areas established through the joint efforts of DoT SEMP-NP and the municipal governments of Coron and Bgy. Bintuan, are assured of technical assistance from the DoT and USAID in the next two years.

The Bintuan-Sangat and Siete Pecados Marine Parks play a vital role

in the protection of the coral reefs and World War II shipwrecks found in the waters of Coron. …