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Exploring Environmental Preservation: La Union’s Efforts in Fisheries Revival, Recognizing Environmental Champions

Under the leadership of Governor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David, the Provincial Government of La Union launched the Fisheries Refugia and awarded the Linak ken Daluyon 2024: Marine Protected Area (MPA) at the Speaker Pro Tempore Francisco I. Ortega Convention Center (La Union Convention Center) in Sevilla, City of San Fernando, La Union last March 19, 2024, as part of the celebration of #AyatFest2024: 174 Years of Celebrating Love, Celebrating yoUnity.

The event spotlighted the significance of effective governance and collaborative efforts across various stakeholders in managing fishery areas. It was organized by the Provincial Government’s Environment and Natural Resources Office in partnership with the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.; United States Agency for International Development; Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and Gerry Roxas Foundation.

In a message delivered by Executive Assistant Eleazar Belgica on behalf of Gov. Rafy, it was underscored, “Through projects such as this, we can safeguard and allow fish population to replenish and support sustainable fisheries… Establishing fisheries refugia is just the initial step. We need proper management to ensure the success of this project.”

The event also honored La Union’s MPAs, with notable recognition given to the Lingsat MPA of the City of San Fernando, which received the Saviors of the Sea and Best in Enforcement Awards. Other MPAs such as the Quirino MPAs of the Municipality of Bacnotan, the Bauang Bakawan Eco Park of the Municipality of Bauang, the Paraoir MPA of the Municipality of Balaoan, and the Taboc Artificial Reef MPA of the Municipality of San Juan were also acknowledged for their contributions.

Additionally, winners of the KaPROBINSYAnihan Communication, Education, and Public Awareness Activities in Photography and TikTok Challenge were recognized. The event served as an inspiration for KaPROBINSYAnihan to further engage in the province’s environmental advocacies, fueled by the hashtag #LaUnionPROBINSYAnihan. | Micko Sison

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