Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said the two-day Visayan Sea Summit in Cebu City was very fruitful because the four participating provinces committed to time-bound action plans.
Other governors at the summit held Tuesday and Wednesday were Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu, Arthur Defensor of Iloilo, and Rizalina Seachon-Leanete of Masbate.
Many of the measures to save the Visayan Sea discussed at the summit are already being implemented in Negros Occidental, but what is important is that each province committed to do its share, he said.
“The activity was a very important step in trust-building to pave the way for further cooperation among the four provinces,” Alett Nunez, Negros Occidental Provincial Environment Management Office head, also said.
There was a very open and candid assessment of issues besetting the Visayan Sea, she said.
The four governors agreed to conserve and protect the Visayan Sea with specific actions plans to be monitored by mid-year, she added.
Garcia said when Magellan came to conquer the Visayas for spices centuries ago, he was mistaken. The true treasure of the area was not the spices, but the seas of the Visayas, she said.
Seachon-Lanete called on the help of the other provinces to curb illegal fishing in Masbaste.
Marañon stressed the need to moderate greed and conserve the Visayan Sea so future generations can continue to benefit from it.
Several follow-up meetings to review the implementation of the action plans have been set.*CPG