The Greenpeace international environmental campaign organization is mulling the idea of seeking an audience with President Benigno Aquino III to push for stronger policies on sustainable fisheries as well as protection of the oceans that are in crisis, Capt. Waldemar Wichmann of the MY Esperanza, Greenpeace’s largest vessel said.
The vessel arrived in Negros Oriental Tuesday to launch its “Ocean Defenders” campaign Philippine tour at the world famous Apo Island.
The Esperanza and its crew docked at the Dumaguete port yesterday morning, and were welcomed by local officials, led by Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
Wichmann said at a press conference that the oceans are in crisis and in the Philippines, there is an urgent need to address marine and coastal conservation issues as the country’s fishery sector is under threat of collapse.
He said the Philippines must deal with climate change issues and proper management of its resources in environmental protection and conservation.
The past century is a grim reminder of abuses in managing marine resources across the globe, with threats to include overfishing, use of destructive fishing gear and other indirect threats as well.
He said Greenpeace has returned to the Philippines to help local environment and fisheries groups as well as other organizations push for concerted efforts to fight issues to prevent the Philippines fishery sector from the brink of collapse.
Wichmann stressed the need for collaboration among stakeholders and government and changing habits and practices to preserve resources for future generations.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza was at Apo Island for three days since Tuesday to assist in a reef check, buoy deployment and survey of coral reefs badly damaged by two strong typhoons, Sendong in late 2011 and Pablo in late 2012.*PNA
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