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In a bid to strengthen the protection and conservation of the area
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to launch the operational plan of the Snake Island as National Coastal and Marine Center for Research.
Snake Island is one of the 12 chartered islands of Honda Bay situated East of the mainland Puerto Princesa. It has a total area of more than 952 hectares.
In the management zones, areas for bird conservation, scuba dive sites, protected area, snorkeling, swimming, cottages, docking area, multiple use zones and other purposes are properly defined and delineated.
The proposed zones were presented to the different agencies and stakeholders, such as the City Government of Puerto Princesa, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, the academe, and the officials from the concerned barangays within Honda Bay, in preparation of the launching of the operational plan tentatively set on September 5, 2019.
“The reason why kino-cordon at pino-proteksyonan kasi masyado nang na-degrade si Snake Island. Napakayaman at napakaganda ni Snake Island dati. Kailangan talaga magkaroon ng zoning,” Rhodora Ubani, Supervising Ecosystem Management Specialist of the DENR-PENRO said.
She further said that in the management zones, there are still areas where certain activities will still be allowed in order not to displace the fisherfolk who are relying on the fishery resources within the area, but it should be within the proper zones.
Included in the proposed zones is a birding area for protection covering an area of 54.49 hectares.
“Pino-propose natin ang bird sanctuary kung saan ang water bird ay namamalagi. First at last quarter every year ay sobrang dami ng mga birds. May constant monitoring ang office namin dyan. Siguro isipin ng community na birds lang yan, pero sila mga birds ay may napakalaking contributions sa ating ecosystem,” Ubani explained.
Based on the inventory conducted by ERDB in 2016, the Snake Island has a coral cover of 46.25 percent, which is categorized as fair. The DENR thru the then Secretary Ramon Paje issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2011-12 establishing Snake Island as site of the DENR National Coastal and Marine Center for Research (NCMCR).
The DENR said that its establishment is a step towards a more effective and efficient conservation of our country’s vast biodiversity. Implementing clear interventions in protecting and rehabilitating our coastal and marine ecosystems is necessary as they provide food and livelihood to millions of Filipinos.