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Asia Dive News : Philippine coral reef picked for research

BOLINAO, Pangasinan - The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank have chosen this coastal town as one of four areas in the world for coral reef research.

During the consultation workshop held last week at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI) laboratory here, stakeholders in the Lingayen Gulf and scientists from the GEF discussed what kinds of coral research would be pursued to help sustain local coastal resources.

Andre Jon Uychiaoco, project manager of the Sagip Lingayen Gulf, a UPMSI-based non-government organization, said the Bolinao coral reef system represents the situation of the coral reef systems in Southeast Asia so it was selected as one of the research areas under the GEF's Coral Reef Targeted Research (CRTR) and Capacity Building for Management (CBM).

The other research areas are in Australia, Mexico and East Africa, he said.

The GEF scientists, some of them Filipinos, and fishermen in Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos and Bani, all coastal towns in western Pangasinan, agreed to restore the Bolinao coral reef system which has been degraded because of pollution and illegal fishing.

“The fishermen were keen on looking at the effects of pollution and siltation, which were not on the original plan of the scientists,” Uychiaoco said.

Among others, the scientists will study the effects of bleaching and global warming on the corals, where to establish marine protected areas, and how to rehabilitate coral reefs.

Source: INQ7