DENR leads strategic communication planning workshop for Philippine Rise conservation

ENVIRONMENT
November 25, 2019

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), will hold a three-day inter-agency workshop aiming to come up with a strategic communication plan for the conservation of the Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve (PRMRR).
    
The workshop, happening from November 13 to 15 at Sulo Riviera in Quezon City, will bring together communications officers and other representatives from various government agencies, academic institutions and environmental groups.
    
DENR Assistant Secretary and concurrent BMB Director Ricardo Calderon said the development of a communication plan forms part of a series of activities prescribed in PRMRR’s management plan formulated by an interim management group.
    
“The communication plan will guide and support activities for increasing stakeholder awareness and literacy on the ecological and economic value of PRMRR,” Calderon said.
    
The workshop, he added, aims to generate “consistent and uniformed messages about PRMRR” from concerned government agencies and other stakeholders.
    
Aside from DENR and BMB officials, communications officers from the Presidential Communication Operations Office, National Security Council, Department of Science and Technology, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Department of Foreign Affairs will be attending the workshop.
    
Other participants include those from the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute and the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Conservation International Philippines, and National Coast Watch Council.
    
PRMRR is located within the 24-million hectare Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, which in 2012 was declared by the United Nations as part of the country’s extended continental shelf.
    
In May 2017, President Rodrigo RoaDuterte renamed Benham Rise to Philippine Rise to assert the country’s sovereign rights over the massive underwater plateau in the Pacific Ocean east of Luzon.
    
A year later, the President declared portions of Philippine Rise as a marine resource reserve, placing 50,000 hectares of the undersea region under “strict protection zone” limited to scientific studies and designating 300,000 hectares as a Special Fisheries Management Area.
    
Even prior to the proclamation, the BMB has been collaborating with key national government agencies and stakeholders working for the sustainable use of resources in Philippine Rise.

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